“Me and Willow are scientists,” a 17-year-old Jaden Smith told GQ‘s Zach Baron in 2015, “so everything for us is a scientific test upon humanity. And luckily we’re put in a position where we can affect large groups of human beings at one time.” Banksy-like art installations, global cross-disciplinary free-education programs, and superhero anonymity would come in the future, he said. But as things were, his Twitter followers were his lab rats. And the results were to his liking. “I don’t think I’m as revolutionary as Galileo,” he explained, “but I don’t think I’m not as revolutionary as Galileo.”
Syre, his debut full-length LP, a semi-psychedelic mix of swooning rock and social media R&B, came out two years later, in 2017. “It’s time for a new awakening and a new consciousness,” he said at the time. But the experiment was incomplete until last month when he put out Syre: The Electric Album, an EP that reworked five Syre songs as loose, heady R&B exhalations. It was the first album by any artist to be released on Instagram, but that was only a side-study. The real experiment was given away on the artwork. The text reads: “Syre: The Electric Album In Its Original 432hz Format.”
In an interview with Noisey earlier this week, Smith tried to explain what this meant in practice. “Sound frequencies build everything in reality,” he said. “If you take a vibrating metal sheet and you put sand on it and you vibrate it at 440, it will make a different shape than it does at 432. The shape that it makes at 432 is a bit more coherent with geometry and Phi ratio, which is 1.618, which is what everything is based off in nature: how your hair knows how to grow, how your body knows how to grow proportionally so you look like a human, how trees know how to grow so that every leaf gets the maximum amount of water and sunlight. There’s a ratio to that. Supposedly the divine proportion, the perfect proportion, that we’re trying to get close to every single day of our lives or with whatever we do.”
He continued: “Certain paintings—like the Mona Lisa, all these different things, Da Vinci, all of these people—they knew about these proportions. So the shape that gets created when you vibrate it at 432 is closer to the proportion of phi ratio, and harmonically with your brain, it works better. The original people that discovered how the frequencies work—like in Ancient Greece, they would say that 432 is the vibe that we should be tuning everything to. People say that it changed in different wars—like it apparently changed during World War II—I don’t know what the real story about it is, when it got switched to 440. But I just know that 432 is more coherent with the frequencies of humanity. So scientifically, you can look it up. That’s why I did it.”
When asked if he felt different listening to 432 Hz music, Smith replied, “I do. I do. It just feels more like a vibe.”
There’s a lot to pick apart there. Smith was alluding to a conspiracy theory that, on its fringes, brings in Nazi mind-control, the Illuminati, the cosmos, and Renaissance art. He was, as ever, trying to see if he could save the world. And he almost certainly had websites like PowerThoughtsMeditationClub.com in his browser bookmarks.
Continue reading at Noisey.