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Jaden Smith: “I want to be better, I want to show people that I can do it”

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Originality, humility, and limitless talent. Even from a young age, Jaden Smith has been a force of artistic brilliance. Running at his own artistic frequency and refusing to pigeon-hole his craft, the 22-year-old creative has shifted the realms of visual art, fashion, and music in ways that we can’t even completely appreciate yet. At his core, though, Jaden is simply an artist seeking to better himself and his talents.

Authenticity in art has always come down to three factors; an individual’s dedication to expanding their skills, their love of the art form, and an undying passion for their craft. It only takes a second of listening to Jaden’s perspective to realise that he embodies each of these attributes.

Fresh off the release of his dreamy new record CTV3: Cool Tape Volume 3, we caught up with the artist to chat his collaborations with Justin Bieber and Tyler, The Creator, his classic rock inspirations, and his deep love for Australian music.

jaden smith

HAPPY: Hey there Jaden!

JADEN: How are you, bro? Thank you so much for having me.

HAPPY: Thank you for joining us. Congratulations on your release for Cool Tape Volume 3.

JADEN: Thank you so much.

HAPPY: Now tell me. For this record, I mean it’s your first since Erys in 2019, you’ve actually learnt how to play guitar?

JADEN: Hmm, I wouldn’t go as far as say I learnt how to play guitar… I would say that I started playing guitar in the process of the album, yeah.

HAPPY: You can play a few solos? Can you shred?

JADEN: I can play a few songs, I can play a few different scales, you know what I mean? Like, for a few of my songs, I find the notes that are in the key and play around with them.

HAPPY: It’s a massive development since Erys. You’ve gone back to the roots of rock n’ roll and pop music with influences from The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and, more specifically, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds with your track Cabin Fever.

JADEN: Yeah, Cabin Fever. I love that. That is one of my favourite songs off the album.

HAPPY: It’s definitely one of my favourites as well. I read that Tyler said that you had to go back and really get into what it’s about in terms of writing songs. Can you tell me a little about that and the experience?

JADEN: Yeah. Tyler, on the last album, he really told me that I should go back and that I needed to look and just study more music in general and just learn about the people that came before me and listen to their music and really pull inspiration from that instead of just making things up. So, I started to really educate myself on music and listen to a lot of music I didn’t listen to before and that’s how I started working on the album.

HAPPY: Yeah. Do you like The Stones as well?

JADEN: I do like The Stones, I really do. My ex-girlfriend, Odessa, really put me on to listening to this type of music all the time. She loves The Stones, she would listen a lot.

HAPPY: I heard, in terms of your collaborations on this album with Justin as well, can you tell me a little bit about how they came about?

JADEN: Yeah. Me and Justin, we knew that we wanted to have a song together, especially for this project, and we just went out of our way to make it happen. I wanted to bring him into the world of music that I was doing, cause that is what he has done for me for so long. So, I wanted to do the same for him, it was really awesome. It was really spectacular, I feel.

jaden smith

HAPPY: Such a shame about COVID and you guys having to postpone the tour together.

JADEN: Yeah. We will hopefully get an opportunity to travel around the world together again and play music.

HAPPY: Do you reckon you will come to Australia?

JADEN: One hundred percent. I will try and come to Australia as soon as possible. I am trying to release my Trippy Summer Collection in Australia as soon as possible. Well, not as soon as possible, when it’s actually summer in Australia. I want to release a collection that I’ve been pushing out here for a while, in Australia. I want to come, I want to perform. I want to design clothes, I want to hang out, I want to surf.

HAPPY: I have to ask you this, because I noticed on Instagram that you’re very active in Babe Rainbow’s comments.

JADEN: Babe Rainbow?

HAPPY: Babe Rainbow!

JADEN: Yeah!

HAPPY: Do you like them?

JADEN: They’re the best.

HAPPY: Oh my god. I love The Babe Rainbow too.

JADEN: They’re the greatest. The Babe Rainbow, if you’re reading this right now, I am obsessed with you! I listen to your album every day. Today is one of the best albums ever and they are so underrated, more people need to know about them. And they were a huge inspiration on this project. Huge!

HAPPY: You’re kidding me. I’ve always loved the track Love Forever, how about you?

JADEN: Well, there’s Us and the Rainbow…

HAPPY: Yeah, that’s right. Do you like Tame Impala?

