Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo
Dot da Genius (m. 2014-2017)
Namiko Browner (b. 2008)
Nay, NeNe & Penny
Jhené Aiko (born: Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo; March 16, 1988) is a Japenese-American/Spanish-American/Dominican-American/African-American/German-American/Jewish-American singer-songwriter, who previously offered vocals for former R&B group, B2K, and appeared in several music videos. To promote Jhené, Sony and Epic Records made her known as "Lil' Fizz's cousin," although she is not related to him in real life. Aiko originally was slated to release her previous debut album, My Name is Jhené in 2003 through Sony, The Ultimate Group, and Epic, but the album was shelved for Jhené to depart from Sony to focus on her education. Jhené has three older siblings, whom two are singers as well, including Miyoko, Jamila (also known as Mila J), and Miyagi, who died from cancer in July 19, 2012.
Jhené's early lifeEdit
Jhené Aiko was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Christina Yamamoto and Dr. Karamo Chilombo (birth name Greg Barnes), a pediatrician. She is of mixed race background—her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Native American, and German Jewish descent. Aiko has also stated that she has French ancestry and has stated regarding her ancestry, "I’m a quarter Japanese. That’s the only percentage I know for sure because it’s my grandfather's. And then everyone else is pretty much like mixed." Her older sisters Miyoko and Jamila were in the R&B group Gyrl and toured with Immature, who were signed to MCA/Silas Records.
Musical beginnings and hiatusEdit
Aiko embarked on her musical career contributing vocals to several B2K releases, as well a song on the The Master of Disguise Soundtrack in 2002, while signed to The Ultimate Group and managed by Chris Stokes.
During this time she was known as the cousin of B2K's rapper, Lil' Fizz, though she is not actually related to him. It was used as promotion by her labels Sony, The Ultimate Group and Epic Records, to promote Aiko through B2K and attract an audience; nonetheless Aiko affirms that she and Lil' Fizz grew up together and were close like family. She featured on tracks five through eight of the R&B group's remix album B2K: The Remixes – Volume 1. "Santa Baby", a cover she recorded, was also featured on their album Santa Hooked Me Up and she appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "Tease" from Pandemonium!. Her song "Dog" appeared as a bonus track.
Aiko also appeared in numerous music videos including O'Ryan's debut video, "Take It Slow", B2K's debut video "Uh Huh" and "Why I Love You", P.Y.T.'s "Same Ol' Same Ol' (Remix)" featuring Sarai, Play's "M.A.S.T.E.R. (Part 2) featuring Lil' Fizz video and Morgan Smith's 2004 video "Blow Ya Whistle". Jhené also is featured on the soundtracks of Barbershop, The Master of Disguise, You Got Served, The Proud Family, and Byou. She released a video for her single "NO L.O.V.E" (re-recorded from Tha' Rayne version in 2002) which debuted on BET's 106 & Park when she was 15 years old. Aiko was set to release her debut album, then-titled My Name Is Jhené in 2003 through Sony, The Ultimate Group, Epic, however the album was never released due to tension at the record label Epic, which ultimately led to Aiko asking to be released from the label. Aiko later departed from these labels in order to continue her education.
Return to music with Sailing Soul(s) and Sail OutEdit
In 2007, she made a return to music, in an interview she spoke on the choice saying “Shortly before I conceived my daughter, I stepped back into the field and took a meeting with a label head. In this meeting, I was innocently told, to ‘sell’ myself when walking into these meetings. “That’s when I decided I would ‘sail’ myself rather than sell myself.” Meanwhile, Aiko released a mixtape on March 16, 2011 entitled Sailing Soul(s) via her official website, JheneAiko.com. All the songs on the mixtape were written by her, wit the exception of “July” which was written by Micah Powell and most of the songs were produced by Fisticuffs, except “July” and “You vs Them” which were produced by Bei Maejor, “Real Now” which was produced by Roosevelt, “Do Better” which was produced by J. Lbs and “Growing Apart” which was produced by Tae Beast.
To promote the mixtape Aiko was joined by Grammy-nominated R&B singer Miguel on a one off free secret tour on Sunday, July 15. The free tickets were given away at the Key Club box office on July 6 from 11AM-5PM on a first-come, first-served basis while. The concert started 7:00pm and finished as 9:30pm, lasting a duration of two and a half hours. In 2011, she also began working closely with artists from Carson-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment such as Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. In 2012, Aiko met with No I.D., record producer and vice president of A&R at Def Jam, who ended up signing Aiko to his Artium Records imprint through Def Jam. Aiko released the track "3:16AM" which was made available for digital download on iTunes September 4, 2012. The song was released as the first single from Sail Out. In 2012, Aiko was also the opening act on the highly anticipated “Life Is Good/Black Rage” concert tour headlined by fellow American artists, rapper Nas and singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill.
Aiko also was featured in a song by Big Sean, "Beware," where critics praised her vocals. While also featured in songs by Drake, J. Cole, and Schoolboy Q. Aiko released her first debut EP Sail Out, on November 12, 2013. "Bed Peace" featuring Childish Gambino was released as the album's second single on September 17, 2013. On January 14, 2014, "The Worst" was serviced to rhythmic contemporary radio in the United States as the album's third single. On May 2, 2014 "The Worst" rose from three to one on the airplay Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop, in doing so she became the first female artist to top the chart as a lead with a debut single since Jazmine Sullivan reached the same feat with "Need U Bad" in 2008.
Souled Out eraEdit
On January 18, 2014, Aiko appeared on Saturday Night Live performing the song "From Time", with the episode's guest host, Drake. In a January 2014 interview with Vibe, Aiko announced her debut studio album Souled Out would be released in May 2014. Following the success from "The Worst," the album was delayed multiple times. On March 16, 2014, she released a song "My Afternoon Dream," which would be titled "Blue Dream" on the deluxe edition of her debut album.
On June 2014, Aiko released the cover art and a snippet of her first single from her debut album, "To Love and Die" which offers vocals from Cocaine 80s. Later on, Aiko released a new song, "The Pressure" which would offer as her new single, with a music video to follow. From multiple delays, where the album would be released in May 2014, it was pushed back to August 2014, to its official release date, September 9, 2014. Souled Out has received generally positive reviews for its production and lyrical content from Aiko, as well has her angelic vocals.
Aiko is a Christian, having been baptized when she was 16 at the evangelical Pentecostal Foursquare Church. At the age of 20, Aiko became pregnant by American R&B singer O'Ryan and gave birth to her daughter Namiko on November 19, 2008. Before losing her brother Miyagi to cancer on July 19, 2012, Aiko recorded "For My Brother" on her laptop, which was initially intended only for her brother's ears. He died soon after hearing the record. On August 27, 2013, Aiko was involved in a car accident in Los Angeles along with her daughter Namiko, older sister Miyoko, and her daughter's father O'Ryan. Aiko suffered a broken wrist, chipped tooth and had stitches in her chin. Her daughter, however, was unharmed in the accident.
- Souled Out (2014)
- Sail Out (2012)
- Sailing Soul(s) (2011)
- My Name is Jhené (2003)
- Jhené's Japenese-American, Spanish-American & Dominican-American on Christina's side and African-American, German-American & Jewish-American on Karamo's side.
- Jhené's full name in Spain & the Dominican Republic is Jhené Aiko-Efuru Chilombo Yamamoto.