Jhene Aiko is a rising star in the music industry, known for her soulful and introspective music. But what many people may not know is that she is also a multiracial artist, with roots in African American, Japanese, and Native American heritage. In this article, we will explore Jhene Aiko’s journey as a multiracial artist, and how her identity has influenced her music and career.
Jhene Aiko was born on March 16, 1988 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Yaqui, Choctaw, Cherokee, and Navajo heritage. Growing up, Jhene was exposed to a diverse mix of cultures and traditions, which would later influence her music.
Jhene’s love for music began at a young age, when she started singing in a choir. She was later discovered by music producer Chris Stokes, who signed her to his label T.U.G. Entertainment at the age of 12. Jhene’s early music career was focused on R&B and hip-hop, but she later shifted towards a more introspective and experimental style.
Identity and Music
Jhene’s multiracial identity has played a significant role in her music, with many of her songs exploring themes of self-discovery and identity. In an interview with The Fader, Jhene spoke about the challenges of growing up as a multiracial person:
“It was really hard to figure out who I was and where I fit in. I didn’t really look like anyone else, and I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any particular group.”
This sense of not belonging is a common theme in Jhene’s music, with songs like “Triggered” and “W.A.Y.S.” exploring the pain and confusion of feeling like an outsider. At the same time, Jhene’s music also celebrates her diverse heritage, with songs like “Sativa” and “None of Your Concern” featuring lyrics in Japanese and references to her Native American roots.
Despite the challenges of navigating a multiracial identity in the music industry, Jhene Aiko has emerged as a rising star in recent years. Her 2013 album “Sail Out” was a critical and commercial success, with the hit single “The Worst” reaching #43 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jhene’s follow-up album “Trip” was released in 2017, and featured collaborations with artists like Big Sean and Swae Lee.
Activism and Advocacy
Alongside her music career, Jhene has also been an outspoken advocate for social justice and activism. In 2016, she joined the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, where she performed for the water protectors and raised awareness about the issue of Native American land rights. She has also used her platform to speak out against police brutality and racial injustice.
Jhene Aiko’s journey as a multiracial artist has been shaped by her diverse heritage, as well as the challenges of navigating a complex and often discriminatory music industry. Through her music and activism, she has become a powerful voice for self-discovery, identity, and social justice. As Jhene continues to rise in the music industry, her unique perspective and voice will undoubtedly continue to inspire and empower fans around the world.