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Jhené Aiko, the Sultry Songstress Behind Today‘s Soulful Sound

Full Name Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo
Age 35
Birthday [March 16, 1988](
Birth Sign [Pisces](
Born Los Angeles, California, United States
Height 5′ 2′′
Net Worth $6 million
Social Media [Twitter]( / [Instagram]( / [YouTube](

Jhené Aiko has been serenading listeners with her soothing vocals and vulnerable songwriting for over a decade. Though still young in her career, Aiko has already solidified herself as a leading voice in contemporary R&B and one of music‘s most intriguing artists. Let‘s take a closer look at the sultry songstress behind today‘s evocative soul sound.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo on March 16, 1988 in Los Angeles, California, Aiko grew up surrounded by music. Her father was a doctor and her mother a visual artist, but several family members were musical. Aiko‘s older sisters Miyoko and Jamila performed as the R&B duo Gyrl, and her brother Miyagi raps under the name Namiko Love.

Aiko got her big break in 2002 at just 14 years old when she was asked to audition for producer Chris Stokes‘ girl group. She joined B2K member Lil‘ Fizz, his brother Scotia, and Tamika Scott of Xscape to form the R&B act Gyrl. They were unfortunately short-lived, disbanding only a year later.

But this was only the beginning for the talented teen. Aiko went on to sign with Epic Records in 2003 and began work on a debut solo album titled My Name Is Jhené. Though her album was never officially released due to issues at the label, she started garnering attention with her Myspace page showcasing her music.

Mixtape Success and Major Label Debut

In 2010, Aiko independently released her first mixtape titled Sailing Soul(s). This led to a recording contract with Artium Recordings and Def Jam Recordings. She followed up with the mixtape Sailing Soul(s) II in 2011.

Aiko‘s first and only studio album with Def Jam was the 2013 R&B record Souled Out. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hit singles "The Worst" and "3:16am."

Despite the album‘s success, Aiko asked to be released from her contract with Def Jam in 2014 due to frustrations over creative differences. This initiated her transition to the indie label ArtClub International.

Continued Acclaim with ArtClub International

As an independent artist once again, Aiko felt empowered to take her music in new directions. She teamed up with several hip-hop artists for high-profile collaborations, including Big Sean on their steamy 2015 track "I Know."

In September 2016, Aiko released the project Eternal Sunshine, which she described as "the prelude" to her next album. True to her word, she dropped her second studio album Trip just a few months later in September 2017.

Trip debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two hit singles, "While We‘re Young" and "The Pressure." The sensual, psychedelic album showed off Aiko‘s artistic growth and versatility. She went on to earn two Grammy nominations for her work on the album.

Aiko has continued releasing new music at a prolific pace, including the 2020 album Chilombo featuring the tracks "P$$y Fairy (OTW)" and "Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E)" as well as the 2021 EP Blue Water Road*.

Unique Musical Style

Fans are drawn to Aiko for her distinctive, ethereal vocals and confessional lyrics exploring love, relationships, and sexuality. Her music blends R&B, hip-hop, reggae, folk, and even psychedelic pop elements for a signature dreamlike sound.

Aiko cites a diverse range of influences, including Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Kid Cudi, and Bon Iver. She often plays the guitar and incorporates acoustic elements into her songs. Critics have compared Aiko‘s musical style to other alternative R&B acts like SZA and Kehlani, though Aiko paved her own way in the genre.

Notable Collaborations

Throughout her career, Aiko has teamed up with many contemporary hip-hop and R&B stars. Some standout collaborations include:

  • Drake – "July"
  • Childish Gambino – "Bed Peace"
  • Kendrick Lamar – "The Pressure"
  • John Legend – "Light the Sky"
  • Big Sean – "I Know" and duo Twenty88
  • 6lack – "Pretty Little Fears"

Aiko has proven herself a versatile collaborator, blending seamlessly with others‘ styles while retaining her signature sound. Her collaborations have helped expand her fanbase and cement her as one of music‘s most in-demand voices.

