Jhené Aiko’s Parents Helped Her Make a Career in the Music Industry
Jhené Aiko is one of the renowned faces of the music industry, with hit EP Sail Out and acclaimed debut album Souled Out under her name.
While her professional success is a known story, many might not know that her parents — father Dr. Karamo Chilombo and mother Christina Yamamoto — had a significant role in her musical career.
Aiko’s Parents Supported Her Musical Passion
Aiko was born as the youngest of five children on March 16, 1988.
Thankfully, her parents, especially her father, who wanted to be a singer, supported their children’s inclination towards music.
Her elder sisters Miyoko and Jamila were even part of the 90s girl band Gyál.
Following in their footstep, Aiko had also found solace in music and started her career at a young age.
She practiced making songs at their home studio her father had made in their garage. And he even helped her with songwriting and motivated her to follow her dreams.
When she was 13, Aiko signed with Epic Records. But she dismissed the contract there years later to complete her schooling.
“School to me was really important to say that I completed something, you know,” the famed songstress shared with Vice in 2017.
Although she didn’t invest her entire time in music, Aiko stayed in contact with the producers she had met, writing and singing demo songs.
All the while, her mother helped manage her career and new endeavors.
She did so even after she divorced Aiko’s father after 20 years of marriage.
Despite the parents’ separation, the famed musical has maintained a healthy relationship with her father and mother and is grateful for their continuous support.
“Thank you for your patience and gentle guidance. Never forceful, always nurturing, always graceful,” she wrote on her Instagram post dedicated to her mom on 2021 Mother’s Day.
The 33-year-old even heralded her mother as “the embodiment of the Divine Feminine.”
She shared a similar sentiment through her Instagram post on Father’s Day as well.
“Thank you for everything you have taught us and for sharing your light with the world! I love u, Daddy,” Aiko captioned the picture of her dad.
Jhené Aiko’s Parents Are of Mixed Descent
Aiko’s parents are both of mixed races. Her mother, Christina, is of Spanish, Dominican, and Japanese heritage.
Her father was a Japanese man, born and raised in Compton, while her mother was black.
As for Aiko’s father, his parents were also of mixed races. Thanks to their broad ancestry, Aiko has mixed ethnicity.
But her rich ancestry initially brought troubles for her. “So it was just like no one understood, and they were like, how are you mixed with this and this and this?” Aiko recounted to Vice.
She added it got on to a point where people would be confused about her ethnicity and ask, “What are you?” and she would just reply with, “I am a girl. I am just a person.”
The stress had peaked so much that Aiko even wanted to change her last name.
In case you didn’t know, her full name is Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo.
And because no one could pronounce her last name correctly, she thought of changing it.
But as she grew up, she realized that her family name was beautiful. As per her accounts, her name meant a wild beast, a “dragon phoenix.” She even has it tattooed on her back.