Jaden and Willow Smith on Prana Energy, Time and Why School Is Overrated (2023)


Jaden and Willow Smith on Prana Energy, Time and Why School Is Overrated (1)

One of the gifts of being young is that particular blend of self-confidence and self-consciousness. Jaden and Willow Smith have managed to turn this form of heady teenage introspection into expression instead of ennui. Willow, the 14-year-old musician whose debut single, “Whip My Hair,” went platinum when she was not yet a teenager, explains that the gift of life is “looking at nature and being, like, ‘Wow, I am so lucky to have a body and to breathe and to be able to look at this.’ ” To which her older brother Jaden, a 16-year-old actor and musician, adds: “And the huge, terrible thing the world would be missing by not expressing yourself.” To that end, both Jaden and Willow, the children of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, released new albums this month, including two tracks by Jaden that make their public debut here.

Jaden’s “Cool Tapes Vol. 2″ is an extension of its prequel mostly in name: “At 12, I was just talking about hanging out with girls because that’s pretty much the only thing I was into,” he says. A few years later, the new pieces are suffused with a different sort of bareness, and a self-guided education in topics such as Archimedean solids and mysticism. On a warm November morning, T sat down with Willow and Jaden on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean for their first-ever joint interview to discuss prana energy, the experience of time and the meaning of art.


What have you been reading?


WILLOW: Quantum physics. Osho.

JADEN: “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life” and ancient texts; things that can’t be pre-dated.

I’m curious about your experience of time. Do you feel like life is moving really quickly? Is your music one way to sort of turn it over and reflect on it?

WILLOW: I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that’s how I know it doesn’t exist.

JADEN: It’s proven that how time moves for you depends on where you are in the universe. It’s relative to beings and other places. But on the level of being here on earth, if you are aware in a moment, one second can last a year. And if you are unaware, your whole childhood, your whole life can pass by in six seconds. But it’s also such a thing that you can get lost in.

WILLOW: Because living.

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JADEN: Right, because you have to live. There’s a theoretical physicist inside all of our minds, and you can talk and talk, but it’s living.

WILLOW: It’s the action of it.

What are some of the themes that recur in your work?

JADEN: The P.C.H. being one of them; the melancholiness of the ocean; the melancholiness of everything else.

WILLOW: And the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made.

JADEN: [bursts into laughter] As soon as me and Willow started releasing music, that’s one thing that the whole world took away is, okay, they unlocked another step of honesty. If these guys can be honest about everything, then we can be more honest.

How have you gotten better?

WILLOW: Caring less what everybody else thinks, but also caring less and less about what your own mind thinks, because what your own mind thinks, sometimes, is the thing that makes you sad.

JADEN: Exactly. Because your mind has a duality to it. So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain. When you’re thinking about something happy, you’re thinking about something sad. When you think about an apple, you also think about the opposite of an apple. It’s a tool for understanding mathematics and things with two separate realities. But for creativity: That comes from a place of oneness. That’s not a duality consciousness. And you can’t listen to your mind in those times — it’ll tell you what you think and also what other people think.

WILLOW: And then you think about what you think, which is very dangerous.

Do you think of your new music as a continuation of your past work?

JADEN: I think Willow’s had a huge evolution.

WILLOW: I mean, “Whip My Hair” was a great thing. When I look back I think, “Wow, I did so much for young black girls and girls around the world. Telling them that they can be themselves and to not be afraid to be themselves.” And I’m doing that now but in a whole different way, coming from source energy and universal truths. People will be, like, “Oh, I’m not going to make a song about exactly how I feel, all the bad ways that I feel, and put it out in the world so everyone can judge me.” But for me, it’s a part of me, it’s my artistic journey.

JADEN: That’s another thing: What’s your job, what’s your career? Nah, I am. I’m going to imprint myself on everything in this world.

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Jaden and Willow Smith on Prana Energy, Time and Why School Is Overrated (2)

How do you write? What’s your process?

JADEN: She gets in the booth and just starts singing.

WILLOW: I mean, the beat is usually what moves me. Or I think of concepts. Then when I hear a beat that is, like, elaborating on that concept, I just go off.

JADEN: She freestyles and finds out what she likes. Same thing with me.

WILLOW: You piece it together. You piece together those little moments of inspiration.

What are you searching for in those pieced-together moments?

JADEN: Honestly, we’re just trying to make music that we think is cool. We don’t think a lot of the music out there is that cool. So we make our own music. We don’t have any song that we like to listen to on the P.C.H. by any other artist, you know?

