Jhene Aiko: Her Music Speaks to All


Jhene Aiko performs “Sing to Me” with her daughter Namiko.

By Basil Morales, Staff Writer

Jhene Aiko is a beautiful, wonderful, and successful R&B singer who has had many ups and downs in her career.

According to her own website jheneaiko.com, Jhene Aiko Efuru Chilombo, most known by her stage name Jhene Aiko, is a 31 year old singer/songwriter. She was born on March 16, 1988, and raised in Los Angeles, California.


Just Us Relatives

Jhene Aiko’s ethnicity is of Japanese, African American, Spanish, and Native American descent. Her father, Dr. Karamo Chilombo (birth name Greg Barnes) is a pediatrician, and her mother is Christina Yamamoto. She has two older sisters named Miyoko and Jamila. Her brother Miyagi died in July 2012 after a two year battle with cancer.


She Is Unique In Her Own Way

Jhene Aiko is a very successful artist with many fans at Miami Senior High. “What stands out about her from other artists is that she doesn’t speak about drugs or alcohol like most rappers so, but about her feelings or getting hurt in a relationship. Also, her music isn’t basic. She has a slow rhythm to her music which makes it stand out,” said sophomore Jorleni Mejia.

Junior Marcella Moret added, “Jhene is one of those artists that has a more down to earth artistic style with her music. Also I think her music is more spiritual. She also sings really well, and she can switch it up and rap sometimes so it’s not always down to earth, but I think she is one of the main artists who does that as of now.”


Her Life Before Fame

According to a fan website <Jheneaiko.net>, even though Jhene grew up in L.A.’s urban pop scene, she was expecting her career to be in communications because of her love for words. She enjoyed writing essays in school and even kept a diary. At one point, she even thought about becoming a food editor because of her love for food.

However, that all changed at the age of 12 when she inked a deal with Epic Records. She contributed her vocals to several tracks for the R&B group B2K: The Remixe’s – Volume I. She was their opening act on their Scream Tour 3. She also appeared in many music videos, including O’Ryan’s debut video “Take It Slow”.

This R&B singer has had many songs released over the years. “My favorite song is ‘WADING’ because I love the rhythm and how she sings about how she wants the man to realize she has feelings for him and how it would feel if she were to be with another man,” said senior Maria Morales.

Sophomore Andrea Santos added, “I like her song ‘Promises’ especially the verse ‘I’ve been coming home late night, I’ve been sleeping past daylight, I’m waking up, you’re not by my side, Baby, that ain’t right,’ because it reminds me of my niece whom I can’t see anymore due to her mother and my brother not talking anymore. I know one day I will see her and the song just brings me hope.”



By the age of 15, Jhene Aiko’s self-titled solo album was about to be launched, but because of creative differences with her record label Epic, she asked to be released. Since she was lagging behind in her schoolwork, she wanted to focus on finishing high school.

In an interview with Complex magazine, she stated, “There was a new label boss who wasn’t well-versed in who I was or my music. I was just like, ‘You know what? I want to get released.’”

She worked at her uncle’s law firm as a receptionist during the day, and then commuted by bus to a second job at the mall. She worked at a vegan restaurant after the birth of her daughter and recorded her mixtape after work.

Teens usually listen to songs that are recommended by someone, and many MHS students recommend Jhene. “I would recommend Jhene Aiko to someone because she is a very talented artist and her lyrics be hitting hard, especially when you can relate to them,” said sophomore Anthony Fernandez.

Sophomore Christophe Flores added, “I would recommend her because she is very peaceful, and her music speaks to you and talks about real life situations you can be going through.”


Jhene Aiko’s most streamed songs

“Sativa” ft. Rae. Sremmurd – 162 million streams

“The Worst” – 116 million streams

“None of your Concern” – 13 million streams

“Stay Ready” ft. Kendrick Lamar – 12 million streams

“Trigger” – 1.2 million stream

Source:  Spotify