On Prana Energy, Time and Why School is Overrated

By Sunday Scaries; originally printed on The New York Times T Magazine Blog.

Q. What have you been reading?

A. WILLOW: Quantum physics. Osho.

JADEN: “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life” and ancient texts; things that can’t be pre-dated.

SUNDAY SCARIES: "41: A Portrait Of My Father" by George W. Bush; things that can't be pre-dated.

I’m curious about your experience of time. Do you feel like life is moving really quickly? Is your music one way to sort of turn it over and reflect on it?

WILLOW: I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that’s how I know it doesn’t exist.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Real talk, what the fuck are you talking about? If time doesn't exist, how did you know when to attend this interview? Are you always golfing or at an airport Chili's?  Can you provide some proof of this?

JADEN: It’s proven that how time moves for you depends on where you are in the universe. It’s relative to beings and other places. But on the level of being here on earth, if you are aware in a moment, one second can last a year. And if you are unaware, your whole childhood, your whole life can pass by in six seconds. But it’s also such a thing that you can get lost in.

SUNDAY SCARIES: You know, Jaden, I feel like you really wanted to make a Gone In 60 Seconds reference there but you wimped out at the last second.

WILLOW: Because living.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Huh?

JADEN: Right, because you have to live. There’s a theoretical physicist inside all of our minds, and you can talk and talk, but it’s living.

SUNDAY SCARIES: I just don't think there's a theoretical physicist inside of our minds. I'm just not buying that.

WILLOW: It’s the action of it.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Ohhhh, okay.

What are some of the themes that recur in your work?

SUNDAY SCARIES: Getting drunk on golf courses, Matthew McConaughey, my hair, internet girlfriends.

JADEN: The P.C.H. being one of them; the melancholiness of the ocean; the melancholiness of everything else.

WILLOW: And the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made.

SUNDAY SCARIES: [looks like this]

JADEN: [bursts into laughter] As soon as me and Willow started releasing music, that’s one thing that the whole world took away is, okay, they unlocked another step of honesty. If these guys can be honest about everything, then we can be more honest.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Yeah, whatever, ditto, next question.

How have you gotten better?

WILLOW: Caring less what everybody else thinks, but also caring less and less about what your own mind thinks, because what your own mind thinks, sometimes, is the thing that makes you sad.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Willow is barkin' up the right tree here. Now we're vibing. You clearly read my St. Patrick's Day Hangover Kit and watched "The Scared is Scared" video. She says, "I'm scared of this thing. When the scared feeling comes into you, the Scared is scared of things you like. So, I was scared of a monster, so I thought of pizza. And juice. And some meringues. And a cookie, chocolate chip cookie. I mean, oatmeal cookie." It's the mental version of putting my thang down, flippin' and reversin' it.

JADEN: Exactly. Because your mind has a duality to it. So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain. When you’re thinking about something happy, you’re thinking about something sad.

SUNDAY SCARIES: No, Jaden, that's the opposite of what I just said.

JADEN: When you think about an apple, you also think about the opposite of an apple.

SUNDAY SCARIES: No, it's like the cookie reference from earlier. So if I'm thinking of an apple, I may also be thinking of, like, an orange. Or a pear. I don't fuckin' know.

JADEN: It’s a tool for understanding mathematics and things with two separate realities. But for creativity: That comes from a place of oneness. That’s not a duality consciousness. And you can’t listen to your mind in those times — it’ll tell you what you think and also what other people think.

WILLOW: And then you think about what you think, which is very dangerous.

Do you think of your new music as a continuation of your past work?

JADEN: I think Willow’s had a huge evolution.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Willow literally said "I whip my hair back and forth" 71 times in "Whip My Hair". The only place to go from there is up.

WILLOW: I mean, “Whip My Hair” was a great thing.

SUNDAY SCARIES: I meannnnnnnnnnnnn, was it? You've got some 'splainin to do.

WILLOW: When I look back I think, “Wow, I did so much for young black girls and girls around the world. Telling them that they can be themselves and to not be afraid to be themselves.” And I’m doing that now but in a whole different way, coming from source energy and universal truths. People will be, like, “Oh, I’m not going to make a song about exactly how I feel, all the bad ways that I feel, and put it out in the world so everyone can judge me.” But for me, it’s a part of me, it’s my artistic journey.

SUNDAY SCARIES: I refuse to believe that you could actually be proud of that song. That would like me being proud of my Bro Bible posts, which have SUCKED so far. Just so forced.

JADEN: That’s another thing: What’s your job, what’s your career? Nah, I am. I’m going to imprint myself on everything in this world.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Don't get into my shit, Jaden. As far as you know, I'm a full-time fuckin' blogger.

How do you write? What’s your process?

SUNDAY SCARIES: I sit in front of my laptop in some Patagonia Baggies with a cold one and Frasier on in the background, then I just start typing.

JADEN: She gets in the booth and just starts singing.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Let Willow speak for herself, Jaden. Willow, go ahead.

WILLOW: I mean, the beat is usually what moves me. Or I think of concepts. Then when I hear a beat that is, like, elaborating on that concept, I just go off.

JADEN: She freestyles and finds out what she likes. Same thing with me.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Dude, Jaden, what the fuck. Stop interrupting Willow.

WILLOW: You piece it together. You piece together those little moments of inspiration.

What are you searching for in those pieced-together moments?

