Willow Smith has come a long way since her sugar-pop debut ‘Whip My Hair’. With this latest music endeavour, Willow has been dipping her toes in the sonic world of pop-punk.

Earlier this year, Smith released ‘Transparent Soul’, a pop-punk cut penned in collaboration with blink-182 legend Travis Barker. The 20-year-old musician recently sat down with Magazine in an interview that saw her reflect on her position as a black woman navigating the rock music industry.

“[B]eing a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Willow mused. “Now, it’s like an added pressure of the metal culture, the metal world, and just rock in general.

Elsewhere in the interview, Willow admitted that she was bullied in school for her music taste. “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, 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,” Willow continued. “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?”

Willow confirmed that her forthcoming record, the follow up to 2019’s Willow, will feature a number of collaborations. She’s even tapped the perennial princess of Pop Punk, Avril Lavigne.

“I’m so excited that I’m going to be having a song on the album with Avril Lavigne,” Smith continued. “She is so iconic. From [ages] 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.”

Listen to ‘Transparent Soul’ by Willow featuring Travis Barker

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