Who is the AcE? You may not recognise him now but this isn't the first time you've seen Trey Smith, otherwise known by his stage name AcE. We first caught a glimpse of the DJ and music producer as a six-year-old in his father's hit music video Just the Two of Us in 1998. Trey is the eldest son of A-list actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter Will Smith from his first marriage to Sheree Fletcher.
Trey hasn't been in the public eye as much as his two half siblings, Jaden and Willow Smith. And that isn't for a lack of talent. Trey was more focused on school growing up, where he was a star football player and was even offered a sporting scholarship. Not surprisingly, with an ear for music and a love of performing he decided to pursue a career in the music industry instead.
AcE was in Dubai recently to film his new production The World Keeps Spinning. The 30-minute travelogue will follow him on a global journey, where AcE immerses himself in a new region in search of inspiration, growth, and cultural exchange. AcE spent a week exploring Dubai just as the National Day festivities were about to kick off.
"I am honoured and I am blessed for this opportunity," he says, "we are taking the world on a journey with us. We are taking the world on a musical, primarily fashion, culture, food journey. For all the people that don't have the opportunity or the means to get to the places or do the things that they want to do, we want those people to be with us on the show and just be inspired."
We caught up with AcE at the Noir Club in the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates a few days before he was set to perform there. Passionate, articulate and down to earth, he told us about his love for music, future plans and his responsibilities as a performer.
How would you title yourself and what you do?
I'm a producer first. That's where I started, that's where I was birthed. I've been producing, coming up to 7 years now. And I always remember it cause I've been DJing three years less than I've been producing. I've been DJing for about 4 years. I would say I'm a producer first then a DJ.
So what do you enjoy about producing versus being a DJ?
Well, I absolutely love both. DJing is blending work that has been done in the studio and the work in the studio is what you want people to hear in the clubs and the world. To be able to create a song, this is the first time I had trouble grasping that it's such a blessing. Just to be able to create the music, to create that one record, that's just going to save everyone's life in the club.
What do you enjoy about performing?
I really enjoy it and I'm still learning, I'm not going to lie. Like growing in this direction of my life and DJing, it's definitely been a lot of work. I think the most important thing in DJing is that you're there to give people a service in a sense. You're there to change lives. That's how I look at it. I can't speak for anybody else, but you know when I'm up there, it's about the people. Like, period. It's all about how they feel, where they want to go and I'm just going to do my absolute best to take them in that direction.
Can you tell us where the name AcE came from?
The other part of my life (laughs). I love music but the biggest passion that I think I've ever had in my life is I have been a video game fiend. I'm a huge Xbox fan so my Xbox gamer tag had AcE in it. So I don't even know how I came up with that. You know, AcE to me means, virtuoso and more than what the dictionary definition of what ace and virtuoso mean, to me I'm AcE because I strive to be that.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I want to be playing festivals and big clubs, consistently, because of the incredible records I've released. With music I really want to have 10 or 20 thousand records.
I'm sure I'm exaggerating, I'm excited! (laughs) But yeah, if I can, it's really just strive, if you're not going to strive to be the best, for me personally, then there's no point in doing it.
What's on your play list right now?
It's actually funny. The music that I play in clubs, I lean more towards house, hip- hop, R&B little bit of pop, dub step. Everything, old stuff, new stuff, but genre wise, those are the ones I stick to.
I've been listening to a lot of chilled, down tempo stuff lately. I'm really into the vibey records that I wouldn't necessarily play in the club, but records I can zone out to and just relax, be in my head, think.
What do you like to do when you aren't working?
When I'm not working, I'm usually doing something with video games. So, I guess I'm always working. What I'm doing right now is I'm trying not to look at everything I do as work. I think I get that from my father. I'm trying to really find the fun in everything.
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