Who Is Jhené Aiko?

Growing Up in Los Angeles

“I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I’m the youngest of five. My dad is a pediatrician but was always interested in being a singer. Our garage was a converted studio. He plays the guitar and writes songs. 

 

I had a career day and I was the student body president of my elementary school so I had to escort all the career day speakers around and my sisters came. After that, everyone thought we were rich and famous because they were in a singing group but that wasn’t the case.

 

"By the time I was born all my brothers and sisters were singing. My sisters had a singing group since I can remember. They were always in some type of group or dancing or commercials. Growing up in Los Angeles, there is always showbiz stuff like agents coming up to parents like, ‘Does she sing? Does she act?’

“I looked up to my siblings and wanted to sing just because they’re my older siblings. I remember I had a career day and I was the student body president of my elementary school so I had to escort all the career day speakers around and my sisters came. After that, everyone thought we were rich and famous because they were in a singing group but that wasn’t the case.

“My mom was always working with my dad or my grandfather, who is a lawyer. She went to Hawaii for college, all four years and got a degree in business but she has five kids so she started doing that. My mom and her siblings were born and raised in Compton, Gardena area and my dad is from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was born and raised in Cincinnati and all of his family is there. I went to Cincinnati when I was fourteen or fifteen and I barely got to see them. I hear they are all like my dad and he is crazy, spunky even in his late sixties. He has a lot of hyper energy and me and my brothers and sisters are like that too, a little weird. It’s loud when we are all together. 

 

I was used to being around everyone so much I’ve always wanted to escape, it was so loud. I’m more of the quiet one, the one who wants to do more of my own thing.

“I have two sisters, two brothers and then there’s me. It was my two sisters and my two brothers and I would be with my mom a lot or I would be with my own group of friends. I would be the one who always got my own room. I was the one who always wanted to sleep over at someone else's house or bring someone over because my sisters had each other and my brothers had each other.

“I was used to being around everyone so much I’ve always wanted to escape, it was so loud. I’m more of the quiet one, the one who wants to do more of my own thing. Sometimes I’m laid back but a lot of the time it would be me and my two brothers and I have lots of cousins because my mom is the oldest of five and they all grew up in the same household. I have a lot boys cousins so a lot of the time it would be me, my brothers, my cousins—I was the only girl. I was a tomboy at the time. I wanted to do whatever they were doing, wrestling or playing tackle football but I was still a girl. They had fun so I liked to hang out with them."

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