DiscoverWhere R.A. Now?Season 2; Ep. 9 AJ Smith ‘11 - ‘13 (Third North) with cohost Doraian Givens (Lafayette)
Season 2; Ep. 9 AJ Smith ‘11 - ‘13 (Third North) with cohost Doraian Givens (Lafayette)

Season 2; Ep. 9 AJ Smith ‘11 - ‘13 (Third North) with cohost Doraian Givens (Lafayette)

Update: 2019-10-20



in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, AJ Smith has taken a rather

unconventional path for an Indie/Pop singer-songwriter.

After all, not many can claim to have served as a Young Associate

Violinist to the National Symphony Orchestra while simultaneously

serving as an Engineer and Infrared Systems Developer for the U.S.

Naval Research high school. But Smith's dual passions

for organic music and technology started early and with a reckless

abandon that led him to run away from home at the age of 3 for the

sole purpose of listening to piano lessons down the street. His

parents finally realized that these escapades would only stop once

Smith himself, still only 3-years-old at the time, was allowed to

learn how to play the piano. And shortly after that, despite having

limited music knowledge, Smith was stealing both of his parents' tape

players, figuring out how to effectively multitrack & record early

compositions (while haphazardly recording over some of his parents'

favorite cassette tapes in the process).

The trend continued and, never shy about seizing opportunities or

facing challenges, Smith’s diverse passions and healthy obsessions led

him on a genre-crossing journey. While learning piano and violin in

rigorous classical settings, Smith's musical palette continuously

sought new sounds, leading him to serve as the drummer/vocalist in his

middle school Punk/Screamo band, electric guitarist in a Rock duo, and

even the lead fiddler in the regionally touring Bluegrass/Gospel band

The Circuit Riders. Oh, and all of this was while he was programming

and selling games to his friends for their calculators.

Eventually, Smith would turn down scholarships to some of the top

engineering programs in the country in order to pursue the study of

music at New York University. With scholarships from the Songwriters

Hall of Fame and Carole Bayer Sager Foundation, Smith was able to

pursue a degree in songwriting and it was there where he found

life-changing mentors in the late Glenn Frey and hit songwriter Phil

Galdston, self-released his first EP “Dragons in the Sky”, had a #3

hit in Australia with “Summertime”, opened for The Eagles at the

Beacon Theatre, performed in the off-Broadway and West End hit Close

to You: Burt Bacharach Reimagined, learned some more instruments (he

plays 10 now), and graduated with one of America’s first Masters

Degrees in Songwriting.

Smith collaborated with GRAMMY-winner producer Scott Jacoby (John

Legend, Vampire Weekend) for his 2016 single & EP “Brooklyn Nights”,

which received airplay on Z100, Eagle 97.7 and DC101 (where DJ Mike

Jones compared the track to fun.’s “We Are Young”). He’s opened for

Lindsey Stirling and Emily Kinney, and performed at Milwaukee

Summerfest and Bethlehem MusikFest.

Now nearly 2,000 miles away from where his musical journey began,

Smith makes his home in a city with a different sort of breathtaking

view - New York. And all of his experiences are apparent in his unique

Pop sound: an orchestrated blend of acoustic and electronic

instruments, informed by Classical, Rock, Folk, Theatre and more. His

continued wiz-kid love of technology that once had him building

infrared sensors for the U.S. Navy now enables him to build out custom

rigs for his one-man live shows that are a spectacle of showmanship,

featuring Smith on a revolving multitude of instruments all at once.

Be sure to stay in touch to see Smith's next live show!

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Season 2; Ep. 9 AJ Smith ‘11 - ‘13 (Third North) with cohost Doraian Givens (Lafayette)

Season 2; Ep. 9 AJ Smith ‘11 - ‘13 (Third North) with cohost Doraian Givens (Lafayette)

Tom Ellett