Jhene Aiko’s is on a path to making her dreams come true. The L.A. based singer and mother recently signed a deal with Def Jam and is currently on tour with Nas and Lauryn Hill. She has released an acclaimed mixtape Sailing Souls and is working on her debut album Souled Out.
Aiko recently spoke with rolling out about working with Kendrick Lamar, and balancing motherhood while touring with Nas and Lauryn Hill.
No I.D. signed you to his label, Atrium, which is a subsidiary of Def Jam. How did that deal come about?
A mutual friend began working with No I.D. He called and said No I.D. wanted to have a meeting with me. He told me he was with Def Jam. The interview was unlike any meeting I had before. He made me feel comfortable. He’s very humble.
You are on one of the biggest tours of the fall. How did you get involved with the Nas and Lauryn Hill tour?
It’s an honor. I had been offered different tours at the same time. My management works closely with some of Nas’ management. This was the tour I really wanted to do because Nas and Lauryn Hill are legends. I strive to be as great as they are.
You have also worked closely with Kendrick Lamar and the TDE click. When did you guys began to make music together?
A member of Kendrick Lamar’s management called me before he was signed with Interscope. We did a song for his mixtape and I met everyone at TDE. We all relate and come from the same place, so it’s easy for us to work together.
You balance your music career while being a mother. What advice do you have for single mothers who still want to accomplish their dreams?
Be patient. Everything takes a little longer when you have a child. It’s small things like getting ready for your day. You have to factor in the extra hours because you have your child to get ready also. That goes along with your career. I’m a hands on mother. Instead of being in the studio all night, I will only be in the studio for five hours because I want to spend time with my daughter. Because of that, my album my take a little longer. But it’s worth it because my child comes first. You have to continue to spend time with your child because you can get that time back.