WILLOW: That’s what I do with novels. There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.

JADEN: Willow’s been writing her own novels since she was 6.

But do your collaborative relationships inspire you in different directions?

JADEN: Totally.

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WILLOW: Me and Jaden just figured out that our voices sound like chocolate together. As good as chocolate tastes, it sounds that good.

How does fashion relate to what you do?

JADEN: Willow just dropped a song (“Cares”), let me quote the lyrics: “I do not care what people say.” We both don’t really care. I like to wear things that I make, but I throw it on as though I was throwing on anything. It looks cool, sometimes.

WILLOW: I like to go to places with my high-fashion things where there are a lot of cameras. So I can just go there and be like, “Yep, yep, I’m looking so sick.” But in my regular life, I put on clothes that I can climb trees in.

What are the things worth having?

JADEN: Something that’s worth buying to me is like Final Cut Pro or Logic.

WILLOW: A canvas. Paint. A microphone.

JADEN: Anything that you can shock somebody with. The only way to change something is to shock it. If you want your muscles to grow, you have to shock them. If you want society to change, you have to shock them.

WILLOW: That’s what art is, shocking people. Sometimes shocking yourself.

You mentioned breathing earlier, and it’s also an idea that recurs in your songs.

WILLOW: Breathing is meditation; life is a meditation. You have to breathe in order to live, so breathing is how you get in touch with the sacred space of your heart.

JADEN: When babies are born, their soft spots bump: It has, like, a heartbeat in it. That’s because energy is coming through their body, up and down.

WILLOW: Prana energy.

JADEN: It’s prana energy because they still breathe through their stomach. They remember. Babies remember.

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WILLOW: When they’re in the stomach, they’re so aware, putting all their bones together, putting all their ligaments together. But they’re shocked by this harsh world.

JADEN: By the chemicals and things, and then slowly…

WILLOW: As they grow up, they start losing.

JADEN: You know, they become just like us.

So is the hardest education the unlearning of things?

WILLOW: Yes, basically, but the crazy thing is it doesn’t have to be like that.

JADEN: Here’s the deal: School is not authentic because it ends. It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.

WILLOW: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed.

JADEN: Kids who go to normal school are so teenagery, so angsty.

WILLOW: They never want to do anything, they’re so tired.

JADEN: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out.

WILLOW: I went to school for one year. It was the best experience but the worst experience. The best experience because I was, like, “Oh, now I know why kids are so depressed.” But it was the worst experience because I was depressed.

So what’s next?

JADEN: I have a goal to be just the most craziest person of all time. And when I say craziest, I mean, like, I want to do like Olympic-level things. I want to be the most durable person on the planet.

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WILLOW: I think by the time we’re 30 or 20, we’re going to be climbing as many mountains as we can possibly climb.

Willow’s “3” is available now on iTunes. Jaden’s “Cool Tapes Vol. 2″ will be available beginning at 12 a.m. with the download of his new app called Jaden Experience.

This interview has been edited and condensed.


Is Willow Smith actually Jaden Smith? ›

He ever wanted while she lived in his shadow. Yeah it's no secret the favoritism. Between jaden and

Does Willow Smith go to school? ›

Willow Smith

How old is Willow Smith net worth? ›

Willow Smith: US$6 million

At only 21 years old, Willow has already starred in a string of blockbuster films including I am Legend (alongside dad Will) and Madagascar 2 (alongside mum Jada) and released music as a solo artist and as part of duo The Anxiety.

How old is Jaden Smith? ›

Who is Jaden Smith GF? ›

Jaden Smith Leaned on Girlfriend Sab Zada for Support Amid Will Smith Oscars Scandal: They're a 'Great Fit for Each Other'

Has Jaden Smith dated Kylie? ›

SINGER and actor Jaden Smith and reality TV star turned beauty mogul Kylie Jenner have both had a slew of famous loves. The pair may have dated for a brief period of time in 2013, back when they were just high-schoolers.

What did Jaden Smith say about school? ›

Jaden and Willow think school makes teenagers 'angsty'

“Here's the deal: School is not authentic because it ends,” said Jaden. “It's not true, it's not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.”

Why did Willow Smith cancel Billie Eilish? ›

8, Smith announced on Twitter that she would no longer be opening for Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas on the first leg of her Happier Than Ever tour. “Due to production limitations, I am unable to put on the show that I believe you all deserve,” Smith wrote.

