Mila J

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Mila J
Birth name Jamila Akiko Chilombo
Also known as Jamila, Mila J, Japollonia
Born (1983-11-18) November 18, 1983 (age 30)
Los Angeles, California
Genres R&B, hip hop
Occupations Singer, Songwriter, Dancer, Rapper
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1991-2009, 2012 - Present
Labels TUG, Silent Partner, Motown (2006 - Present) ([disambiguation needed]
Associated acts Marques Houston, IMx, Omarion, Gyrl, Dame Four
Website www.projectmilaj.com

Jamila Akiko Chilombo (born November 18, 1983) known mononymously as Mila J is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer from Los Angeles, California. She is known for being in Prince's video for "Diamonds and Pearls," and was part of a short-lived girl groups called Gyrl and Dame Four, and appeared on tracks by RaRa, IMx 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 is preparing her second studio album entitled M.I.L.A which stands for Made in Los Angeles.

Early life[edit]

Jamila was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Christina Yamamoto and Dr. Karamo Chilombo (birth name Greg Barnes), a pediatrician. Her parents later divorced.[1] She is of mixed race background—her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Yaqui, Choctaw, Cherokee, Navajo, and German Jewish descent.[2] She also has French ancestry.[3] She has four full-siblings named Miyoko, Jahi, Miyagi (who died in 2012 from cancer) and singer Jhené Aiko. She also has three paternal half-siblings named Marcia, Dio, and Kareena.

Music career[edit]

Early career[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.

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.[4]

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 2000's 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 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."[5]

Solo career[edit]

Split Personality debut (2006-2009)[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.[6] 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 from the album at Showtime at the Apollo.

Return to Music & M.I.L.A (2012-Present)[edit]

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."[7] Following Mila J's 2012 Internet success with her highly popular mixtape, which received more than 700,000 downloads, she releasing "Movin On" viral video with VEVO and giving away the single for free on her site and her VEVO page.

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 yet to chart on the Top 100 charts but has peeked at #26 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. On May 28, she performed the song at BET's 106 & Park. She is currently working on a full length album M.I.L.A., which stands for Made In Los Angeles.[8] B.o.B and Ty Dolla Sign will be featured in the album while Problem will be featured in her second single "Pain In My Heart."[9]

Influences[edit]

Mila has named Janet Jackson as her main inspiration she went onto 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.”[8] Also her other inspirations are TLC, Brandy Norwood and Tank.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
  • Split Personality (2006)
  • M.I.L.A (September 2014)
Mixtape
  • Battlefield America Soundtrack Vol.1 (2012)
  • Japollonia Vol. 1 (2012)
  • Westside (2014)

Singles[edit]

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
US
[10]
US R&B/HH
[11]
US R&B
[12]
"Good Lookin' Out" (featuring Marques Houston) 2006 64 Split Personality
"Complete"
"No More Complaining"
"Smoke, Drink, Break-Up"
2014 33 M.I.L.A
"—" 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
US US
R&B/HH
UK UK R&B
"Play Another Slow Jam"
(with Gyrl)
1995 74 Non-album singles
"Play Another Slow Jam (Remix)" featuring Taz & Smooth
(with Gyrl)
1995 74
"Get Your Groove On"
(with Gyrl)
1997 91 30
"How We Roll"
(with Dame Four)
2005
"—" 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
"Disrespectful" 2014 Trey Songz Trigga

References[edit]

External links[edit]