Slauson songstress Jhene Aiko embodies a perfect blend of her Afro-Asiatic roots and the chill vibe that West L.A. is known for, creating her special sound that was quite different when introduced at the time. Many are unaware of the key role that Jhene’s style played in the most recent wave of R&B coming out of L.A. and the impact beyond its borders. That style has heavily influenced the Rhythm and Blues you hear across radio airwaves today. How can you be sure of this? one might ask, However if we gather the essence of Japanese culture woven into her Afro-Native nuance, Jhene’s sultry delivery is distinguished by that heritage and the emergence of her rise amongst peers like THC, The Fisticuffs, Dom Kennedy, HitBoy, Overdoz, Kenderick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle and other West L.A. artists who’d crossed creative paths at the rise of L.A.’s dominance of today’s music scene.
Jhene’s decision to share her travels on this latest project Trip invites listeners into a vulnerable space, where she bravely expresses her struggle with depression, drugs, and transcendence toward her higher being. She performed the last leg of her national show in L.A. this past week, accompanied by a Harpist in a jungle-themed oasis against a vibrant backdrop of psychedelic visuals. Positive vibes filled the air and the surprise opening act was Willow Smith, who nailed her performance even with a scratchy talking voice after a grueling tour. The show was truly impressive and the new album Trip is well worth the listen, if nothing else to get away in one’s mind and explore a perspective that might heighten a sense of awareness.