May 06, 2012

Jhene Aiko

Jhene Aiko

This “Little Loved one” is derived from a paradise , the Garden of Eden. Well at least her name is. Jhene Aiko representing Los Angeles California  is addicted to life and will never stop capturing her dreams and expressing her imagination. It's hard to believe someone with so much courage now, used to have low self esteem. As many cookie cutters we find now days, I can assure you nobody can duplicate what she delivers, Jhene Aiko is on “The Come Up.

Her mixtape “Sailing Souls” has already been crowned an underground classic and become the envy of many major label A&R’s . Jhene Aiko will not sell her soul, she will continue to demolish the walls of “The Status Quo,” explore her infinite imagination, and captivate our own.

Ha Candy: Welcome Jhene Aiko to The Come Up. Is there a story behind your name? Its very original & captivating.
Jhene Aiko: Thanks for having me! Jhené Aiko is actually my birth given name; my first and middle name. My first name, Jhené is derived from the Ethiopian name Ghenet which means "Paradise" or "Garden of Eden" and My middle name Aiko is Japanese and means "little loved one"

Ha Candy: What city are you representing & what do you remember most growing up?
Jhene Aiko: The city I'm representing is Los Angeles, California. I've lived here my whole life and grew up in a neighborhood me and my close friends like to call "Slauson Hills." Some of my favorite memories of growing up in L.A are of me and my brothers and cousins spending summers at my grandmothers house, Ladera Park, Dockweiler Beach and my Elementary school Baldwin Hills Elementary.

Ha Candy: Your style & approach to music is very raw yet eloquent, how did it all begin?
Jhene Aiko: Thank you so much! I think my style reflects who I am as a person. I'm all about being free and going with the flow as well as being honest with myself and my feelings. I grew up in a large, multicultural family so as a child I was exposed to a lot of different ways of living , belief systems and points of view. I think that all of that is shown in my style of both music and clothing, as well as everything else I do. I'm also really into being comfortable and being myself at all times so my style is a direct reflection of that also.

Ha Candy: How much of Sailing Souls is personal experience?
Jhene Aiko: Well, I wrote every song off of Sailing Souls except for "July" which was written by Micah Powell. So excluding July, Sailing Souls is 100% personal experience and feeling.

Ha Candy: Can you share the story behind one of the songs?
Jhene Aiko: Sure! Stranger , which was one of the first songs I recorded for "Sailing Souls" was actually inspired by a tweet. I tweeted something along the lines of "same strangers" and Mac (1/2 of the production team "Fisticuffs") brought the tweet to my attention and was like, I saw u tweet something the other day.... I think u should expand on that by writing a song about what u meant by that. it was a light bulb moment. The beat was done from scratch by the Fisticuffs while I wrote it, we vibed off of each other and went back and forth until we had the structure. The song basically wrote itself being that I had just gotten myself out of a situation with a "perfect stranger." Someone I thought I really liked, thought I really knew.... But in all actuality neither of us really knew each other at all.  I realized that he was the same as all the other men i have tried with and in a sense , I was just the same as them; wanting the same thing. So we are all the same strangers, in a sense. Initially, the song was centered around the fact that I was intimate with someone I thought I knew so well, but really didn't. The song took different forms as I wrote it and started to recall different feelings and situations. So there are many layers to this song as with most of my songs, lol .

Ha Candy: There’s lots of great features on this project (Miguel, Drake, Lite, Hope, Roosevelt, Kanye West, & Kendrick) Many aspiring artists would love to know how did you pull it off?
Jhene Aiko: Well a lot of the people I worked with on the mix tape are from Los Angeles and are either people that I am friends with or have mutual friends with. So when I started my project I knew I could count on my fellow Los Angeles natives to help me out. The Drake feature was actually his doing . I had recorded my own version of "July" and he heard it and did his own version , and that's the version I used for "sailing souls". The Kanye collab is actually not a collab at all! Lol. After recording "sailing not selling" I was watching a BET cypher that he was in and his verse fit so well to my song that we went ahead and ripped the audio from that freestyle and put it on my song :) so my advice to aspiring artist is to be resourceful and creative when it comes to features for their mix tapes Lol

Ha Candy: Do you have an embarrassing, or funny story? (Personal or someone else)
Jhene Aiko: I have plenty! But one in particular is when i met Kevin Hart at a popular movie theatre in L.A called "The Grove". This was when he wasn't as popular as he is today and his only movie out was "Paper Soldiers" which happened to be me and my sisters favorite movie at the time! So long story short, I recognized him and ran up to him to tell him that he was my favorite comedian because of that movie. When he asked me what his name was and what movie I was talking about, I didn't know his name or remember the movie title.  He was like, " so I'm your favorite and u don't know my name?! " It was pretty embarrassing , but very funny! Hope to meet him again one day soon! Lol

Ha Candy: What do you look for when collaborating?
Jhene Aiko: I just like to work with people that I vibe well with. I don't like to force things, because then it will sound forced.

Ha Candy: What do you find irresistible in a guy?
Jhene Aiko: I find a guy irresistible when he can keep me laughing and have stimulating conversation often.

Ha Candy: Is it safe to assume you have an extremely humorous side? (Explain how, or what do you find funny)
Jhene Aiko: I'm definitely goofy! Lol, I laugh at practically everything and I'm into different types of humor.  I'm my happiest when I am laughing, so I do it often.

Ha Candy: What’s next for you in 2012?
Jhene Aiko: I'm working on an album, doing a lot more performing and just keeping the ball rolling, going with the flow :)

Ha Candy: Any Shout-outs ?
Jhene Aiko: I want to shout out all of the people that have been supporting me since I was 13 years old as well as all the people that have always had something negative or mean to say about me! I am inspire and fueled by both positive and negative energy. I also want to give a shout out to my management NMG for being such an incredible team, the Fisticuffs for being my musical soul mates and No I.D for believing in the vision

Ha Candy: As of right now with everything you’ve experienced, what advice would you give to other girls?
Jhene Aiko: My advice to other girls is to take everything one day at a time, to be aware in each moment and to understand that their mistakes are to learn from and not to regret. My for other girls is to learn to love yourself before you put any energy into loving anyone else, take the time to figure you out and understand who you truly are .

Ha Candy: When people meet you what surprises them the most?
Jhene Aiko: I am very small! Everyone who meets me always says " I thought u were much taller!" I am only 5'2 , I am only 90 lbs.

Ha Candy: If you could collaborate with 3 people dead or alive who they would be....
Jhene Aiko: Kid Cudi, John Mayer, Tupac Shakur

Tim Miller Music Producer / Radio Host
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