Who Is Alejandro Aranda?
Everything You Need to Know About Alejandro Aranda
- Where is he from? Pomona, California (Southern California)
- How old is he? 24 years old
- What is his stage name? ScaryPoolParty
- What instruments does he play? Guitar, piano/keys, looping, misc.
- Songs: "Blesser" "10 Years" "Fading Away" "Out Loud" "Cholo Love" "Poison"
Alejandro Aranda is a 24-year-old dishwasher from Pomona, Southern California. Amazingly, he only picked up music seriously 4 years ago and was homeschooled. He's been touted as one of the greatest American Idol contestant 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, in fast food, and in warehouses, but he was always busking in the streets of Pomona, CA, in his free time. Music went from being his therapy to being his lifelong inspiration.
Who's Your Hero?
Trent Rezner, Chopin, and Bach.
Alejandro Performing Live at a Backyard Party 2019 (Sofar Sounds)
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 as many were concerned that a contract with idol would stunt his artistic freedom. Even Katy Perry said it—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.
Tickets to Alejandro's shows have been selling out in seconds! Fans noted that the July 13th San Francisco event at the Swedish American Hall (200–300 person venue) sold out in seconds. Staff reported that 6,000 fans tried to log on at exactly 10 am when the tickets went up for sale.
He's been redeveloping his artistic image and even offering "free" concerts to his fans in a gesture of appreciation. His tour dates for 2019 are as follows:
2019 Tour Dates
- July 10, Sonia - Cambridge, MA
- July 11, Subterranean - Chicago, IL
- July 13, Swedish American Hall - San Francisco, CA
- July 15, Moroccan Lounge - Los Angeles, CA
- Oct 10, The UC Theatre - Berkeley, CA
- Oct 11, Ace of Spaces - Sacramento, CA
- Oct 13, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
- Oct 14, The Neptune Theatre - Seattle, WA
- Oct 16, The Depot - Salt Lake City, UT
- Oct 18, Belly Up Aspen - Aspen, CO
- Oct 19, Fox Theatre - Boulder CO
- Oct 21, The Truman - Kansas City, MO
- Oct 22, First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
- Oct 23, Vic Theatre - Chicago, IL
- Oct 25, Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
- Oct 26, House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
- Oct 28, Playstation Theater - New York, NY
- Oct 29, Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
- Oct 30, Royale Boston - Boston, MA
- Nov 1, Baltimore Soundstage - Baltimore, MD
- Nov 3, Jefferson Theater - Charlottesville, VA
Alejandro Aranda's Tuning: What Makes Him Sound Different
Alejandro uses C tuning to tune his guitar. This means the guitar is tuned down two whole steps lower than the standard tuning. He uses the lower notes for melodies when he plays piano and also incorporates diminished passing chords into his pop sound which is unusual—possibly a result of his multi-cultural background and early musical influence. He's also an amazing lyricist and songwriter. One of this best talents is his style of story-telling through song. His songs are so deep, many of us wonder, so 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
Alejandro "Remember" Backed by Full Orchestra on American Idol
Why We Love Alejandro Aranda
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, but it was clear from his first audition that there is so much more to him as a musician than we are even 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.
Stevie Nicks' Prophecy
Singer Stevie Nicks had a prophecy about Alejandro Aranda from the start of the competition, and on May 19 that prophecy was fulfilled. Alejandro performed with an orchestra (dressed in black beanies—French horns and all). Alejandro clearly got emotional towards the end of his performance of "Remember." This is what Stevie Nicks wrote on March 6th, 2019:
"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~
Video: "Blesser" ScaryPoolParty—Alejandro on Piano Live
Video: Alejandro's American Idol Version of "Blesser"
10 Interesting 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 with looping and vocals.
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.
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
Alejandro Sings His Original "Poison" Live on American Idol
Bonus: 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?
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 checkout his original below, "Blesser."
4. He won 2017 artist of the year.
Five of Five Entertainment and California State University at Northridge (Pomona, Calif.) 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 affect it has on others. Since attending a pool party and having an epiphany—that his future is in music—he adopted the stage name "ScaryPoolParty" and never looked back.
I think you're the winner. I think you're really special. I think you're an absolute genius."— Katy Perry
Video: Alejandro Aranda & Ben Harper Duet "There Will Be a Light"
Ben 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.
6. He's only been playing music for 4 years.
As of 2019, he has only been playing music for 4 years. That means he started when he was 20. Watch the video, "Blesser," above, 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 years.
7. He busked for extra cash.
Like a lot of great undiscovered talent, Alejandro would invest his free time in busking for extra cash. As a worker in a warehouse, a "dishwasher," he'd play both piano and guitar on the street outside of his regular work 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!
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
Video: Alejandro Aranda Debuts His Original "Cholo Love"
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 how there's 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 all of his accomplishments or telling us how he has lived his life for music, he simply states, "I'm hard working." And has he shown it!
Alejandro Aranda's Family: Who Are They?
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 is 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.
More Alejandro Aranda Trivia From Interviews
He claims to be the most boring guy in the world, he claims his two passionate are playing music and eating—he doesn't party and he doesn't do drugs.
From His American Idol Q&A
- 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."
Video: Watch His Audition
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2019 Layne Holmes