Did Will Smith homeschool his kids? ›

Jada Pinkett-Smith – Jada and Will Smith homeschooled their two children, Willow and Jaden. Their reason was revealed in an Essence Magazine interview, where Jada stated, “The school system in this country—public and private—is designed for the industrial age. We're in a technological age.

Who is the richest actor? ›

As of August 2022, Jerry Seinfeld is the richest actor in the world with a net worth of $950 million.

Who is Willow Smith lover? ›

Meet Willow Smith's rumored boyfriend, Tyler Cole

On July 7, 1998, he was born in Michigan and later moved to Los Angeles with his mother. He rose to fame after releasing his first album, Stranger, in 2016.

What is Willow worth? ›

Willow Smith Net Worth: Willow Smith is an American actress and singer who has a net worth of $6 million.
Willow Smith Net Worth.
Net Worth:$6 Million
Height:4 ft 11 in (1.52 m)
Profession:Actor, Singer, Voice Actor, Dancer, Rapper
Nationality:United States of America
2 more rows

How old was Jaden in after Earth? ›

Gary Wolcott of Tri-City Herald commented that "the 15-year old Jaden doesn't appear to demonstrate much talent and has zero charisma." Alex Pappademas of Grantland referred to After Earth as a "parade-float tribute to nepotism."

When was Jaden Smith's first kiss? ›

It seems Jaden might be wise beyond his years. And it also looks like he's been able to forget about that awkward (and frequently discussed) first kiss he had back when he was 11.

When did Jaden start just water? ›

“We started Just Water when I was 11. It was because I was so concerned with the Pacific Patches and the amount of the CO2 that goes into creating plastic. There were no other water bottles that had an alternative to [plastic], so that's when why we started Just, and found Tetra Pak,” Smith said.

Did Kendall and Travis date? ›

The couple went on another double date to Universal Studios, with Jenner's sister Kylie Jenner and her boyfriend, Travis Scott. However, their relationship ended months later. A source told People their relationship came to a natural end and the break-up wasn't because of any "particular drama".

Who has Kendall Jenner dated? ›

Jenner quickly shut down rumors that she had dated NBA players D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Kyle Kuzma after someone tweeted a photo captioned, "Starting 5 of NBA Players Kendall Jenner Dated." She shot back: "2 out of 5 accurate, thanks."

Who said every school is a good school? ›

These 5 words are quoted every time we debate about Singapore education and inequality: Every school, a good school. It was popularised by Mr Heng Swee Keat when he was the Minister for Education in 2011-2015.

What does Smith say about education? ›

Smith favoured education for all because he believed that it would offset the harmful effects of division of labour on the workers, and therefore, education had to be accessible to the workers. The essay concludes by reiterating Smith's position that education for all is necessary to create a prosperous society.

Why did Mr Smith attitude to school differ from that of his son and his brother Thomas? ›

Smith to attitude to school was because he was senior professional and he was well behaved and punctual where as Ernest and uncle Thomas work always in hot water.

Who did Billie Eilish reject? ›

And it turns out that Lil Pump is one of them. The 19-year-old just proposed to Billie on Instagram and she savagely shut him down in front of 130,000 people.

Who did Billie Eilish have a crush on? ›

Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish has revealed she had a childhood crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar in her role as Buffy Summers in the 90s supernatural teen drama, Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Why did everyone unfollow Billie Eilish? ›

Billie Eilish appears to have unfollowed every account on Instagram after allegedly vowing to unfollow accounts of abusers. On Wednesday, fans of the singer noticed that the 18-year-old no longer follows any account on the social media platform, while she continues to be followed by 64.8 million users.

Do famous people homeschool their kids? ›

It's a surprisingly popular choice among Americans in general, but particularly among the Hollywood elite. Many famous parents, both A-listers and reality stars, have opted to homeschool their children rather than give them more traditional educations in public or private schools.

Did Emma Watson homeschool? ›

Emma Watson started her acting career in the Harry Potter films when she was only 10. Like her famous role, Hermione Granger, in real life, Emma was also known for being very responsible and an excellent student, and yes, she was homeschooled.

What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling? ›

Unschooling is dictated by the child's interests and is less structured than is homeschooling. Homeschoolers are guided by state and national standards — parents plan lessons, assign homework, and grade assignments. Unschooling is whatever the student wants it to be.

