On “Chum,” Earl Sweatshirt famously rapped, “Too black for the white kids, and too white for the blacks,” and that bar from 2012 seems to accurately sum up an issue that Willow Smith dealt with while growing up. In her new exclusive interview with V Magazine, Willow offered insight into her Travis Barker-assisted single “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” and the new territory that she’ll be exploring on her upcoming rock project.
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“I’m so excited that I’m going to be having a song on the album with Avril Lavigne. She is so iconic,” the Ardipithecus artist tells the magazine. “From 13 to 16, she was my idol. It’s really nice to be able to have a quintessential pop-punk record with the pop-punk queen.”
However, Willow’s teenage love for genres like punk, rock, and metal also had its negatives aspects as well. According to Complex, Willow reveals that she was bullied in school for her alternative musical tastes.
“Being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Willow says. “Now, it’s like an added pressure of the metal culture, the metal world, and just rock in general. I used to get bullied in school for listening to Paramore and My Chemical Romance.”
“Just through the music that I’m putting out right now and the representation that I can bring to the mix,” she continues, “I just hope that the Black girls who are listening to my music and listening to this album see that there’s more of us out there. It’s a real thing, you’re not alone. You’re not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?”
Stay tuned for more updates as Willow readies her forthcoming rock-focused album.