​jhené aiko opens up: inspiration, the industry and art

Ahead of her headline tour of Australia, Jhené Aiko gets real about the music industry: "I'm 27 years old, I have a child and I want to express myself in a more authentic way."

by i-D Staff
27 January 2016, 2:00am

When Jhené Aiko's Australian tour was cancelled last year, we were more than a little disappointed. Thankfully, since Jhené's an angel, she realised we still needed her on our shores and promised she'd still show. The L.A native will be here in March to play Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Jhené's known for her intimate shows, and, as it turns out, she's just as real in conversation. Last time we spoke, Jhené opened up about the mainstream, fame, and staying authentic. Here's what she had to say. 

On Influences...
I grew up listening to a lot of RnB. I grew up in L.A, born and raised, so Brandi, TLC, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston. Then there was Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Dr DRE. And then I really started loving the Spice Girls, Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple. It was really a mix.

On the mainstream...
The [shows] I choose to do are quite strategic and even though some of the collaborations are more mainstream, my music is not always mainstream, you know it doesn't always have a place on the radio. The live shows are where the songs belong.

On creating...
I always like to create, I've always liked arts and crafts and you know, anything I can really get done with my hands and with colours.

On walking the red carpet...
I get shy, it's not like a natural thing that's happening. I think the more I do the more I'll become comfortable, but it's not in my personality to just want to do all that. I'm working it out.

On women in the industry...
Because I'm a young girl, I think people want to see me do [costume changes] but they don't understand that I'm 27 years old, I have a child and I want to express myself in a more authentic way. It's different to what most girls are doing, but I think that it's needed for the balance.

Grab tickets to Jhené's Australian Shows here

Monday 29th February @ the Enmore Theatre, Sydney.
Tuesday 1st March @ the Forum Theatre, Melbourne.
Thursday 3rd March @ the Tivoli, Brisbane.
Saturday 5th March @ Metro City, Perth.


Photography via Noisey

jhene aiko