WILLOW talks racism in the rock scene
WILLOW recently met NME and spoke about the racism she has witnessed in the rock music scene. She recalls being introduced to the world of rock music through her mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, who led Wicked Wisdom in the early 2000s. She watched her mother perform live and subsequently saw her be victim of racist and sexist abuse.
“She showed me what a woman really is,” said WILLOW. “There are literally no words to describe having to stand up in front of people who literally hated her, every night. She did it with so much grace and power. And with every show, she them. conquered.
“At the end of the show, people calling him racial slurs and throwing things at him were like, ‘Actually, they kinda blew up.’ It was totally worth it.
WILLOW’s latest album, lately I feel EVERYTHING showed another musical facet of the artist. While WILLOW’s previous albums were more R&B focused, this new album is encrusted with pop-punk sounds. It features Travis Barker and Avril Lavigne, who WILLOW describes as “pop-punk royalty”. She notes that she was influenced by bands like blink-182, My Chemical Romance and Paramore, who actually bullied her in school, according to an interview with V.
“My mom did her thing, like so many other beautiful black women, like Straight Line Stitch’s Alexis White,” WILLOW continued. “[The album]it’s not about proving anything; it’s about perpetuating the legacy.
It took WILLOW until his fourth studio album to really get into rock sound. When asked why the wait, she explained, “For a very long time, I just didn’t feel like I was up to it.”
“I had so much respect for the rock genre, but I wasn’t sure if I could give it exactly what it needed,” she says. “I was trained very specifically as an R&B singer and had seen my mom scream and do so perfectly.”
Acknowledging “a certain level of reckless abandonment” in rock, WILLOW says, “I think the extent of oppression that every minority in America has historically suffered, that puts something in us that makes us want to growl a little and shout.
“I think pop-punk is a very beautiful expression of that,” she added.
WILLOW is scheduled to open for Billie Eilish on a number of U.S. shows on the Happier than ever world tour next year.
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