Jhene Aiko-Mirrors (Video)

Always a pleasure to cover Jhene’s material, and it’s only a matter of time before she’s one of R&B’s leading ladies. Dark, atmospheric and unashamedly attitudinal where required, she brings something unique to supplement her addictive vocals and popstar good looks.

This one’s right out of the Aiko textbook. The production is considerably wintery and full of an uneasy aura, which interchanges with a sense of grandeur via the intermittent inclusion of bright synth work. As a result, it captures both aspects of Jhene’s lyricism: the downbeat side is wrapped into the more sombre sections, whilst the more positive elements are taken into the synth heavy portions. Wrapping it all into a tidy package are Jhene’s gentle, whispery vocals that enhance the introspective lyrics, whilst being restrained enough to allow the production to breathe and expand into every corner of the soundscape.

The video captures the audio’s duality in a simple and effective manner, portraying Jhene as a ballerina in both black and white, both differentiated by a series of subtle facial expressions and more overt mannerisms, whilst the grainy, monochrome filter add to the unease of the entire clip and give it a near-ghostly feel. Props to directors Topshelf Junior (who are quietly churning out some great videos) and Jhene for this audiovisual, and that official Def Jam debut isn’t far away now.

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