What has Jhene Aiko been up too lately?
Jhene Aiko has been making her mark since her singing debut at age fifteen. The Los Angeles native went from being formally known as “Lil Fizz’s cousin” (though, they are not actually cousins) to collaborating with superstars like Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Aiko’s rise to stardom can be accredited to her artistic flair and vocal distinction, the latter which resulted in her the release of numerous projects, including her most recent album Trip. Aiko previously discussed the album on“ The Breakfast Club,” drawing inspiration from “every type of trip you could imagine: mental, physical, even psychedelic.” The surprise album also came with a 23-minute autobiographical film co-directed by Aiko herself.
The success of the album kept the songwriter booked and busy with tours and performances including a live duet of “Sativa” with Swae Lee on the Ellen show. But since Trip’s post-release cycle has calmed, fans have noted the singer's fleeting social media presence. Aiko would post a few photos on her socials, only to ghost days later. Such bouts of disappearance have left many wondering: What has Jhene Aiko been up to these days?
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A “TRIP” AROUND THE WORLD…
The creation of Trip was indeed drawn from experience. Jhene created the catalog of songs during multiple trips to green-filled spaces with relaxing vibes and picturesque views of nature. Following the album’s release, an opportunity sprang for the singer to open up for alternative songstress Lana Del Rey on the US-leg of her “LA to the Moon Tour.” The alliance resulted in visits to Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, and Boston.
Afterward, Aiko embarked on a journey across the world, documenting via IG her trips to the vibrant and cosmopolitan cities of Tokyo and Paris. More significantly, the trips were marked with celebrations of the singer’s previous and notable musical works, which included her first album Souled Out (2014) and successful EP Sail Out (2013).
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#PENNYPENS & SAVE THE KITTENS
Aiko’s spotlight hiatus has not hampered her involvement in meaningful advocacy work. In October 2017, she collaborated with the youth organization “Get Schooled” to launch a literary campaign encouraging the use of writing as a healthy and therapeutic medium of expression. Known to emote through her own writing by either journaling, penning poems or the bops we love, Jhene hoped to inspire her fans to gravitate towards the “power of the pen” in time of need.
“Writing poetry has always been a form of therapy for me and has helped me get through difficult situations,” she explained. “When no one else understands, our journals can understand.” “Penny”, the name of the singer’s alter-ego, was used to formulate the campaign #PennyPens, a hashtag now tied to countless written pieces shared online by fans aged 13-21.
Along with #PennyPens, Jhene came through for another one of her most cherished causes, animal advocacy. Back in 2014, the singer collaborated with PETA2 in a campaign preventing pet adoption from shelters. In 2018, the singer continued in similar spirits by advocating for the adoption of kittens from foster care. The singer encouraged her 1.64 million followers to "save the kittens" by redirecting them towards the “Found Animals” organization, an animal shelter based in California.
2FISH: A POETRY BOOK
Jhene Aiko’s personal brand has become synonymous with spiritually-charged proverbs and peace-promoting content. Ms. Aiko is often seen giving praise and homage to figures such as Osho and Thich Nhat Hanh, who themselves hold a rich library of literary pieces discussing elements of life, love, and death. In December 2017, Aiko went on to join their ranks, releasing her first book 2Fish: (a poetry book), a gathering of intimate poems and short stories. The release of 2Fish was met with acclaim from fans, as they acquired exclusive insight into the raw and unfiltered thoughts Aiko once kept as scruffy scribbles in her notebooks.
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WANT THE “JHENE LOOK”?
For the past few years, Vogue has offered a celebrity-led “Get Ready With Me” style video. Thus far, Rihanna, Kylie Jenner and more have given the 411 on their skincare and makeup routines. In August 2018, Jhene Aiko joined the list of contributors with the “Ultimate Guide to Color Correcting,” a tutorial of her daytime makeup look. In the video, Aiko describes everything from the colors she uses to bring out the smooth complexion of her face, to amusingly breaking down the intricate art of proper eyebrows.
SINGLE(S) & SINGLE?
Jhene kept things going musically in 2018 with the release of two disparate videos for the song “Never Call Me,” which featured her Californian comrade Kurupt. One clip was filmed in Jhene’s hood of Slauson Hills, with notable guest appearances from Lauren London and Nispey Hussle. The other was vastly different, depicting Jhene in a kimono, demonstrating her sword-wielding skills. In December 2018, Jhene Aiko finished the year with the surprise freestyle “Wasted Love.” With the constant allegations surrounding Aiko’s relationship with Big Sean, the release has led many to interpret the song as a breakup confirmation. As the lyrical content tells a story on betrayal and the process falling out of love, such questions are certainly understandable.
The track’s release was announced through Twitter, accompanied a mixed message: the words “Tis’ the season” alongside broken heart and puke-face emojis. Not only that, but an image had recently surfaced revealing that Jhene had covered her infamous Big Sean tattoo. Aiko responded to the tattoo uproar with a post-and-delete tweet stating “i covered ALL my tats w/ a big ass Dragon w/ a Phoenix wing breathing life and light into a new galaxy. NEW ART! NO BEEF! ALL LOVE!” While this leaves no solid information to make any assumption surrounding the soft-voiced artist’s relationship status, many have happily drawn their own conclusion.