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Jhené Aiko: The Arrival

Fresh off appearances on the latest LPs from both Drake and Big Sean, our compadres at HYPETRAK were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with singer/swongwriter Jhené Aiko. While touching on both her recently released EP Sail Out and her forthcoming full-length, Souled Out, the soulful LA native opened up about her collaboration with Childish Gambino – a bit of a modern Yoko Ono/John Lennon-inspired endeavor – the peaks and pitfalls of a career in music, an appearance by her daughter on her imminent LP, and even what she would be up to if she weren’t singing. Check out a brief excerpt from the interview below and head on over to HYPETRAK to read the conversation in its entirety.

How does the Sail Out EP bridge to your upcoming Souled Out LP? Where’s the connection between both projects?
The Sailed Out EP that I just put out is seven songs and serves as an introduction to people that are just getting familiar with me. I just wanted to keep it light and somewhat feature-heavy. I feel most people are starting to now getting familiar with me because of these features with Kendrick and Drake. So I wanted to keep it along the lines of that, while the album more personal, and myself digging deeper into my music and my stories. I think the EP is the appetizer before the main course.

Your daughter serves a special guest on Souled Out. How did this come about?
That is true. I heard this No I.D. production and it was just pretty. When I started writing the song, I really wanted to make it an important one. During the writing process, I started talking about my daughter. I realized that the hook was something that sounded like something my daughter would like to sing along with. So I brought her in with me and she did it.(laughs)

If she decided to become a recording artist, would you encourage her?
I would tell her to finish school first. If she really loves singing and she really would want to do that, then she will also be able to wait. I would encourage her to get better at whatever she wanted to do while she was in school. She would just really have to make sure that she pursues something she really wanted to do because she had a passion for it and not just because I do it or to be popular. She really has to make sure that that’s what her passion was and keep her safe from all the craziness that can happen. I would just more so try to lead by example.


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