One of the highlights for me on Drake’s Nothing Was the Same
album is ‘From Time’, because aside from the fact it’s a great track it features an
artist called ‘Jhene Aiko’ who I had never heard of before. I was amazed at how
distinctive, almost haunting her voice was on the track and couldn’t wait to
hear her solo material.
‘Sail Out’, the first EP from Jhene Aiko recently dropped
and it did not disappoint. It contains 7 tracks, all of which Jhene wrote,
every one individual in style and lyrical content. What struck me the most upon
my first listen is how unlike anything I’d heard before ‘Sail Out’ is, it’s
soulful but with a hip hop edge to it and I cannot liken the sound to any other
artist or even put it in a genre. Jhene uses lyrical content that typically you
would hear from male artists, singing, ‘Can I hit it again’, ‘Gotta get this
paper’ and ‘We Should Just get Naked’, which adds to her individuality as she
brings an undeniable assertiveness on her tracks.
Production on the EP is flawless, all tracks except one owing credits to the still relatively unheard of duo, ‘Fisticuffs’
who have so far worked almost exclusively with Miguel and Jhene I cant wait to
hear more tracks from these guys!
When I listened to the EP the most overriding impression I
was left with is that I was listening to an artist; this woman clearly knows
exactly the type of music she wants to make and is making it refusing to adhere to genres or stereotypes. ‘Stay
Ready’ is my favourite track on ‘Sail Out’ and it takes a superior level of
confidence to record a track as a new
artist with the hottest name in hip hop; Kendrick Lamar. The track is stunning;
lyrically and musically complex, changing tempo and sound half way through and
at 6 minutes long Jhene risks some DJs not giving it radio air time which again
just reinforces the confidence she has in her creativity.
This alluring EP is a must listen for any soul / neo-soul /
RnB or hip hop fans. Jhene’s style is so unique that I think it will divide
listeners; you’ll either love it or not really get it, but if you don’t get it
I would challenge you to not acknowledge her talent and artistry. I cant wait
for her album to drop next year, bringing this level of talent to the table on
a first EP is an exceptional achievement and something tells me this is just a
small sample of what Jhene Aiko is capable of!
Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)