Music

Jhene Aiko’s Dark ‘Maniac’ Video Reveals Her Bouts With Bipolar Disorder

Jhene Aiko really went the extra mile for the dark visuals of her sexually liberating track, “Maniac.” The Souled Out singer researched asylums and watched old movies to perfectly capture “what it meant to be a maniac.”

Speaking with Rolling Stone about the self-directed video’s dark but sexy concept, Aiko says she learned a lot about the ridiculous reasons women were admitted into mental institutions back in the day. Reasons like being nymphomaniacs, a side of herself the singer wanted to highlight more. “There are so many layers to my personality. One of them is very sexual, and ‘Maniac’ is me sharing that side of myself,” the Twenty88 artist admits.

The video, which features Aiko bound, gagged and restrained before freeing herself and straddling a mannequin, isn’t Aiko playing around with the idea of suffering from mania. As it turns out, the 28-year-old songbird deals with bipolar disorder, a mental illness marked by extreme manic episodes.

“Ironically, I released ‘Maniac’ at a time where I had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so my interest in the research was genuine. I think we all have some sort of imbalance, but I also believe that we can overcome it. I find my balance through creating art. The ‘Maniac’ visual is the story of a mental patient who finds her own cure.”

Watch the American Horror Story-esque visuals below.

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