JADEN: Yeah, I do. I love Tame Impala. Shout out to Tame Impala. I am obsessed with Tame Impala as well.

jaden smith

HAPPY: Have you heard of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard?

JADEN: Of course, they are amazing.

HAPPY: They are amazing. I love that you love Babe Rainbow man. I actually remember a few years ago, I woke up in their share house in Brisbane, not sure how that happened.

JADEN: No way!

HAPPY: Yeah, they are an amazing band. They’re so good. I think this interview will definitely make their day. Tell me a little bit more about, like, you go skating with Tyler and stuff, tell me about that whole relationship?

JADEN: Yeah. I mean, Tyler, we both don’t skate as much as we used to before, but we like to hang out and make music. I mean, it’s been difficult right now, cause of everything that’s going on in the world, to see anybody. But, usually, we’ll be just hanging out, making music. We went on tour together, that was really spectacular. Also, shout out to Post Malone, cause I went on tour with them in Australia there. That was one of the first times I got to have the experience of being direct support before I went on that Dream tour with Tyler. So, shout out to him, shout out to everyone that came up to see that in Australia as well.

HAPPY: Oh, amazing. Did you come across Lime Cordiale? They are another great Aussie band, they are doing a collaboration with Post Malone as well.

JADEN: Oh, wow that’s awesome. I haven’t heard of them, but I will check out that song though.

HAPPY: Yeah, I noticed with the… I love the whole Cabin Fever thing and then I was super into the idea that you directed the video under a pseudonym. Tell me about that, tell me about that process.

JADEN: That’s awesome. Glad you asked that, I didn’t tell anyone I directed the video cause I didn’t think that they would care or believe me. So yeah, I directed the video, I creative directed it. I found that old-school car in some old reference photos that I was looking at like old bands like The Cars and The Monkees and these other bands that used to ride around in. I wanted to recreate that car-pointing love story, create this new wave, like, flower power movement. You know, sunny California with the summer of love, trippy summer, like flower power. Just wanting to put all of that essence, everything in the video and show people that we, as misfits, are on this next wave of pushing this type of content on the world. We are going to continue to push peace, and love, and rainbows into the world.

HAPPY: I got that vibe as well. I got this kind of pastel, hazy dream vibe from the video. Kind of like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, that kind of thing. You know what I mean?

JADEN: Yeah.

jaden smith

HAPPY: I loved the way that you injected these moments of real life. The subtle references to Black Lives Matter, they just really seep in, and the world of COVID that’s kind of coming in.

JADEN: We included the real-life and the real-world problems that we care about in the video, to let people know everything that we stand for and where we stand.

HAPPY: The dances, as well, man. Like, you’re incredible.

JADEN: Thank you though, I really appreciate that. I do. I have been trying just to become better at the things that I know how to do and dancing is one of those things where it is just like, I want to be better. I want to show people how I can do it. Like, how I can give people my best?

HAPPY: So, this whole process, the last year, has been a real learning curve for you, hey?

JADEN: Yes. Huge learning curve for me.

HAPPY: I guess the most impressive thing is learning to have that humility as well, to know that you have to learn. And know that there is something to get better at. I think that’s the biggest part of the development.

JADEN: Yeah. That was the biggest thing for me, at the start of this album, was just realising that I am not good enough, you know? And I’ve never been good enough, or talented enough.

HAPPY: Hey Jaden, you are an absolutely brilliant dude and it’s so rare to meet someone so talented who is still so committed to bettering themselves and the art they put out. It’s humbling, to be honest. Looking forward to your Australian tour. Catch you soon man!

JADEN: Thanks man, have a good one!

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Exclusive 2022: Now that’s how you do it! Kate shows up for Queen as Duchess dazzles in new pictures

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Kate and Prince William headed to the Foundling Museum on Wednesday morning. There, they learned more about the care sector and met representatives from across the system.

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as she returned to public duties, and dazzled wearing an elegant outfit including dark trousers, a high-neck jumper and a vibrant blue coat.

Prince William also looked smart wearing a dark-coloured jumper and trousers on top of a baby blue buttoned-up shirt.

Kate headed to this museum in London as its patron, a role she has been covering since 2019.

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

It tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, established in 1739 as a home for children who could not be cared for by their mothers.

This visit confirms the Duchess’ commitment to deepening the understanding the British society has of the early years and how experiences completed during the first five years of life can impact adult development.

