Who Is Alejandro Aranda, aka ScaryPoolParty?
Alejandro Aranda took over American Idol and is on the rise. Many have called him a musical genius. This humble Pomona, California-born guitarist, pianist, electronic producer, and former dishwasher might be one of the best new musicians of the year.
Interesting Facts About Alejandro Aranda
- He's been called a "musical genius" and a "virtuoso."
- His artist name is "ScaryPoolParty."
- He's influenced by many musical genres.
- He won 2017 artist of the year.
- Backtrack convinced him of the power of music.
- He's only been playing music for four years.
- He busked for extra cash.
- He takes interest in anime.
- He's humble.
- He's hard-working.
- He claims to be the most boring guy in the world.
11 Facts About Alejandro Aranda
1. He's been called a "musical genius" and a "virtuoso."
Yes, you read that right. Many have been blown away by Alejandro's versatility. He first comes off as a humble John Mayer/Jack Johnson-type with his soothing voice and intricate playing, but when he sits down at a piano, he plays like Chopin. He even brought something fresh to the American Idol stage when he did a Drake cover.
2. His artist name is ScaryPoolParty.
Check him out as "ScaryPoolParty" on Instagram, Spotify, and Soundcloud. For a more diverse taste of what Alejandro is capable of with his talent, you can listen to some of his originals and form your own opinion. Be sure to check out "Ten Years," "Fading Away," and "Out Loud." His stage name, "ScaryPoolParty," is said to have originated from the moment he realized his career was in music (after attending a pool party).
3. He's influenced by many musical genres.
Alejandro is an appreciator of the musical greats (classical composers like Chopin and Bach), but he also draws his influence from Backtrack, Nine Inch Nails, Dead Can Dance, and John Martyn. So far, he's performed Cold Play's "Yellow," Post Malone's "I Fall Apart," Drake's "One Dance," and Ben Harper's "There Will Be a Light." But you should also check out his original songs below.
4. He won 2017 artist of the year.
Five of Five Entertainment and California State University at Northridge (Pomona, California) puts on an "Artist of the Year" competition. Alejandro won 2017 artist of the year by popular vote.
5. Backtrack convinced him of the power of music.
It's been rumored that, while attending a Backtrack concert (an American hardcore punk band), he witness the power of music and the emotional effect it has on others. Since having an epiphany at a pool party (when he realized that he needed to become a musician) he adopted the stage name "ScaryPoolParty" and never looked back.
6. He's only been playing music for four years.
As of 2019, he has only been playing music for four years. That means he started when he was 20. Watch the video for the song "Blesser," and you'll understand why people are calling him a virtuoso. His speed and fluency on the piano will make you think he's been playing for many more years than he has.
7. He busked for extra cash.
Like a lot of great undiscovered talent, Alejandro would invest his free time in busking for extra cash. He was a warehouse worker and dishwasher, and would play both piano and guitar on the street outside of his regular work for hours.
8. He takes interest in anime.
Many of his Instagram videos are synced to anime sequences. If you're interested in checking out his visual artistry, search for his handle "ScaryPoolParty." It will give you a better idea of his creative flavor. He takes us on a ride from technical and punchy to morose and delicate. Enjoy!
Did You Know?
Ben Harper heard Alejandro playing in his music shop, and while he'd normally not come on a TV show like American Idol, he did it because he said Alejandro is the next great! Not to mention, they grew up in the same county.
9. He's humble.
His demeanor has been celebrated many times. In fact, Lionel Richie added that his humility is one of the incredible things about Alejandro—he has no idea how good he is! It is obvious at times that Alejandro can be self-critical. He thinks seriously about his performance. When asked if he is the next American Idol by Katy Perry, he acts unsure and instead compliments the competition, saying, “there are a lot of great singers competing."
10. He's hard-working.
Katy Perry asks Alejandro in his audition, "What makes you special?" Instead of him boasting about all of his accomplishments or telling us about how he has lived his life for music, he simply states, "I'm hard-working." He's definitely shown that to be true!
11. He claims to be the most boring guy in the world.
He claims to be the most boring guy in the world. He claims his two passions are playing music and eating. He doesn't party and he doesn't do drugs.
FAQs About Alejandro Aranda
Everything You Need to Know About Him
- Where is he from? Pomona, California (Southern California)
- When was he born? August 11, 1994
- What is his stage name? ScaryPoolParty
- What instruments does he play? Guitar, piano/keys, looper
- Most Popular Songs: "Blesser," "10 Years," "Fading Away," "Out Loud," "Cholo Love," and "Poison"
- Who are his heroes? Trent Rezner, Chopin, and Bach.
Alejandro Aranda is a young dishwasher from Pomona, Southern California. Amazingly, he only picked up music seriously four years ago. He was also homeschooled. He's been touted as one of the greatest American Idol contestants of all time, and even artists like Stevie Nicks and Ben Harper have praised him.
Alejandro grew up working a variety of jobs as a dishwasher, fast food worker, and warehouse worker. That said, in his free time, he was always busking in the streets of Pomona, CA. Music went from being therapeutic to being his lifelong inspiration.
