Willow thinks her pivot back to rock music was due to her being black

Willow Smith has followed in the footsteps of her mother Jada Pinkett Smith in more ways than one.

via: Uproxx

Many years ago, Willow launched her music career with an R&B-inspired sound, first on 2010’s hit single “Whip My Hair” and then on her albums until Willow in 2019. Things have changed, however, on 2021’s Lately I Feel Everything, when Willow pursued a decidedly more rock and pop-punk aesthetic. This change worked out well for her: the album was her first to hit the Billboard 200 chart and lead single “Transparent Soul” was her first song since 2011 to appear on the Hot 100.

However, Willow says there was some hesitation about her stylistic pivot and she thinks a big reason for that is her race.

In a new Glamor UK interview, she said:

“When I wanted to do a rock album, there were a lot of executives saying, ‘Hmm.’ If I had been white, that would have been absolutely fine; but because I’m black, it’s “Well…maybe not”, and making things more difficult than necessary. […] If I pass by, all the other black artists get pushed away, [too].”

She also noted, “I like all types of music, I don’t like to lock myself into anything. I was trained to be an R&B singer, so I went in that direction, but I’ve always had a huge affinity for rock music since I was just a little bean.

Read the full interview here.