"[I] chose to sign to No I.Ds label instead of going directly to the big label because i personally think he is the man for the job![sic]" Aiko tweeted, referencing the producer who also serves as Def Jam's vice president of A&R.
That Aiko sidestepped the majors is perhaps not surprising, given her professional background. She spent much of the '00s on Epic, and while she sang on some tracks by the teen pop group B2K, she emerged from that contract with little to show for her efforts.
What's more, she's used social media to discuss her lack of interest in fame or fortune, and in one lengthy October tumblr post, she outlined her philosophy of what it means to be successful.
"Just so we're clear..." she writes, "I am not your next pop star. Never wanted to be. Never want to be. I am not an entertainer. I am an inspirer. I don't sing songs to entertain and distract. I write songs to inspire. To heal. To bring awareness to myself."
She later calls attention to what she considers her physical shortcomings, citing her "pudgy little nose" and a chest she says has been made smaller from breast feeding her daughter, now 3.
It's a sacrifice that Aiko -- "not your next Beyonce," "not your next Aaliyah," as she writes -- was more than willing to make.
"I don't know what your idea of making it is, but today I surprised my daughter with her very own room," she writes. "I made that happen. I made it."