Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo (born March 16, 1988), better known as Jhené Aiko or simply Jhené, is an American singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Aiko was formerly signed to The Ultimate Group and Epic Records, however left both labels in order to continue her education. She began her career being known as "Lil' Fizz's cousin", though she is not actually related to him. It was used as a marketing tool, suggested by Sony and Epic, to promote Aiko through the R&B group B2K and attract an audience; nonetheless Aiko affirms that she and Lil' Fizz grew up together and were close like family.
In March 2011, Aiko made her return to music with the release of her first full-length project, a mixtape titled .sailing soul(s).. On December 16, 2011, Aiko signed a recording contract with American record producer No I.D.'s record label Artium, distributed through Def Jam Recordings. In 2013, Aiko appeared on Big Sean's single "Beware", also featuring Lil Wayne, which became her first Top 40 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In November 2013, she released her first extended play (EP), titled Sail Out, which was supported by the singles "3:16AM", "Bed Peace" and "The Worst".