What’s the motivation behind ending The Cool Tapes series? 
Third time’s the charm. I made Cool Tape Vol. 1, which was literally my first album ever. Then I grew a little bit and I made Cool Tape Vol. 2, and that was awesome. Then I went on to make real albums. I made Syre, and then I made Erys, then I made Sunset Tapes. And then I’m like, “Okay, now let me go back to making a mixtape, and let me update people on what’s happening.” I don’t know, I’ve never heard of a mixtape that was alternative psychedelic rock. So, I was like, “That’s exactly what I’m going to do,” and then I did it.

Where do you see this next chapter in music for you? Do you plan on pursuing this alternative rock sound further, or is there something else you’re interested in?
I’m going to keep on bouncing around. I’ve been here on this alternative sound for, like, two full years, which has never really happened before. I always just do one album and then I leave, but now that I’m about to release all of these visuals for this album at the end of summer, I’m really closing out the chapter to leave it open-ended for the future. But I think that I’m probably not going to release any music for a while.

So you don’t intend on releasing another album?

Are you going to focus on your philanthropic work or do you just want people to digest what you already put out?
I think I’m focusing on a lot of other things, and my philanthropic work would be one of those things. 

“I’m probably not going to release any music for a while.”

How would you describe yourself as an artist in 2021, and how has that changed after a crazy year like 2020?
I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist, honestly. I don’t know that I would say anything, and I think that’s a part of it. I think it’s kind of left up to how people see it, and I feel like that’s the funny part. You could ask somebody, “What does Jaden Smith do?” and one person will say one thing, and somebody will say something else, and there would almost be no agreement. That’s kind of how it is.

I wonder how you package yourself then? From my understanding, Jaden Smith is the philanthropist and Jaden is the musician. So how do you see yourself maintaining all of those identities in one?
You know, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. I don’t know how it’s going to work. I’m kind of just doing it one day at a time, just figuring it out. So I really don’t know how it’s going to manage in the future, or how it may evolve.

You and Justin Bieber released “Falling For You” 11 years after “Never Say Never.” How have you two maintained that friendship and working relationship over the last decade?
That’s just my homie. That’s just my guy, that’s one of my best friends in the whole world. It’s just that simple. I really cherish true friendship.