Awards and Achievements

Though relatively new to the scene, Aiko already has an impressive collection of awards and nominations recognizing her talents:

  • 2 Grammy nominations (Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album for Trip)
  • 2 Soul Train Music Awards (Best New Artist and Centric Award)
  • Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award
  • BET Award nomination for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

In 2017, Aiko became the most-streamed female R&B singer on Spotify globally. She also appeared on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 list in 2018, showcasing her rising success.

Personal Life and Relationships

Aiko is quite private about her personal life, though some details have emerged over the years. She has a daughter named Namiko Love with O‘Ryan Omir Browner, singer Omarion‘s younger brother.

Aiko also dated producer Dot da Genius for several years. The relationship inspired her album Souled Out, with songs detailing the pain of Dot‘s infidelity.

In 2016, Aiko began a relationship with Big Sean. They even formed the musical duo Twenty88 together, releasing a self-titled album. After getting engaged in 2018, the couple eventually split in 2019.

Aiko also made headlines in 2021 when fans speculated she was dating rapper Lil Wayne based on flirtatious social media posts. Neither directly confirmed they were involved.

Jhené Aiko Timeline

  • March 1988 – Born in Los Angeles, California
  • 2002 – Joins girl group Gyrl at age 14
  • 2003 – Signs with Epic Records
  • 2010 – Releases debut mixtape Sailing Soul(s)
  • 2013 – Drops R&B album Souled Out with Def Jam
  • 2016 – Starts relationship with Big Sean, forms duo Twenty88
  • 2017 – Earns two Grammy nominations for album Trip
  • 2020 – Releases album Chilombo which debuts at #2 on Billboard 200

Why We Love Jhené Aiko

There are so many reasons to admire the unique artistry of Jhené Aiko:

  • Her stunning, etheral vocals captivate listeners
  • Raw, honest lyrics exploring love and relationships
  • Eclectic musical style blending R&B, hip-hop, pop, and more
  • Meaningful collaborations with top artists across genres
  • Relatable personality and mystic spirituality
  • Prolific work ethic releasing mixtapes, EPs, and albums
  • Chart-topping hits year after year
  • Inspiring story of breaking out as an independent artist

5 Interesting Facts About Jhené Aiko

  • Her stage name Jhené Aiko is a pseudonym derived from some of her family members‘ names.
  • She is of Japanese, Spanish, Native American, African American, and German descent.
  • Aiko has several tattoos with spiritual meanings, including lotus flowers and yin and yang symbols.
  • She considers herself spiritual but not religious, referencing beliefs like Buddhism and astrology.
  • Aiko enjoys painting and poetry as therapeutic creative outlets.

FAQ About the R&B Songstress

Jhené Aiko is one of the most captivating new voices in contemporary R&B. Here are more in-depth answers to some frequently asked questions about her life and work:

When is Jhené Aiko‘s birthday and how old is she now?

Jhené Aiko was born on March 16, 1988. In 2022, she is 34 years old.

What is Jhené Aiko‘s nationality and ethnicity?

Aiko was born and raised in Los Angeles, California so she is American by nationality. Her ethnicity is diverse, with ancestors from Japanese, Spanish, Native American, African American, and German backgrounds.

How did Jhené Aiko get discovered?

Producer Chris Stokes discovered Aiko and had her audition for his girl group when she was only 14. Though that group disbanded, her singing on MySpace grabbed Epic Records‘ attention and she was signed in 2003.

What are some of Jhené Aiko‘s biggest songs and albums?

Some of Aiko‘s most popular tracks are "The Worst," "While We‘re Young," "Sativa" featuring Swae Lee, and "B.S." featuring H.E.R. Her top albums include Souled Out, Trip, and Chilombo.

Who are some artists Jhené Aiko has collaborated with?

Notable collaborations include Drake, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Twenty88, and 6lack among others. Her duet album with Big Sean as Twenty88 was also a hit.

What awards has Jhené Aiko won so far?

She has won 2 Soul Train Music Awards. She earned Grammy nominations for Trip and appeared on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 list in 2018.

Jhené Aiko continues to etch her name into R&B history with her soul-stirring songs and collaborations. She has cemented herself as one of the most talented vocalists and authentic artists today.