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The enigmatic genius of Aiden Smith

by Calvin Cashen March 29, 2016
The enigmatic genius of Aiden Smith

Experimental music has reached its zenith with this curious artist

It may be easy to dismiss one-year-old Aiden Smith as yet another hopeful talent, but this slobber-mouthed toddler shows early signs of true musical mastery. If this enthusiasm makes Aiden seem like God’s gift to music, that’s because he is, and yet, the way he approaches his artistic craft is anything but conventional—never showing up for scheduled interviews and hastily avoiding press like the plague. “He has playdates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” said his mother, Joanna Smith.

Though he uses a plethora of unconventional pedals and gear, Aiden Smith’s instrument of choice remains his aged pots and pans. Photo by davsot from Flickr.

Though he uses a plethora of unconventional pedals and gear, Aiden Smith’s instrument of choice remains his aged pots and pans. Photo by davsot from Flickr.

No he can’t play Mozart compositions flawlessly, let alone pronounce any of these three words; Aiden is more subtle and has a unique, more modest outlet of expression: the pots and pans that accumulate in his parents’ cabinets. After spreading his talent to the masses, Aiden became the literal poster child and driving force for the  popular fusion genre coined as “toddler-core,” an enigmatic melding of harsh noise music and avant-garde pop similar to Bjork or a dying bobcat.

Upon hearing his musical renditions of the genre, Aiden’s parents were at a loss for words. “I mean, when I first found out our son was banging on these pots and pans, I was a little bit angry, but now I think he is a real treasure,” says Aiden’s father Ray Smith. He continued: “I used to be a musical actor myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if you recognized me. Yeah, I starred in many musicals. I performed Cats as a one man show. I did Jesus Christ Superstar, that was also a one man thing,” he said. “Probably one that you might have even heard of, I did an original piece called Unf!, which was with me and a couple of lesser known individuals. I would emerge from various forms of packaging. Broadway turned it down. I suppose it was just a little too off for them.”

“Aiden has always been interested in the arts—singing, dancing, acting,” said Joanna Smith. “Even as an infant, other babies were sort of crying in a very monotone way, but if Aiden called out to me, rather than, ‘mom!’  like other kids, he would go ‘mo-om.’ You know, just sort of elongated. I remember I choreographed the entire Disney soundtrack for Aiden and made him—I mean—encouraged him to perform it for my friends at his first birthday.”

It bears mentioning that Aiden has turned down offers from plenty of high end labels. This comes to no surprise, yet his upcoming farewell set at Coachella seems fairly out of place for a musical talent like Aiden. He won’t be appearing in person and will instead perform via video call with a dark cloak over his face. Clearly the set will go down into the annals of pop culture as a once in a lifetime opportunity, much like Daft Punk’s final performance at Coachella. Aiden is a completely abstract based performer, often incorporating his voice in the form of indistinguishable screams and yelps of excitement.

Aiden is going to perform a 49 song set at the festival, because why the hell not? He may have been compared quite infamously to “the musical equivalent of a train wreck waiting to happen” but really these detractors are just jealous fools, at least according to Aiden’s translator, Kanye West. “I don’t want to say it’s a protest of anything. Aiden has structure, but it’s mostly about having a metaphysical experience—like, ‘is this music or is this art?’” said West. Basically Aiden performs each show like it’s his last, which is believable once you see this master of the strange—truly a sight to behold.
Catch Aiden Smith’s farewell shows on April 17 and 24 on the main stage at Coachella in Indio, California. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime event! Tickets go on sale April 1 from 3 a.m. to 11:59 a.m.

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