Who is No 1 actor in world? ›

Top 100 Stars in Leading Roles at the Worldwide Box Office
1Scarlett Johansson33
2Robert Downey, Jr.43
3Samuel L. Jackson64
4Chris Hemsworth25
79 more rows

Who is the 2nd richest actor in the world? ›

Let's dive into the list of the top richest actors in the world-
RankRichest Actors In The WorldNet worth (USD)
1Tyler Perry$1 Billion
2Jerry Seinfeld$950 Million
3Shah Rukh khan$700 Million
4Tom Cruise$600 Million
6 more rows
1 Aug 2022

Who is the best actor in the world? ›

While Leonardo tops the Best Actor in the world list for Google, coming a close second to him on the list is Tom Hanks. The 66-year-old actor has had a splendid Hollywood career with films such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away and several other notable works to his name.

Is Xander in love with Willow? ›

Alexander "Xander" Lavelle Harris, is a main character on the show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is an unrequited love interest to Willow Rosenberg, former love interest for Cordelia Chase, and husband to Anya Jenkins.
Xander Harris.
Love Interest
Hair ColorBrown
Eye ColorHazel
NicknamesXander Xand Xan Xan Man Alex
7 more rows

Is Tyler the Creator with Jaden? ›

Will Smith SLAMS Jaden Smith For Dating Tyler The Creator - YouTube

Is Willow Smith vegan? ›

All products are vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic with upcycled products.

Is Willow supporting Billie Eilish? ›

Follow American Songwriter for More Breaking News. Pop-punk artist, Willow (aka Willow Smith), announced today that she will be touring in support of the world-famous songwriter, Billie Eilish.

How much money is Cardi worth? ›

Cardi B is a Rapper, singer-songwriter, and Businesswoman who has a net worth of $42 Million. Cardi B is known as one of the most successful and famous rappers and singer-songwriters in America. Cardi B used to make videos on Vine and Instagram, which gave her initial success and fame.

What is Rihanna's net worth? ›

Is Jaden and Willow Smith the same person? ›

Willow and Jaden Smith, the daughter and son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, are one of Hollywood's most high-profile pair of siblings. The two are known for delving into philosophical concepts in their press interviews, as well as saying things that no one else could possibly expect or anticipate.

Is Willow and Jaden the same person? ›

Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000), known mononymously as Willow (stylized in all caps), is an American singer-songwriter and actress.
Willow Smith
WorksFull list
ParentsWill Smith (father) Jada Pinkett Smith (mother)
RelativesJaden Smith (brother)
Musical career
12 more rows

Why are Will and Jada kids called Jaden and Willow? ›

She was alluding to the fact Willow is a clear play on the name Will and Jaden is a nod to his mother's name, Jada. Most commenters were shocked the woman only just made this discovery, while others basked in her revelation.

Why are they called Willow Jaden? ›

Both are named after their parents - but it's gender-swapped, making it a little less obvious. We have no idea how we missed it either! When you think about it, Jaden sounds an awful lot like Jada, while Willow is an obviously feminine version of Will.

Who is Jaden in a relationship with? ›

Jaden Smith has confirmed that American rapper Tyler, the Creator is his boyfriend. The two singers made headlines last week when Jaden announced, during a concert, that he and Tyler were seeing each other.

Who used to date Jaden? ›

This list of Jaden Smith's girlfriends and rumored exes includes Odessa Adlon, Sarah Snyder, Kylie Jenner, and Stella Hudgens.

Is Tyler in a relationship with Jaden? ›

As mentioned, Jaden Smith made the declaration that he and Tyler the Creator were seeing each other and that he has always been his boyfriend.

Is Jaden still vegan? ›

With the help of his parents, Jaden Smith is well on his way to leading a healthy lifestyle for years to come after converting to a vegan diet in 2019.

Why did Will Smith name his children? ›

Put simply, they're named after their parents – but each name is gender-flipped making it slightly less obvious. Wilow is named after Will, and Jaden is named after Jada. It's obvious, once you see it written down. And, for bonus 'mind blown' potential, Will's name is not William.

What does the name willow symbolize? ›

The name Willow is of English origin and means "willow tree" and "freedom." It was derived from the Old English word welig, meaning “willow.” Willow trees are associated with grace and elegance, giving meaning to the word "willowy."

What is Jaden short for? ›

Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Jaden

As such, there is no specific meaning. It was probably a combination of the name “jay” (which is short for any given name starting with the letter J) along with the popular “-den” suffix (think Aiden, Braden, Hayden and Kaden).

What is the meaning of willow as a name? ›

Willow is a feminine name of Old English origin meaning “willow tree.” It is derived from the word welig, which is the Old English for “willow.” These graceful trees are known for their elegant, “willowy” structure and ability to grow and prosper despite unfavorable conditions.


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