In April 2021, Willow Smith released the first single from her upcoming album. The pop-rock song was called “Transparent Soul”. The song features the former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. In fact, the music video already has over a million views on YouTube.
Moreover, Willow discussed touring with her mom and working alongside her early-aughts hero, Avril Lavigne on W Magazine’s Music Issue.
“You’re a true multihyphenate, acting alongside your father, Will Smith, and appearing as a cohost on Red Table Talk with your mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, and your grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris. But you’ve forged your own path with music: After your breakout hit, the 2010 banger “Whip My Hair,” you switched to soulful, experimental alt-R and B, and even shoegaze. Now you’re making a pop-punk rock album. What led you in this new direction?“, the interviewer asked.
“I always wanted to do a metal album, because my mom was my inspiration as a child. I went on tour with her when I was 7 or 8 when she performed at Ozzfest with her band, Wicked Wisdom. Seeing a strong Black woman on stage singing rock was so amazing—but a lot of people weren’t happy about seeing a Black woman in that space. I saw her gracefully do her thing while so many people were being racist and sexist and just not being nice. But she handled it with such strength. She was like, “Some people are upset, but we don’t focus on that. We focus on doing our best and being strong and doing what we want to do.” Willow answered.
Willow on Choosing The Rock Genre
“I never thought I could do rock music, because I was trained since I was 8 to sing R&B. Then I was just like, You know what? Eff it. I got in the studio and started messing around. I was doing a whole bunch of demos during quarantine because I was like, I literally have nothing to do. Why not let me just see if I can actually achieve this musical vision?” she said.
Willow Speaks About Travis Baker and Avril Lavigne
Willow also spoke about her collaborations. This is what she had to say:
“I needed to get that pop-punk to cosign. First, I hit up Travis Barker, because I was like, “Yo, I know that you would kill this.” So we got in the studio together, and I let him listen to “Transparent Soul,” and he loved it; I was shaking in the studio, worried about whether he would think it was lame. Then I wanted “Grow” to sound like it was on Radio Disney in 2007, so I hit up Avril Lavigne; I wanted that 2007 Avril angst. When I heard what she did with what I sent her, I felt like I was transported back to my tween days, in the car, just screaming, ‘I don’t have to try to make you realize!’ It was beyond any joy that I could have imagined”.
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