VIBE Magazine caught up with Jhene Aiko to talk to her about her collaboration with Drake on “From Time” and more. Read some of the excerpts from the interview below.
You and Drake worked together on “July” so how did the reunion happen for Nothing Was The Same?
Well, we didn’t really work together on “July.” It was Jas Prince, whose one of the people responsible for signing his deal with Lil Wayne, whom I’ve known since I was 12, 13 and he was like ‘I think you should do a hook for Drake. He’s this rapper and he’s doing his mixtape.’ At the time, I had just found out I was pregnant. I had my friend Michael Powell come with me to the studio and write a hook for me, and in that session, [Drake] heard “July” then I guess later on, he had decided to put some verses on it and make it a feature. This time around, we actually met and he played me “From Time” and I was like ‘Yeah, I wanna do this. Can I take this home and write to it?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, take your time.’ I had it for like a month and a half and I actually wrote something completely different to it. Then right before I sent it to him, I was like ‘No, I wanna say something completely different. I want it to be like this.’ I sent it to him and he was like, ‘Oh my God, I love it.’
What was the initial concept for the song?
The initial concept was “Beautiful Ruin,” which I put out on acoustic version of on YouTube that is gonna be on Souled Out by No I.D. It was one of my true life stories about a guy. I just felt like it was a little too specific to me and I didn’t wanna get on [Drake's] record, like ‘This is what I’m going through!’ so I decided to have a conversation with him [on the record].
Were you a last-minute addition to “Wu-Tang Forever”?
Yeah, the first time we met to work together, he played me six songs. That was one of them and I was like, ‘Can I sing on that? Can I just do a note?’ and he was like yeah and I did that right away. I didn’t even know if he was gonna keep it or not. I was just like, ‘Dang I really, really like this song. I think it could use a female voice just a little bit.’ I didn’t even know “Wu-Tang Forever” was the name. I was so confused so when people were like ‘Is that you?’ I was like I’ve never done a song about Wu-Tang, let me see but that hook spoke to me and I can hear myself singing on it. When he played “From Time,” there was nothing on it and I was so compelled to write.
Now will Drake make an appearance on your debut?
I don’t know. People are busy but I feel like this was really a collaboration. I feel like ["From Time"] was equally the both of us so even if he doesn’t give me a verse, we still got to work together again.
How about the rest of the OVO crew? Any chance for a collaboration with “40? or PARTYNEXTDOOR?
I would love to. All of [40's] beats, I would write something to anything. I used to do that all time and I would write my own version of Drake songs in my head or put ‘em out in Myspace and TouTube back in the day. I think 40?s production is perfect. I would do a whole project with him.