Over the summer, at the apex of the summer wave of the ongoing COVID pandemic, rapidly up-and-coming alt-R&B/neo soul singer Jhené Aiko, whose full name is Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, plunked down $1.95 million for a freshly rehabbed home in the well-to-do guard-gated Bell Canyon neighborhood that’s laced into the mountainous western edge of L.A.’s vast San Fernando Valley.
The L.A. native, who grew up in the affluent View Park-Windsor Hills area, about 8.5 miles due south of Sunset Boulevard, almost immediately got cold feet and lickety-split flipped the nearly 5,200-square-foot abode back on the market just a month later at the exact same $1.95 million price. Digital listings held by Carlos Aguilera at Vision Realty & Associates show the property is now in escrow at an unknown price.
Aiko, who has been smooth singing around the music industry for quite some time, first found firm foothold with her contribution the 2013 Big Sean single “Beware,” her first top 40 single on Billboard’s Hot 100, and her own 2013 single, “The Worst,” which went platinum. Since then she’s released three studio albums, the most recent, “Chilombo,” dropped in March and quickly garnered three Grammy nominations, including in the coveted Album of the Year category. The album’s hypnotizing (and definitely NSFW) song “PU$$Y Fairy (OTW)” was listed at #27 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 Best Songs of 2020.
Built in the mid-1980s and set atop a long, swooping driveway on just over three-quarters of an acre, the two-story house’s jerkinhead roofline and half-timber-inspired dark wood trim work give the house a stripped-down Tudor-ish flair, while the interiors are light, bright and decidedly contemporary with paper-white walls, pale wood floors and a quintessentially suburban Macmansion-style double-height foyer that showcases a gently curved staircase.
Other notable features of the five-bedroom and 4.5-bath home include sleekly updated bathrooms, including a marble-sheathed extravaganza in the primary suite, a surround sound equipped media room with wet bar and powder room, and an airy great room under a vaulted ceiling with a minimalist fireplace. The gleaming all-white kitchen sports lightly veined white marble counters that waterfall off the ends of the long slender island. There are lovely views of the surrounding mountains from just about every room and, just off the kitchen, a dedicated breakfast room leads to a huge, brick-accented and otherwise featureless concrete patio carved into a small slope planted with an untamed wall of foliage that effectively shields the neighboring home.
Aiko quickly decided that Bell Canyon, 25+ heavily trafficked miles to Beverly Hills and, on a lucky day, an hour’s drive from downtown, was not for her and turned her real estate wishes to a more coastally temperate if only somewhat more convenient neighborhood in the uppermost reaches of Pacific Palisades where she’s recently sealed a slightly more than $2.5 million deal for a modern-minded East Coast traditional in an exclusive albeit under-the-radar guard-gated enclave.
Set on just under half an acre with four bedrooms and three bathrooms in around 3,500 square feet, plus a separate guest suite or home office with attached bath, Aiko’s new pad in the Palisades is somewhat smaller than the unwanted Bell Canyon spread. Privately and scenically positioned against rugged and gorgeous protected lands, the late 1970s era home is nicely updated and fastidiously maintained with cathedral ceilings, chunky exposed wood ceiling beams and extensive custom woodwork throughout.