Jam Session: Jhené Aiko

Photo courtesy of Lavanda Manning & Elise Peterson

Photo courtesy of Lavanda Manning & Elise Peterson

Jhené Aiko is subtly closing in on the music industry, generating an unavoidable buzz backed by melodic tracks, powerhouse features, and amiable aura leaving a lasting warm impression on those she encounters. I know; I’ve met her. Myself, along with a number of other journalists and mixed in with influencers, were extended an invitation to be treated to an intimate performance presented by The Boombox and her signed label, Def Jam Records. In conjunction with the Live Bytes Sessions, Aiko performed a private studio set on the heels of her Barclays Center performance with Drake, the previous night.

Chilled beer in hand, positioned close enough to truly appreciate her ethereal beauty, the Los Angeles native singer-songwriter kicked off the gathering with, “My Mine“, allowing fans to reminisce over the classic, wistful Aiko cut. Her voice, illuminated by live instrumentation, solidified its jam session status. Swaying and head bobbing in unison, Jhené  carried us through the night with gems like, “Space Jam” and “Higher“. By the time we reached the attention commanding, haunting track, “316AM“, I became enamored with her vocal talent and lyrical content. A voice that lulls listeners into submission compounded with lyrics that lament over unforgettable loves, the nuances of amorous human interaction, then laced with notable reefer references. My kind of girl. Jhené has perfected the perspective of the twenty-something, uninhibited, progressive woman.

“Wake up, wake up /Gotta get this paper, get this cake up /Gotta do my hair, gotta put on make up/ Gotta act like I care bout this fake stuff/Straight up”

Not only does she capture a perspective, but she is making music with a mission: to transport listeners to an other worldly place centered in peace and love. With an air of flirtation and playfulness, Jhené closes out the session with her latest release, “Bed Peace” off her EP Sail Out that will be released digitally on November 12th. The video, seen below, features a clever bars from Childish Gambino, however, her live performance that night featured every voice in the audience hypnotically singing along to connective lyrics,

“If I had it my way, I’d roll out of bed say /Bout 2:30 mid day, hit the blunt then hit you up/ To come over to my place, you show up right away /We make love and then we fuck and then you give me my space”

The show comes to a climatic close and a line forms to take photos and share a moment with Jhené. As if I needed any other reason to be enthralled with Aiko, I extended my hand for a shake and she brought it in for a hug. Winning move.

Get even more familiar with Jhené Aiko on the upcoming Saint Heron compilation album to be released November 12th.

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