This area has been of interest to Kate since she joined the Royal Family in April 2011.

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The Duchess has spent years working behind the scenes to develop her knowledge on early childhood and enter into a collaboration with relevant organisations.

Kate Middleton news pictures Duchess of Cambridge royal visit today latest Royal Family

Prince Harry ‘running out of toys to throw out of pram’
Her work on the issue became apparent in 2018, when she launched a steering group including experts to look at how cross-sector collaboration could bring about lasting change.

In early 2020, she launched a nationwide survey interrogating Britons on their views and understanding of the importance of the early years.

Findings from this questionnaire and the following research were unveiled in November that year, during the Royal Foundation’s first virtual forum on early childhood.

Months later, in June 2021, the Duchess officially launched the Royal Foundation Cente for the Early Childhood, with the aim to drive awareness of and action on the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.

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It wasn’t supposed to go down like that “Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis on their ‘cozy’ moment in ‘…………..'”

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It wasn’t supposed to go down in the kitchen.

That was the one room in the Chatsworth home doubling as the Williams family Florida residence in “King Richard” that was off-limits to the filmmakers because the appliances and cabinet hardware hadn’t been switched out to reflect the movie’s mid-’90s period.

So naturally, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, the actors playing Richard Williams and Oracene Price, parents of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, went straight to the kitchen when it came time to rehearse a crucial scene in the film. Where else would they go? Think about your own home and where people gravitate during parties, where family and friends hold late-night conversations and where loaded confrontations like the one in “King Richard” transpire.

“It is always the kitchen!” Smith says, punctuating the pronouncement, as he often does, with a booming clap of laughter.

“King Richard” takes its title from Williams, the demanding and loving father and tennis coach, the man who wrote a 78-page plan that detailed how his two daughters would become tennis champions. He came up with this blueprint before Venus and Serena were even born, meaning that he needed more than a little help from his wife to realize it.

As Ellis puts it: “He had to convince her to use her body for 18 months to create the vessels for this dream. And she was, ‘OK. Bet.’ They were both crazy. They were co-conspirators in crazy.”

Adds Smith: “There has to be a little bit of crazy, because you have to believe something that there’s no evidence for, and then you have to devote your life to something that is not only invisible, but highly unlikely and potentially impossible. But you believe it wholeheartedly because you can’t achieve it if you don’t believe it wholeheartedly. So, yeah, there’s a sliding scale of naiveté to full insanity, and somewhere in there is the sweet spot for dream manifestation.”

But there’s crazy, and then there’s a selfish lack of awareness as to how other people feel. And, in the movie, that led to a confrontation between the parents over Williams’ refusal to consider letting Venus turn pro at age 14. It’s a conversation that takes place 90 minutes into the movie, providing Price with the opportunity to finally call out her husband’s ego and stubbornness in the ways he controlled his family’s life, not to mention his penchant for walking away from failed businesses and children he had with other women.

The scene was shot after production had been halted in March 2020 by a pandemic lockdown, a break that offered Smith and Ellis time to, as Smith puts it, “marinate in their characters.”

“When it came to this Ali-Frazier moment,” Ellis says, comparing the encounter to the famous heavyweight boxing matches between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in the 1970s, “we felt we had lived enough with these characters to say how we felt without really even needing a script.”

Smith, who played Ali in the 2001 Michael Mann movie, was asked if he felt like Ali or Frazier in the kitchen scene.

“Well, it depends which fight,” he replies, laughing. (Frazier won their initial bout; Ali prevailed in the two rematches.)

Our conversations — the first with the two actors together around the November AFI Fest and then subsequent talks individually in the new year — would often circle back to this defining scene, during which Price tells her husband in no uncertain terms about the sacrifices she made to help their daughters achieve their tennis dreams. (The couple married in 1980 and divorced in 2002.)

“I carried them inside me and on my back,” Ellis, as Price, says at the beginning of this five-minute confrontation. “And I carried you too, working two shifts so I could put food on your table. I’ve been here dreaming and believing. Just like you. You just don’t want to see me.”

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Since they weren’t supposed to shoot in the kitchen, director Reinaldo Marcus Green grabbed a loaf of bread and some peanut butter from the craft services table, along with a carton of orange juice the home’s owners had left in the fridge. Ellis now had some props to use. “The whole thing was one happy accident,” Green says by phone.

