Music

Watch Jhené Aiko Perform an Intimate NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Jhené Aiko shares renditions of tracks from the past decade and her newest album Chilombo.

Jhené Aiko has finally graced the stage of NPR’s ongoing Tiny Desk (Home) concert series. Throughout the moving set, the singer shares tracks from her earliest projects to her newest album, Chilombo

Aiko has blossomed into one of the most heavily followed R&B singers over the past ten years due to her ability to detail her experiences through music. Her set encompasses joy, heartache, being in love, and all the emotions between. Alongside her, a live band assists with creating a peaceful setting. A sound bath of singing bowls also adds to the reflective vibe present in the room she recorded her performance in. 

When Jhené digs into her emotional bag and resurfaces “Stranger,” it’s a moment. This offering is the perfect follow-up to her moving rendition of “Lotus (Intro)” off her exquisite album Chilombo. “Stranger” live is refreshing and when backed by a band, it’s downright ethereal. Up next is “Do Better Blues,” another favorite from sailing souls (2011). Aiko’s performance of this riveting track is intimate and filled with her calming energy. 

The next song “To Love & Die” gets served up before “Born Tired,” another Chilombo track. “Born Tired” is fitting as the entire globe copes with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She goes on to give an unforgettable rendition of the track. “W.A.Y.S.” from Souled Out (Deluxe) is equally stunning live. This calming and soft song drives the point home about remaining patient as things move forward. 

Following this, she moves seamlessly into performing “Summer 2020.” This is an ideal offering that epitomizes Chilombo as that entire album is packed with a gamut of emotions: happiness, sadness, and even regret. The last song of her set, “Eternal Sunshine” is a fan favorite. As she sings, she offers up a reflective moment for listeners to stay grateful for the good and to also stay open to the possibilities of what’s next for us all.

Take a look at Jhené’s entire Tiny Desk (Home) concert below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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