R&B sensation, Jhene Aiko has been known for her spiritual and harmonious energy that she brings to her music. Aiko, who channels her heartbreak and grief into music as a means to heal herself, is now extending those same healing powers to her fans. She’s been drawn to the way in which certain sound waves and frequencies can possess therapeutic qualities – specifically in aiding those who are suffering from mental health issues and processing past trauma.
The main instrument Aiko is experimenting with is Tibetan singing bowls. Tibetan singing bowls have origins that are deeply embedded in spiritual practices throughout history. They have been implemented by Buddhist monks to enhance and aide meditative practices. It’s also widely used as a tool by music and yoga therapists across the world. Singing bowls work to heal both internal and physical pain through a re-generation of energy that is communicated through sound vibrations. The sound vibrations that exude from Tibetan singing bowls cause our brain to automatically be more inclined to drop into peaceful and mindful states of being.
Aiko seems to be the first mainstream artist to draw upon the powerful healing and medicinal qualities of sound and is bringing it to the forefront of her music for her fans. Alongside using singing bowl frequencies as a tranquil and serene effect that lingers in her beats – Aiko is also chanting certain mantras to protect and create a safe space for fans to release stress.
Her single from last year, “Trigger Protection Mantra,” and the positive reactions she got from fans while playing around with singing bowls on her Instagram live, seems to be the inspiration for her new album, Chilombo.
Aiko revealed in an interview with Billboard that her latest single that dropped from the album, “P*$$Y Fairy OTW” was made with the intention to balance the sacral chakra. She says, “For instance, “P*$$Y Fairy OTW” is in the key of D, so I played a bowl in the note of D. D corresponds with your second chakra (sacral charka) which governs your sexual organs below your navel and your hips. So even though the song is fun and sexy, there’s an actual healing instrument in there to balance you out in those areas.”
Aiko has recently been through a massive breakup from her very public relationship with rapper Big Sean – it makes sense that she sought solitude in Hawaii to record Chilombo and continue working on her spiritual practices through connecting with nature.
Aiko says that her new album Chilombo “is an introduction to sound bowls for people -who don’t really know about them – this is me introducing my newfound love. The bowls I use are crystal alchemy sound bowls made from gemstones and infused with things like platinum or made out of rubies and diamonds – and all of these different elements and properties contribute to their healing properties.”
Aiko is also wanting to bring this spiritual sound to her live performances. For Coachella this year, she has revealed that she wants to use her space on stage to provide guided meditations alongside playing her alchemy bowls. “I cannot wait to do more immersive sound bath experience for you guys. This is what I am here to do, and I am so grateful for the peace and clarity I have found on my path.”
Aiko is once again setting herself apart from the majority of other mainstream artists who use their time on stage solely to turn up and party. Aiko is somehow able to achieve both that fiery energy, creating hit singles that her fans can vibe too – but also making her intention to heal very clear.
Who knows what this spiritual and meditative approach to sound and live performances will have on the way other artists approach different techniques to embed their intention and personal message into their music. One thing is for sure, Aiko is honoring her truth and embracing her ability and connection to music as a path towards re-birth – one she wants her fans to be able to utilize as well.