Music is food to the soul and the soul is sure overjoyed when it is fed nutritiously, with sumptuous meals served from a velvety high-pitched tone, relatable lyrics, and soothing delivery backed by dream-like tracks. It would no doubt long for more of it as long as it lives. Such defines the music Jhene Aiko writes and sings. They are not only as beautiful as she is but are delivered from a most ethereal voice.
Her music is a sweet cocktail of various influences which explains her peculiarity. They range from Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, TLC, Eminem, Kid Cudi, John Mayer, Fiona Apple, Brandy, and Indie Arie, to ‘90s hip-hop icons Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, and Tupac. Not only has she been influenced by a mix of superb singers, but Nick Jonas also named her as his influence during the recording of his debut album. Let’s get down to know more about her.
Jhene Aiko Bio (Ethnicity)
Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo was born on March 16, 1988, in Ladera Heights, California, where she grew up among her large family. Let’s talk about her name briefly. The name when written looks like a mouthful but is actually pronounced Juh-nay Ahh-ee-ko. Jhené is a derivative of the Ethiopian name Ghenet which means Paradise or Garden of Eden while her middle name Aiko means little loved ones in Japanese.
Going by the origins of her moniker, one is left wondering where her roots could be traced to. Jhene Aiko is of mixed ethnicity, so that explains the diverse names. Her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent and her father is of African American, Native American, German, and Jewish descent.
Having ventured into Music when she was very young, she began to sing at the age of 12 and contributed vocals to several of the R&B boy band B2K releases, sang on movie soundtracks such as The Master of Disguise (2002), Barbershop (2002), You Got Served (2004) and also appeared in music videos including O’Ryan’s debut video, Take It Slow, B2K’s debut video Uh Huh and Why I Love You, and Morgan Smith’s 2004 video Blow Ya Whistle.
Jhene was homeschooled but also took vocal lessons in Culver City, California though she quit when she got pregnant. She signed to The Ultimate Group but never got to release her debut album, My Name is Jhene with them due to some creative differences with Epic Records. Jhene left the record label to focus on and complete her education but would make a return to music in 2007.
In March 2011, she released a mixtape titled Sailing Souls which featured a number of top-notch collaborations with Kanye West, Miguel, and Drake. Following the mixtape, she released her full debut EP titled Sail Out in November 2013. Like its predecessor, the EP also had high-profile collaborations from Childish Gambino on Bed Peace and Kendrick Lamar and debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart selling 34,000 copies in its first week.
She is signed to American record producer No I.D.’s record label ARTium, distributed through Def Jam Recordings. Jhene released her debut album Souled Out on September 8, 2014, and her second album Trip in September 2017, and is sure not showing any sign of slowing down.
Jhene Aiko Parents, Siblings
Hers is a musically inclined family, though her parents may not be in the arena, her siblings are very much in. Her music destiny was etched in the stars probably before she was born, and she would live to fulfill it. The Trip singer was born to a pediatrician, Karamo Chilombo (real name: Greg Barnes), and Christina Yamamoto among four older siblings. Her parents would later get divorced with her father remarrying and giving rise to an increase in the number of her folks. Three half-siblings were added to her.
Her full-siblings include two sisters Miyoko Aminah-Khalil (born March 30, 1981), Jamila Akiko Aba (Mila J born November 18, 1982), and two brothers Jahi (born 1984) and Miyagi Hasani Ayo (born July 7, 1986) while her half-siblings are sisters, Marcia, Dio, and Kareena. She is close to her family and describes its members as close friends with her brother Miyagi occupying a special place in her heart. Before his demise, she recorded a song for him titled, For My Brother meant only for his listening pleasure. He was able to hear the song shortly before he died of cancer on July 19, 2012, at 26 years.
Jhene’s sisters Miyoko and Jamila were part of the R&B group Gyrl in the ’90s with Jamila branching into a solo career as rapper and singer Mila J. It wasn’t out of the blue when their younger sister followed in their steps.
Is She Married? – Husband and Daughter
Jhene has only been married once in her life although she had a list of relationships. She was married to a record producer and mixing engineer, Oladipo Omishore, professionally known as Dot da Genius from 2014 until their divorce in 2017.
Prior to her marriage, she dated R&B singer O’Ryan, Omarion’s younger brother from 2005 to 2008 with whom she had a daughter Namiko Love Browner on November 19, 2008. Namiko means child of the wave. Her daughter is already taking the stage with her mother on musical adventures. The duo performed a track Sing to Me, from Jhene’s second album on VH1’s third annual Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms in May 2018.
Jhene is currently dating rapper, Big Sean who she has been friends with even while she was still married. The two collaborated in 2013 on his single Beware featuring Lil Wayne and on a joint album Twenty88 in 2016. They started dating in 2016 and look every inch a super couple.