I think you're the winner. I think you're really special. I think you're an absolute genius."— Katy Perry (Talking About Alejandro Aranda)
On Losing American Idol to Laine Hardy...
Many consider this a blessing. Although he finished as runner-up, his fan base was glad for him. Many were concerned that a contract with American Idol would stunt his artistic freedom. Even Katy Perry said, "[Idol's] more about karaoke than musicianship." Rumor has it that he's been offered numerous record label deals. So, what's his next move? He's going on tour.
I feel like I'm in the presence of greatness. I've just never seen anything like that. It has totally rocked my world. It's like watching my favorite movie that I did not want to end.— Luke Bryan (Talking About Alejandro Aranda)
What Makes Him Sound Different?
Alejandro uses C tuning to tune his guitar. This means the guitar is tuned two whole steps lower than the standard tuning. He uses the lower notes for melodies when he plays piano. He also incorporates diminished passing chords into his pop sound, which is unusual. It's possible that he does this as a result of his multicultural background and early musical influence. He's also an amazing lyricist and songwriter. One of his best talents is his ability to tell a story. His songs are so deep, many of us wonder, who broke his heart?
I think my escape from everything is music. I'm not going to neglect the things I love to do.— Alejandro
How Did He Get Popular?
Alejandro got his visibility on ABC's American Idol in 2019, when he humbly auditioned on both guitar and piano for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. It was clear from his first audition that there is still so much more to him as a musician than we are ready for. Lionel Richie added, "You, my friend are so talented... I'm so inspired." Lionel likened Alejandro's audition to the moment he first saw Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder perform live in a room—it was simply captivating.
We're the lucky ones. We're the lucky ones because the universe chose this time to bring you in front of America. You have such a career and the fact that you don't know it makes it even more special. There's nothing like you my friend."— Lionel Richie (Talking About Alejandro Aranda)
Stevie Nicks' Prophecy
On March 6th, 2019, singer Stevie Nicks had a prophecy about Alejandro Aranda at the start of the competition, saying:
Last night on American Idol (day off), I was just ready to push 'Guide' for the next hour and on walked this quiet soft-spoken guy and something about him said 'Don’t change the channel.' When he started to play the first chords—I started to cry—I cried all through his guitar song and all through his piano song.
My prophecy: he will play and sing across the great stages of the world. He will play with 60-piece orchestras and he will play alone. I felt, as did the judges, that I was suspended in some sort of magical grace that was just simply overwhelming. My tears did not stop until he stopped.
So, Alejandro, let me welcome you to the grand stage that will be your home for the rest of your extraordinary life—
On May 19, that prophecy was fulfilled. Alejandro performed with an orchestra. Alejandro clearly got emotional towards the end of his performance of "Remember."
Does He Have a Girlfriend?
For all the people out there crushing on Alejandro, it's uncertain whether he's dating. But he has had his heart broken! On his Instagram account, he even dedicates some of his music to his emotions surrounding the love (the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend) who left him and broke his heart. So, maybe he's single after all?
Q: What would be your superpower?
A: To fly. 'Cause I think traveling is awesome.
Q: What are your irrational fears?
A: Elevators, crowds of people, planes, I'm afraid of spiders, and yeah, I can keep going.
Q: If you could learn any new instrument, what would it be?
A: A sitar.— From His American Idol Q&A
What's His Family Like?
Many have been curious to know about Alejandro's family. While we know his hometown is Pomona, and he has huge support there, he's done a good job of keeping his family out of the limelight. When it came to American Idol's Mother's Day performances, whereas most of the contestants featured their mom, dad, and siblings, Alejandro elected to honor his mentor and musician friend, Twin Shadow.
Twin Shadow is known in the music community for his diverse sound and experimental compositions. So, Alejandro, inspired by and grateful for the mentorship and collaborations, rightfully dedicated his song to Twin Shadow.
His Career After American Idol
Alejandro's hometown of Pomona, California, chose to honor the musician by declaring May 19, 2019, "Alejandro Aranda Day." Aranda went on a seven-date U.S. tour in July. After tickets went on sale on the morning of May 23, they all sold out in minutes. American Idol judge Katy Perry jokingly begged Aranda to be a "roadie" on his tour. Because of the overwhelming amount of support, he announced on June 11 that he would put on a free concert in Nashville on July 3, 2019. On June 23, Aranda announced that he was working on a new album, and on June 24, he announced he would go on a 28-stop tour from October 10 to November 21. He also performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, and at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October 2019. He will be one of the supporting acts for Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on their fourth annual destination tour in Mexico in February 2020.
He released the single "Tonight" under the name Scarypoolparty on June 28, 2019, after signing with Hollywood Records. The song was co-written and co-produced by Twin Shadow. On August 7, he released the ballad "Cholo Love." On October 4, 2019, he released the single "Diamonds."
On November 5, he announced his debut album, Exit Form, which was released on November 22, 2019. It looks like his career is only going up!
Should He Have Won "American Idol?"
Do you think Alejandro Aranda should have won "American Idol?"
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© 2019 Layne Holmes