Jaden Smith has been working over the years to set himself up as more than a musician and actor that is following in his father’s footsteps. He’s taken some creative leaps throughout his young career and now the latest move seems to align more with his sister – switching to the use of simply their first name as a form of their artistry.
Fans took note last year of Jaden’s seeming change to his persona and online identities across most of his platforms. While he never seemed to overtly make a statement, the musician started to drop the “Smith” portion of his moniker, choosing to leave the solitary Jaden as his preferred name going forward.
It’s a move that others from famous families have done, if not changed their names altogether. Jaden’s move may have been viewed through the lens of album marketing, since he released his ERYS album in July of 2019. Even that album name was a play on the word “sire,” a nod to Jaden’s middle name, Syre. The change seems permanent, however and it seems Jaden has finally felt like sharing the desire for the change.
Another high-flying celebrity to make similar moves in regards to how they use their name is Rihanna. Rihanna’s famously now become the face of her own highly-regarded empire billed as “Fenty,” which is Rihanna’s last name. She’s also shared with press that for her music projects, she’ll solely go by her first name, Rihanna. It’s a move that the multi-hyphenate feels will keep her businesses separate from her persona as a musician and it seems Jaden’s doing the same.
Despite his parent’s ubiquitous appearance in the press recently, Jaden has seemed to be able to stay above the fray. Even more so than his sister, Willow, who is one of the co-hosts of their mother’s Emmy award winning talk show, Red Table Talk. The younger Smith famously asked to be emancipated and moved out of the house at a young age, so it makes sense that he hasn’t seemed to be caught up in their particular brand of family drama.
His older sister does seem to be an inspiration for Jaden’s name change, according to a recent interview Jaden gave Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, finally shedding some light on his decision a year ago.
“I realized that Willow changed her name to Willow at some point in time. And that she was no longer Willow Smith. Yeah, it took me a while. It took me a while. Because if you look Willow Smith up, it’ll still come up. But then it took me a while to see that it was just Willow. And I was like, ‘Yo. That’s so strong,'” said Jaden about his sister’s name choice.
“That’s strong. Willow. You feel like you don’t have to say your last name. You’re just Willow. I create different characters for myself and that’s also one of the reasons I love Bowie so much, but I create different characters for myself and it’s like, Jaden, that’s music and Jaden Smith, that’s 501(c)(3), that’s acting in movies. I wanted to just make that little distinction there, just a little bit, so that I could just … different things are happening.”
Show business runs in this family, emphasis on business and Jaden seems to be making smart choices around all aspects of his career. See the interview here.