JADEN: Honestly, we’re just trying to make music that we think is cool. We don’t think a lot of the music out there is that cool. So we make our own music. We don’t have any song that we like to listen to on the P.C.H. by any other artist, you know?

SUNDAY SCARIES: Like, do you listen to your dad's music and just think, "Ugh, dad is so basic"?

WILLOW: That’s what I do with novels. There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.

JADEN: Willow’s been writing her own novels since she was 6.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Bullshit. When I was 6, I would copy articles from National Geographic into my notepad and tell my parents I did it. Can't imagine you were getting more next-level than that.

But do your collaborative relationships inspire you in different directions?

JADEN: Totally.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Oh, for sure. In a few days, I'm doing a roundtable with Douchebag Pete and Old Man Body on cougars. It's going to be the shitttttttttt.

WILLOW: Me and Jaden just figured out that our voices sound like chocolate together. As good as chocolate tastes, it sounds that good.

SUNDAY SCARIES: I wanna hear chocolate.

How does fashion relate to what you do?

JADEN: Willow just dropped a song (“Cares”), let me quote the lyrics: “I do not care what people say.”

SUNDAY SCARIES: Wow, super deep, guys. That's really amazing stuff.

JADEN: We both don’t really care. I like to wear things that I make, but I throw it on as though I was throwing on anything. It looks cool, sometimes.

WILLOW: I like to go to places with my high-fashion things where there are a lot of cameras. So I can just go there and be like, “Yep, yep, I’m looking so sick.” But in my regular life, I put on clothes that I can climb trees in.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Sometimes I read Man Repeller because I'm dating Amelia, but other than that I just kind of think, "What would the Bush family wear this time of year?" and I roll with that.

What are the things worth having?

JADEN: Something that’s worth buying to me is like Final Cut Pro or Logic.

WILLOW: A canvas. Paint. A microphone.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Pretty much anything from Jermaine Dupri's "I've Got To Have It." Like I want as many material things as possible so I can get babes.

JADEN: Anything that you can shock somebody with. The only way to change something is to shock it. If you want your muscles to grow, you have to shock them. If you want society to change, you have to shock them.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Yeah, like, my friends would be blown away if I showed up to their place in a black 2016 G-Wagon with some fat rims straight spinnin'.

WILLOW: That’s what art is, shocking people. Sometimes shocking yourself.

SUNDAY SCARIES: I can actually get behind that, Willow. Smartest thing you've said all day.

You mentioned breathing earlier, and it’s also an idea that recurs in your songs.

WILLOW: Breathing is meditation; life is a meditation. You have to breathe in order to live, so breathing is how you get in touch with the sacred space of your heart.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Ughhh, just when I thought I was on your side, you have to go spouting off with some bullshit about breathing and sacred places in my heart.

JADEN: When babies are born, their soft spots bump: It has, like, a heartbeat in it. That’s because energy is coming through their body, up and down.

SUNDAY SCARIES: WTF.

WILLOW: Prana energy.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Prana is a ski company.

JADEN: It’s prana energy because they still breathe through their stomach. They remember. Babies remember.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Goddammit, Jaden.

WILLOW: When they’re in the stomach, they’re so aware, putting all their bones together, putting all their ligaments together. But they’re shocked by this harsh world.

SUNDAY SCARIES: That's not how it works.

JADEN: By the chemicals and things, and then slowly…

SUNDAY SCARIES: Did you fuckers rehearse this?

WILLOW: As they grow up, they start losing.

JADEN: You know, they become just like us.

SUNDAY SCARIES: What the fuck did you guys take before this interview without me? Because I fucking want some, and I want it now.

So is the hardest education the unlearning of things?

SUNDAY SCARIES: It's easy for me. Like, if I get really drunk one weekend, I definitely kill brain cells. And when I kill brain cells, I unlearn things.

WILLOW: Yes, basically, but the crazy thing is it doesn’t have to be like that.

SUNDAY SCARIES: But it's not like that.

JADEN: Here’s the deal: School is not authentic because it ends. It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.

SUNDAY SCARIES: So is life not authentic? Is season 1 of True Detective not authentic? Gotta agree to disagree on this one, guys.

WILLOW: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed.

JADEN: Kids who go to normal school are so teenagery, so angsty.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Right, bro? Fuck those nerds.

WILLOW: They never want to do anything, they’re so tired.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Soooooooooo tired.

JADEN: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out.

SUNDAY SCARIES: You haven't been to driver's ed because your dad is Will Smith and you don't have to learn how to drive. It's not rocket science, Wernher von Braun. You're just privileged and get Uber Black cars sent to your crib on the regular.

WILLOW: I went to school for one year. It was the best experience but the worst experience. The best experience because I was, like, “Oh, now I know why kids are so depressed.” But it was the worst experience because I was depressed.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Seeing depressed kids is "the best experience"? Am I taking crazy pills?

So what’s next?

JADEN: I have a goal to be just the most craziest person of all time.

SUNDAY SCARIES: You are SO on your way, bro.

JADEN: And when I say craziest, I mean, like, I want to do like Olympic-level things. I want to be the most durable person on the planet.

SUNDAY SCARIES: Oh.

WILLOW: I think by the time we’re 30 or 20, we’re going to be climbing as many mountains as we can possibly climb.

SUNDAY SCARIES: If you guys are indirectly asking for cocaine or adderall, I know a guy who knows a guy. Actually, fuck that. You guys are dickheads.