Mila J

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Mila J
Background information
Birth name Jamila Akiko Aba Chilombo[1]
Also known as Jamila, Mila J, Japollonia
Born (1982-11-18) November 18, 1982 (age 32)[2][3]
Los Angeles, California, United States[4]
Genres R&B, Hip-Hop
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Dancer, Rapper
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992–Present
Labels TUG, Silent Partner, Motown
Associated acts Ty Dolla Sign, Jhené Aiko, Marques Houston, IMx, Omarion, Jodeci, Brandy

Jamila Akiko Aba Chilombo (born November 18, 1982), better known as Mila J, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer. She is known for being in Prince's video for "Diamonds and Pearls," and was part of two short-lived girl groups called Gyrl and Dame Four, and appeared on tracks by RaRa, IMx, Trey Songz and Omarion. She released several singles in 2006–2009 under the name "Mila J," and then went on a hiatus for a number of years before returning as "Japollonia" in 2012 and then reverting to her stage name as Mila J.

She is currently signed to Motown, and released her debut EP entitled M.I.L.A., which stands for Made in Los Angeles on October 14, 2014. Currently, she's working on her sophomore album due to be released Summer 2015.

Early life[edit]

Jamila was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Christina Yamamoto[1] and Dr. Karamo Chilombo (birth name Gregory Wycliff Barnes), a pediatrician. Her parents later divorced.[5] She has four full-siblings named Miyoko, Jahi, Miyagi and singer Jhené Aiko. She also has three paternal half-siblings named Marcia, Dio, and Kareena.

Music career[edit]

Career beginnings[edit]

From a young age, Jamila was part of a dance group and first came to the attention of Chris Stokes as a dancer in Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls" video in 1991. She and her sister Miyoko were in the R&B group Gyrl, managed by Stokes and toured with Immature, who were signed to MCA/Silas Records.

The "Gyrl" group was formed by Jamila, Miyoko and Paulette Maxwell. When they were backup dancers for Immature, the name of group was Innocence. Like dancers, they appeared in the videos "Da Munchies", "Constantly", "Constantly" (the remix version), and "I Don't Mind". In 1995, Gyrl released their debut single, "Play Another Slow Jam" on Silas Records, which peaked at #74 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 6 weeks, but missed the Hot 100. After the debut single "Play Another Slow Jam" in 1995, Paulette left the group.[3]

In 1997, Jeanae' Briley and Tai-Amber Hoo joined Gyrl, released the single "Get Your Groove On", that was in the movie B*A*P*S which peaked at #91 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #30 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks, becoming their highest chart appearance to date. After that the group was solved.[3]

In 2005, she was also a member of the girl group Dame Four, with Tomasina Parrot, Tennille Mathis & Mercedes Nelson, who released a single "How We Roll". Dame Four split up not long after releasing their radio single in late 2005.

In the early 2000s Mila took a hiatus from the music industry, commenting on this Mila said due to being in a variety of girl groups, she did not know who she was as an "artist," during her hiatus Mila said she avoided Quid pro quo and discovered her artistry saying "I definitely think I was able to take that time off and really figure out who I was as a solo artist and what I wanted to talk about, what I wanted to address, be myself, basically. It was a break because I was in the industry for a minute."[6]

2006–2013: Split Personality debut[edit]

After appearing on tracks by RaRa, IMx, and Omarion, Jamila was set to release a 2006 solo album "Split Personality" under the name Mila J but was shelved.[7] Her single "Good Lookin Out" entered Billboard Radio Monitor's R&B/Hip-Hop chart at No. 37 and also at No. 64 on the Hot R&B/Hip hop songs chart. The album featured a number of appearances from artists on the T.U.G. roster and its associates, including Marques Houston, Young Rome, Rufus Blaq, and The Underdogs. She performed two songs, "Complete" and "I'm Mi" from the unreleased album during Showtime at the Apollo.

In 2012 Jamila redefined herself by changing her name and appearance from the soft feminine Mila J to the rough-around-the-edges Japollonia. She released a mixtape for free download through DatPiff, supported by a music video, "Blinded."[8] Following Mila J's 2012 Internet success with her highly popular mixtape, which received more than 700,000 downloads, she released her "Movin On" music video with VEVO and giving away the single for free on her website and VEVO page.

2014–present: Return to Music and M.I.L.A[edit]

Now once again billing herself as Mila J, she released her first single called "Smoke, Drink, Break-Up" with the music video premiering on BET's 106 & Park. The single has peaked at #33 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. On May 28, she performed the song at BET's 106 & Park. After the lead single release, she was featured on Trey Songz's Trigga for their song, "Disrespectful" and several other projects. She is currently working on an album entitled M.I.L.A., which stands for Made In Los Angeles.[9] She stated that the album will have a 1990s vibe to it and contains a lot of relationship-based songs such as "Pain in My Heart" and "Times Like These". B.o.B, Ty Dolla Sign, Problem are some of the features mentioned on this project. On August 27, she premiered the lyric video of her second single, "My Main" produced by DJ Mustard and features Ty Dolla $ign on her YouTube channel.[10]

In 2015, Mila J was featured on Jodeci's album "The Past, The Present, The Future" with a track titled "Body Parts".


Mila has named Mýa as her main inspiration. She went on to say “I just love how she entertains,” said Mila of the pop icon. “You go to her shows, she’s gon’ have a million dancers—lights, camera, action. It was just cool to see a female dancing and singing.”[9]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected information
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Split Personality
  • Released: November 7, 2006 (unreleased)
  • Label:
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Released: June 23, 2015
  • Label: Motown Records
  • Format: CD, digital download

Extended plays[edit]

List of albums, with selected information
Title Album details Peak chart positions
  • Released: October 14, 2014
  • Label: Motown Records
  • Format: Digital download
132 22
  • Battlefield America Soundtrack Vol.1 (2012)
  • Japollonia Vol. 1 (2012)
  • Westside (2014)


List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Good Lookin' Out"
(featuring Marques Houston)
2006 64 Split Personality
"No More Complaining"
"Movin On" 2013 3 Japollonia
"Smoke, Drink, Break-Up" 2014 33 M.I.L.A.
"My Main"
(featuring Ty Dolla $ign)
53 21
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Play Another Slow Jam"
(with Gyrl)
1995 74 N/A
"Play Another Slow Jam (Remix)"
(with Gyrl, featuring Taz and Smooth)
1995 74
"Get Your Groove On"
(with Gyrl)
1997 91 30
"How We Roll"
(with Dame Four)
"Hot Box"
(Bobby Brackins featuring G-Eazy and Mila J)
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Take It Off" 2005 Omarion O
"Disrespectful" 2014 Trey Songz Trigga
"So What" B.o.B No Genre 2


  1. ^ a b Biography.
  2. ^ Cyril Cordor. Mila J Biography. Allmusic
  3. ^ a b c Rare and Obscure Music: Gyrl. May 20, 2012
  4. ^ Mila J. Biography. Billboard
  5. ^ "KayKi Speaks with Jhene Aiko- Her road to now, incredible new mixtape, & more". Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Brittany Lewis (March 26, 2014) Mila J On Jhene Aiko: “People Are Always Going To Create Sibling Rivalry & There Is None” (EXCLUSIVE). Global Grind
  7. ^ "Mila J". AllMusic. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pop/R&B Artist Japollonia to Drop First Album in 2012". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Rap-Up TV: Mila J Talks Debut, Influences, & Musical Family. Rap-Up TV. April 22, 2014
  10. ^ Mila J-My Main Lyric Video. YouTube. August 26, 2014
  11. ^ "Mila J – Chart History: Billboard 100". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Mila J – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]