I have to say that I have a huge crush on this gorgeous lady and she could tell me anything in that beautiful voice and I would deem it true: “Semper you will need to give me your pin number!”
“Why of course Jhene”.
Jhene Aiko’s name has been buzzing around on the music circuit for a while: from dropping bv’s for the group B2k to being signed to labels like Epic she is certainly no stranger to this mad world called the music business. After a period where she confesses music was more of a “hobby” it is now with her young daughter as a catalyst that she is using every minute to bring her soulful bad ass lyrics to the US and now of course the UK.
Her first independent musical offering was her hugely celebrated mix-tape Sail Out (2011) which was a small taster of this huge talent. Bringing a ghetto, pop swagger and her light yet raw RnB vocals it was a heady, addictive offering bursting with bangers in this fourteen track mix-tape (more of an album in many respects). More significantly however were the names that featured; Kanye West, Miguel, Drake and Kendrick Lamar-all four I think it is safe to say are huge-it was a definite statement of approval and kudos for this mixed heritage singer from Los Angeles.
2013 and Jhene drops Sailing Soul as her EP and her debut release for a UK audience. The lead single, Bed Peace featuring the nerdy verbal dexterity of Childish Gambino is brilliant and cleverly emulates the visuals from John Lennon’s timeless classic Imagine (1971). It’s a tasty hors d’oeuvre from the five track EP and should entice a UK audience who may still be new to Jhene. Currently touring with the omnipresent Drake, Jhene admits she is in a good place!
Jhene lifts anchor.
I think it has been a long time for me to focus on music but this is the first time really that I have really focused all my energy on my music career. When I was younger the stuff I was doing was just fun for me really and even when I got older it was still like a hobby for me. The birth of my daughter changed things for me musically-she put the fire under me to really push more in my career. I think all of my other dreams of being a veterinary and all the other things that I am interested in I think that I just decided to focus on one thing. Now I am putting every waking hour into music and so I think things are really happening for me now and it is paying off.
Sailing with Drake.
It’s really very exciting touring with Drake and every city we go to it brings more and more energy. I think we have twenty something cities to go to I don’t think we are even half way yet so it is going to be difficult. I do not know how Drake does it because he has to put on a full show every night and I am just in the middle of his show for like 6 or 7 minutes I think. I perform and I literally go back on the bus and get some sleep to have the energy for the next show!
Dropping anchor with Bed Peace.
The song was initially called Wake Up but for me it was such an obvious song title and then peace popped in my head and I started telling all the people in the studio about the name and then I started pulling up all the stuff on John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the visuals-I was like this is the look. I have always just looked up to them for their stance on world peace and I really wanted to bring that message to a younger audience.
Sailing with Childish Gambino.
Honestly I had other people to feature and when I went to Gambino he was like the last person really I sent it to and I had in fact done a version featuring just me to meet the deadline. Anyway he sent me his fist straight away when I requested him and I explained what I wanted to do with the visuals with the John and Yoko thing and he totally on board with it and it basically sent me his first that same night. I think it was just meant to be because I heard it and I liked it. Usually I do not always like the verse the first time I heard but it hit me straight away it was meant to be and so I cannot wait for people to hear it and of course the EP go get your copy!
Bed Peace out now!