R&B/pop singer Jhene Aiko will release her debut album, Souled Out, on September 9th via Def Jam and ARTium Recordings. In anticipation, it’s streaming in full at iTunes Radio.
Aiko began work on the 12-track album as far back as May 2012. Along the way, she’s worked with a number of different producers, including No I.D., Key Wane, and Dot Da Genius. Originally, Aiko had hoped to also include big-name guest vocalists, including Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, and Ab-Soul, but said that the tracklist didn’t accommodate enough “room” for the collaborations.
In a recent interview with The FADER, Aiko explained why she left out the more famous guest stars: “For the (Sail Out) EP, I wanted to put it out because I wanted to put something out for the year, so I just took the songs that were easy to digest because people heard the Drake and Big Sean features. With the album, I’m going to work with a single, and have everyone more into who I am, not just the rap features.”
Aiko went on to describe the album’s sound as “a younger Sade with urban stories.” She added, “I always say, ‘Keep it pretty but I want you to be able to ride around to it in your car’ and have respect for 808s and something that makes a beat. As far as the lyrics go, they’re super honest and on this album you’ll see me doing different things with my voice. It’s not so rap-influenced. It’s just me being a singer and doing the different things I can do.” The record has also been described as conceptual in nature, following a young woman as she overcomes a series of heartbreaks throughout her life.
Watch the video for the album’s latest single, “The Pressure”, below.
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing.
Souled Out Tracklist:
02. To Love & Die (feat. Cocaine 80s)
03. Beautiful Ruin
04. It’s Cool
05. Lyin King
07. The Pressure
08. Eternal Sunshine
09. Limbo Limbo Limbo
12. Pretty Bird