Jaden Explains Why He No Longer Goes By ‘Jaden Smith’

Jaden Smith is no longer going by his full name — a trend that he began about a year ago when he was releasing videos for his project Erys — and during a recent interview with Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe, he explained how his sister Willow inspired the decision and why it works with the creative endeavors he’s currently pursuing. He also gives a shout-out to David Bowie, who was well-known for inventing alter egos to differentiate his various projects from each other.

“I realized that Willow changed her name to Willow at some point in time,” he told Lowe. “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. You feel like you don’t have to say your last name. You’re just Willow. I create different characters for myself — that’s also one of the reasons I love Bowie so much — 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.”

The 22-year-old star not only further distinguishes himself from his famous father as just Jaden, he’s also doing so by branching out musically. His latest track, “Cabin Fever,” adopts a pop rock bent, showing that he’s growing as an artist and ready to truly make his own way.

Watch a clip of Jaden’s interview with Zane Lowe below.