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Jhené Aiko

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Los Angeles, United States (2002 – present)

Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo (born March 16, 1988), better known as Jhené Aiko or simply Jhené, is an American and recording artist from Los Angeles, California. Formerly signed to The Ultimate Group and Epic Records, she left both labels in order to continue her education. Aiko began her career being known as “Lil’ Fizz’s cousin”, however she is not actually related to him. It was used as a marketing tool suggested by Sony and Epic to promote her through the R&B group B2K and attract an audience, though Aiko affirms that she and Lil’ Fizz grew up together and were close like family.

On December 16, 2011, Aiko signed a recording contract with American record producer No I.D.’s record label Artium, distributed through Def Jam Recordings. She has been described as having gentle and -tinged vocals.

Jhené Aiko was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Christina Yamamoto and Dr. Karamo Chilombo (birth name Greg Barnes), a pediatrician. She is of mixed race background—her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Yaqui, Choctaw, Cherokee, Navajo, and German Jewish descent. She often states her ethnicity as “Japanese, African American, Native American, etc.” based on percentages but identifies with all parts of her heritage. Aiko has also stated that she has French ancestry and has stated regarding her ancestry, “I’m a quarter Japanese. That’s the only percentage I know for sure because it’s my grandfather’s. And then everyone else is pretty much like mixed.” Her older sisters Miyoko and Jamila were in the R&B group Gyrl and toured with Immature, who were signed to MCA/Silas Records.

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