Jhene Aiko explains how she met Childish Gambino and Drake, debunking rumors that she's dated either of them.
Jhene Aiko's long-awaited debut album, Souled Out is dropping next week, and the free spirited singer has gained a considerable amount of hype around the release. While her Sail Out EP featured plenty of rap features, her new effort will be made up of solo recordings for the most part, which is surprising, considering the high profile connections she's been able to make since rising to fame.
Drake and Childish Gambino have been two of Jhene's closer collaborators, and naturally, rumors sparked that she was dating one if not both of them over the last year or so. In an interview with HOT 97, Jhene debunked those rumors, indicating that while she has plenty of love for both rappers, there's been no romance.
“Loving people is different than being in love with them," Aiko said. “It’s easy for me to love a person because loving is understanding them. Understanding means you’re just taking the time to get to know them and listen to their stories and accept them. It’s easy to just be like, ‘I love you. I love who you are.’ But to really say, ‘I’m in love with you’ is different.”
The singer then detailed how she met each of the emcees, starting with Gambino. “I met Donald right after I did Jimmy Kimmel the first time with Big Sean,” she explained. “We had the same publisher. His close friend and business partner was really close friends with my brother. He basically set up that we would have dinner. But it was like a dinner after Kimmel, everyone that was there came. We just met and talked about working together on music. I needed a verse for ‘Bed Peace’ and no one was sending me verses back. I was like, ‘I actually have a song.’ I wasn’t really well versed in his music but my oldest sister is a fan. After we worked together on that, he was super willing to understand the music. He was so into it. His creative mind is something I can respect. He directed my new video, ‘The Pressure.’ I’m in his new video that is not out yet, ‘Telegraph.’ We come up with really creative things together. He has an interesting mind.”
As for Drake, Jhene revealed she's been in touch with him since the So Far Gone days. “We met through Jas Prince,” she said. "He ended up wanting to work with me on the mixtape, So Far Gone. I knew him from Degrassi because my boyfriend at the time, his little sister watched it. They’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s a rapper now.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool.’ I went in, I was pregnant at the time, but I wasn’t letting anyone know... In that session he heard a song called ‘July.’ He decided to take the verses off and just leave my hook...Fast forward to him working on Nothing Was The Same, he DM’ed like, ‘We should work on a song together for real’ since he heard the mixtape. We got in the studio. Me, him, and 40 picked out a track, I took it home, wrote to it, sent it. Then he wrote to it.”
Watch the full interview below.