Among its many notable accomplishments, “King Richard” makes a convincing case for Price’s crucial role in the development of the Williams sisters’ careers, both as a parent and as a coach. Smith remembers an early meeting at Serena Williams’ home when everyone was still sizing each other up and deciding if they’d make the movie. Price sat quietly for most of the afternoon, then after some coaxing, offered her thoughts.

“She’s so quiet,” Smith says. “She doesn’t feel a necessity to prove or defend herself. So when she speaks, it’s a powerful thing.”

“The thing I thought about that day,” Ellis says of the kitchen scene, “was what would Miss Oracene Price want the world to know about her experience? People see her in the stands, but they don’t know her. Nobody knows that she was their coach … but she was. So I just wanted to speak as well as I could for her and feel OK about it when I was done.”

Like Price, Ellis is a soft-spoken woman, modest and deeply caring. She didn’t talk with Price before playing her but did meet her during a press day before “King Richard” was released.

“She said, ‘Great job,'” Ellis recalls, laughing. “Just two words. But that was enough for me.”

Smith has been receiving praise too since “King Richard” simultaneously opened in theaters and premiered on HBO Max on Nov. 19. Though the film’s theatrical box office total has been disappointing (the movie’s worldwide gross is under $30 million), Smith says he has never experienced a more enthusiastic reaction to a film.

“I had resigned myself in my life that, as an artist, I would never make a film better than ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,'” Smith says, referring to the 2006 drama that co-starred his son Jaden and earned him an Oscar nomination. “That was the high-water mark. I figured I had reached my artistic pinnacle.”

“And then we made ‘King Richard,’ and the amount of people — family, friends, foes, celebrities, politicians, athletes — who have been inspired to make it a point to get in touch with me to tell me that they enjoyed it has been overwhelming.”

What resonated with all these people? Smith, who has never encountered a subject he couldn’t bullet-point, says there are two things: The film’s story of a family triumph, specifically a Black family’s triumph, has been a needed source of uplift during a pandemic that has gone on nearly two years. And people have also commented on the “girl dad” relationships in the movie, what Smith calls a “delicious and uncommon thing to see depicted in cinema.”

“That was one of the things about Richard that I wanted to be able to capture,” Smith says, “that, as wild as he was and as much as he could rage, it was always in defense and protection of his daughters. And they knew it. They knew he would die for them and would kill for them. For all his faults, Richard Williams is one of the greatest girl dads that America has ever seen. To this day, those girls love that man. And that’s as much his legacy as all those tennis titles.”

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Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather: Joe Rogan commentary added to pathetic UFC star punch

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It’s been over four years since the greatest crossover in combat sport history, and fans are still enjoying the memes that came from it.

 

 

Back in August 2017, UFC star Conor McGregor and undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather shared the ring for 10 rounds at the T-Mobile Arena, with ‘Money’ Mayweather going on to secure a TKO victory.

In the lead up to the bout, fans were unsure of how McGregor would adapt to a boxing ring as opposed to an Octagon, and to this day the jokes are still pretty funny.

Mayweather won via a 10th-round TKO, however, many fans think the American was coasting for the first rounds and only began putting pressure on in the final stages where he secured the win.

McGregor did himself justice, landing decent shots on ‘Money’ and surviving until the latter stages, however, not without a couple clinches, back-of-the-head shots and just general boxing awkwardness.

The ‘Notorious’ McGregor swiftly got the meme treatment from social media, as fans speculated how the bout would’ve sounded had Joe Rogan been in the commentary booth.

Take a look at the clip below…

McGregor barely touches the nose of Mayweather but Rogan can be heard hyping up the Irishman and claiming ‘he hurt him bad.’

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Over the years, it is clear that Rogan has divided opinion. Some appreciate the enthusiasm he brings to the UFC, whilst others believe that Rogan has a tendency to over-exaggerate during his assessment of fights.

McGregor has also, through no fault of his own, garnered a reputation as a favourite amongst UFC boss Dana White and commentators Joe Rogan, Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier, leading to fans thinking he gets special treatment.

The Irishman was planned to participate in a wheelchair boxing match for charity at the start of the year, but the event was postponed due to ‘time constraints.’

Whether we see the Forbes highest-paid athlete of the year return to a boxing ring will remain unknown, but perhaps for his sake he should stick to the Octagon.

McGregor has been rumoured to face current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira once he’s fully healed from his broken leg sustained in his defeat to Dustin Poirier last year.

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