Willow Smith says she used to get bullied for being a Black girl who liked rock music

"Being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different"

Willow Smith has revealed she used to get bullied in school for being a Black girl who liked rock music.

The actor and singer, known mononymously as Willow, released her new single ‘Transparent Soul’ – a pop-punk outing featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker – back in April.

Speaking at the time of its release, Smith said the song was the beginning a new era with her career and that she was “so grateful and excited to start this new journey”.

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Speaking about her formative years as a rock and metal fan in a recent interview with V Magazine, Smith told Alexis White of metal core band Straight Line Stitch that she used to get bullied in school for being a Black girl who was a fan of Paramore and My Chemical Romance.
“But being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Smith said. “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.”
White responded: “Yeah, there’s a lot of,“Hey, you’re Black. You’re not supposed to listen to that.”
“Exactly! And it’s not okay,” Smith continued. “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. 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?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith talked about her forthcoming album and how it will include a lot more guest features than her previous record, 2019’s Willow, including one from Avril Lavigne.

“I’m so excited that I’m going to be having a song on the album with Avril Lavigne,” Smith said. “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.”

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