R&B Singer Jhené Aiko Is Ready for Her Close-Up

FUSE TV - R&B Singer Jhené Aiko Is Ready for Her Close-Up

For R&B fans, few albums are more anticipated than Los Angeles-based singer Jhené Aiko's Souled Out, her debut album set for release later this year after years of disruptions, distractions and frustrations.

Aiko began her career as a teenager, contributing songs for teen R&B group B2K in the early-2000s before attempting to forge a solo career. After a self-titled debut album was shelved due to label conflicts, the singer left the industry, returning years later with the 2011 mixtape Sailing Soul(s) featuring Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and Gucci Mane. Aiko also has become the go-to female vocalist for Lamar's Black Hippy crew, appearing on tracks by Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q.

After high-profile appearances on Big Sean's "Beware" and J. Cole's "Sparks Will Fly," Aiko caught us up on the status of her debut album, working with Drake and making sure you pronounce her name right.

What's the status of the album and what’s taken so long?

I am extremely hard on myself and it can always be better to me. There’s been a lot of going back and changing a couple of lines. I like to ride around and listen to my own music just to make sure it’s fresh, but I’ve also been recording more and more songs. Even though the album was complete this time last year, I wrote better songs and after that, I’d go back and look at the older songs and say, "How do I make these old ones better than these new ones?" I could probably put out two albums back to back at this point.

What details can you share about the album?

It’s going to be between 12 and 13 songs with a few bonus tracks. There’s no release date yet, but it'll be out for sure this year. I am going to do whatever I have to do and my management and I are all on the same page that it needs to come out this year. We’re just waiting for the right timing of everything just because I truly believe in filling out what’s missing and not just putting it out and having it get it lost in whatever else is out. I want to make sure everything is done right.

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