Tag Archives: Jada Pinkett Smith

Willow Smith Wants Black Women to Embrace Their Love of Punk Rock After Being “Bullied” Herself

By | June 9, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Jerritt Clark

Willow Smith grew up in the music scene. Her dad, Will Smith, got his start as the “Fresh Prince,” and her mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, was the lead vocalist for metal band Wicked Wisdom in the early ’00s. But despite the diversity of her parents’ experience, Willow still felt ostracized from the punk-rock community growing up. She recently sat down with Alexis White of Straight Line Stitch for V magazine to talk about their shared experience of navigating the rock world as Black women.

Willow released her track “Transparent Soul” featuring Travis Barker of Blink-182 back in April. The song has become a viral TikTok track and brought in over two million views on YouTube, but Willow told White her experience in the industry hasn’t been easy. “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 explained. “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.”

This exclusion or intimidation of Black women in metal music is far from new. As Willow recalled, her mom used to receive “death threats” and “people would say violent things” when she was on stage. “I’ve always wanted to do this type of music and always been so afraid to do so . . . because I saw the hate and verbal abuse that my mom had to go through, that stuck with me.”

“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?”

Now, the 20-year-old musician is overcoming her fear and making the genre more inclusive. “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 said. “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’s album is coming out soon and will feature musical guests including her idol and “pop punk queen” Avril Lavigne. A tour is also on the horizon. Willow has dreams of going even grungier with her music, but that’s still to come. “I’m going to go wherever the music is, but I love pop-punk a lot. But, where my heart lies, is metal. At some point, that’s definitely going to happen.”

Willow Smith on Polyamory and Creating a “Relationship Style That Works For You”

By | April 29, 2021

Is Polyamory For You

Gammy tries to understand Willow's decision to live a polyamorous lifestyle – seeking multiple intimate partners at the same time. In a lively generational debate on marriage and monogamy, Willow opens up about her decision to practice ethical non-monogamy. Poly Solo Gabrielle Smith and her married boyfriend Alex come to the Table to reveal how their multiple-partner approach to relationships works, especially with his wife.

Posted by Red Table Talk on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

On Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk, Willow Smith opened up to her mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris about being polyamorous, and explained why the lifestyle works for her. “With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do,” the singer said.

“The main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you.”

Willow further explained that she learned the main reason for breakups in monogamous relationships was infidelity, and she could only see herself getting married if there was a true purpose, like if she needed to combine finances with her partner. She added, “The history of marriage really irks me, just the history of marriage as a whole and what it has represented over the years for women in particular.” She also helped Adrienne, who initially had trouble understanding the desire to have more than one partner, grasp why polyamory might be a better choice for certain people.

While Gammy felt polyamory was “all just centered around sex,” Willow shared that she was actually interested in exploring polyamory because she was “introduced to it through kind of a nonsexual lens.” She said, “Let’s say you haven’t always been the kind of person that wanted to have sex all the time, but your partner is. Are you gonna be the person to say, you know, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either’?” In fact, Willow added that in her friend group, she was the only poly person, but had “the least sex out of all of [her] friends.”

Jada, on the other hand, said she “totally [got] it” when Willow told her she was polyamorous. “Wanting to set up your life in a way that you can have what it is that you want, I think anything goes as long as the intentions are clear, really more to yourself than anything. And I know that there’s a lot of beauty that sits outside of the conventional boxes.” Whether you live a monogamous or nonmonogamous lifestyle comes down to choice, the three discussed.

The family also welcomed Gabrielle Smith, who’s soley polyamorous, and her boyfriend, Alex, as well as “poly newbie” Gabrielle Alexa Noela; Effy Blue, a relationship coach specializing in nonmonogamy; and Michelle Hy, an advocate for normalizing nonmonogamy in the Asian-American community. Following the conversation, Gammy shared that when it comes to nonmonogamy, she realized she didn’t need to try to understand it, but rather just listen and allow people to “do their thing.” Watch the eye-opening discussion in full above.