Even before his audition officially aired on the show, Alejandro Aranda was making a splash on American Idol. A preview clip of him performing an original song called “Out Loud” on guitar was called “the greatest American Idol audition ever” by the show.
Whether you agree with that declaration or not, this 24-year-old dishwasher from Poloma, Calif., has definitely impressed both the judges and plenty of viewers at home. During Hollywood Week, the judges actually threw their clothes at him after his performance of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Katy Perry later said they’re “lucky” he’s on the show.
Now that Alejandro Aranda has made it into the Top 40, let’s take a look at 10 more facts about this rising star.
1. Alejandro Aranda is also known as ScaryPoolParty.
You can find him by this name on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. He’s most active on Instagram, where he frequently posts videos of himself performing original music. His YouTube video for “Out Loud,” however, has over half a million views already.
Alejandro apparently created this persona after attending a party and deciding to pursue music. He’s only been playing music for a few years now, and was inspired by a band called Backtrack.
2. He was a college journalist.
Alejandro has an author page on The Sundial, the college newspaper for the California State University, Northridge. From 2016 to 2017, he appears to have written articles about everything from protests and campus activism to student Halloween costumes. An online portfolio shows some of his photography and states that he majored in journalism at CSUN.
3. He won a college music contest in 2017.
Alejandro was named Artist of the Year by CSUN and Five of Five Entertainment in a contest that has been held annually for over 20 years.
“The amount of energy in the room was beyond amazing,” Alejandro told The Sundial of performing for the contest. “It made me happy to know how music can change people.”
“I just hope I gain more passion from music,” he added. “I hope to keep growing and learning until I get old.”
4. His inspiration for songs comes from real life.
During Hollywood Week, Alejandro performed an original song called “10 Years” that he said he wrote about someone he cares about. He recently posted on Instagram that he wrote another song “for a girl….like always.”
The songs he performed for CSUN’s contest were personal in nature as well. One reportedly dealt with divorce. Perhaps that’s why his music resonates with so many people.
5. He’s also a talented piano player.
It’s easy to see that Alejandro is an extremely talented guitar player. But he also briefly showed off his piano skills during his audition. The judges asked him to play another song, and he sat down at the keys to perform “Cholo Love.”
You can see more of Alejandro’s awesome piano-playing on his YouTube channel and his Instagram account.
6. Alejandro appeared on Conan in 2018.
This past year, Alejandro has performed with an artist called Twin Shadow. Last July, he played in his band on an episode of Conan O’Brien’s talk show. You can see him in the background of the above video, although you may not recognize him in that cowboy hat.
Alejandro recently posted on Instagram Stories that the musician, whose real name is George Lewis Jr., helped him a lot with his music journey. George apparently gave Alejandro equipment like a laptop and microphone
and “asked nothing in return.” He called him “a true homie.”
7. He’s a fan of Japanese anime.
At least, he seems to be based on his Instagram account. Many of the videos he posts of his music include clips from anime. This includes titles such as Eureka Seven and 5 Centimeters per Second. The combination of his unique sound with the animation is really cool.
8. He’s hung out with Beck.
Alejandro rubs shoulders with the famous judges every week on American Idol, but they’re not the only stars he’s met. His time with Twin Shadow has given him the opportunity to hang out with some pretty cool people, including Grammy-winning artist Beck.
Check out the photo of them together above, and note Alejandro’s Garth Brooks T-shirt. Maybe we’ll see him cover the country star on the show.
9. He’s friends with a lot of his fellow Idol contestants.
Alejandro follows many of his fellow American Idol hopefuls on Instagram, and some of them have posted videos or pictures of them hanging out. In the above clip, he and fellow Top 40 contestant Logan Johnson have a jam session on their guitars at Aulani in Hawaii.
10. You can listen Alejandro Aranda’s music on Spotify.
If you can’t get enough of Alejandro’s original songs “Out Loud” and “10 Years,” you can listen to them whenever you want on Spotify. His songs “Fading Away” and “Thinking of You” are also available. So go forth and enjoy while you’re waiting for his next Idol performance.