Jaden and Willow Smith, who’ve recently become mononymously known as simply Jaden and Willow might be the children of musical and acting royalty, but from childhood acting careers to vibrant young adult endeavors in music, they’ve proven time and time again that their talent stands alone and speaks for itself, each evolving into unique, vibrant, creative, and adventurous artists who perfectly encapsulate the sound and aesthetic of their generation. Both with great new music in tow, Jaden and Willow are embarking on a joint tour- their first of this scale- returning the pair to Nashville (together for the first time) tonight, Nov. 20, to headline Cannery Ballroom! It’s an all ages show, and while their audience no doubt skews young, we implore fans of all ages to dig into both artists’ music, as this promises to be, without a doubt, one of the fall’s coolest shows! Tickets are still available right here while they last, and you can read on for more about the show!
Actor, philanthropist, rapper, and fashion designer Jaden Smith blurs genres with his inventive blend of alternative hip hop, helping him capture fans in both the rap and rock spheres. Though his first steps into the spotlight involved acting with his father, Will Smith, he later expanded his resumé in the 2010s by dipping into the alternative rap scene, delivering a handful of mixtapes in his Cool Tape series and making his full-length debut with Syre, which included the platinum-certified hit “Icon.” Born in Malibu, California, to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, the artist’s earliest foray into the entertainment industry was in his father’s 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness, later co-staring with Will again for 2013’s After Earth. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Jaden also broke into the music world. First, in 2010, he appeared on Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never.” Two years later, he would issue his debut mixtape, The Cool Cafe: Cool Tape, Vol. 1, which was inspired by Kid Cudi and Purity Ring. The atmospheric rap/R&B collection also featured appearances by OmArr, T-Coles, Josiah Bell, AcE, and Jaden’s sister, Willow. A sequel, CTV2, arrived in 2014 and featured the single “PCH.” In 2016, in addition to starring on the series as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling, Smith contributed a pair of tracks to the soundtrack of The Get Down. Two singles were issued in 2017: the Cudi-esque “Watch Me” and the trap-rap “Batman.” Those tracks appeared on his Syre LP, which featured guests like A$AP Rocky and Raury. The single “Icon” became a viral hit, peaking in the Top Three on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. That year, Smith toured the U.S. with Blackbear and Fall Out Boy. In 2018, he issued sophomore effort Syre: The Electric Album, which included the Lil Pump-indebted trap track “Ghost” with Christian Rich, and another installment in his Cool Tape series, The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story. Throughout a busy 2019, after previewing new music with the Erys Is Coming EP, Smith issued his official sophomore effort, the edgy ERYS. The emotive sequel set debuted just outside the Billboard 200’s Top Ten and featured guests Tyler, The Creator, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Trinidad James, Lido, and Willow. Funneling his rich familial multimedia talent into a style and aesthetic that taps into thoroughly modern and youthfully relevant art, Jaden has evolved into an incredibly compelling artist in his own right, and one you should be keeping a close eye on if you’re a fan of rich, substantive hip hop.
Jaden’s younger sister (and the youngest child of Will and and Jada), Willow Smith (who, like her brother, has seemingly graduated to first-name only billing as of late) expanded her scope from childhood actor to genre-spanning recording artist within a decade. As a singer-songwriter, she debuted with the viral 2010 hit pop single “Whip My Hair” before maturing her sound to include alt-R&B textures with her full-length debut Ardipithecus, which she also produced. By the time her 2017 sophomore album arrived, her sound had evolved to include pastoral acoustic textures on her organic The 1st. In addition to film and music, she is also a fashion figure, social rights advocate, and television personality, starring alongside her mother and grandmother on the family talk show Red Table Talk. Like older brothers Jaden and Trey, Willow got her start in the entertainment industry as an actor. She first appeared alongside her father in I Am Legend, which led to roles in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, as well as a couple appearances on the television program True Jackson, VP. In 2010, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label signed Smith as a vocalist. Her first single, the bouncy “Whip My Hair,” was released later that year and was in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart by the end of October. Smith’s debut album, Ardipithecus, followed shortly thereafter. Exploring different sounds and textures, the album was a stark departure from “Whip My Hair,” unveiling a more alternative side to the songwriter — somewhere between Lorde and Janelle Monáe — who also produced ten of the album’s 11 tracks. Her sophomore effort, The 1st, marked another shift in tone for Smith. Issued in 2017, the album focused on an organic singer0songwriter style highlighted on tracks like “Boy” and “A Reason.” Just as plaintive but with more production quality, Willow arrived in 2019. With a dreamy energy similar to Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star, the short set featured brother Jaden on “U Know,” and positions Willow, like Jaden, as one of the most vibrant and essential young artists to tap into Gen Z’s particular aesthetic. Seeing either Smith in concert would be a treat, but together, especially given their collaborative history, this is a must-see show!
Jaden Smith and Willow Smith will perform tonight, Nov. 20 at Cannery Ballroom. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $40.