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  • Youmna El Halabi

Willow Smith: Transparent Soul — a trip to peak 2000 Pop Rock

There is no doubt that the Smith family is a plethora of talents. From Will and Jada dominating the 90s to their children Jaden and Willow carrying the torch for the past decade, it seems talent is hereditary.

The youngest of the clan, Willow, has made her way to stardom after her famous song, “Whip My Hair” in 2010, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The catchy tune was nominated for Video of the Year at the BET Awards of 2011. She then signed to mentor Jay-Z’s record label, Roc Nation, becoming the label’s youngest artist. In 2011, she released a second single, “21st Century Girl,” and 2015 was the year her debut album “Ardipithecus” hit the stands. In 2018, she began co-hosting the Facebook Watch talk show Red Table Talk; which snagged her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination.

Willow is a singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, actress and dancer—an accomplished artist, still growing, at just 20 years old.

And now, she has released a brand-new pop-rock single, “Transparent Soul.” A single best described as a mix between early Paramore years, and Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi days. The music video, shot mostly with a fish-eye lens, and a grungy feel, in black-and-white veering at times to dark sepia colours, and the occasional red ominous lighting. Willow stands out dressed in black bondage pants, combat boots, eyes lined with dark kohl, spiky collar, rocking it out on an electric guitar.

Another thing that adds to 2000s rock sounds? Blink-182’s drummer Travis Baker features in this song, as the strong edgy drum beats accompany Willow’s stark vocals.

I don't f*cking know if it's paradise or it's a trap

Yeah, they're treating me like royalty, but is it kissin' ass?

No one's brave enough to take the fall right

But it's all your fault

Why you actin' like it's alright?

Willow is not above calling out those who’ve wronged her, and true to her artistic persona, she does so through her lyrics. The words, much like the melody, have an angry feel to them, violent and vindictive. Words like “snake” and “fake” are used to emphasize an obvious betrayal committed or lies told to the singer, or maybe adjectives to qualify the dark side of the entertainment industry.

It’s always such an exciting experience to see an artist grow and experiment with their sound, and I for one cannot wait to see what Willow has in store for the world.


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