Willow Smith says she was bullied for listening to Paramore and My Chemical Romance
9 June 2021, 11:58 | Updated: 9 June 2021, 15:28
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"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."
Ahead of the release of her new album, our new pop-punk saviour Willow Smith is opening up about her love of the genre and how she wasn't always accepted for listening to that kind of music.
With the release of her latest single 'Transparent Soul' featuring Blink-182's Travis Barker, 20-year-old Willow has cemented herself as one of 2021's most exciting young artists leading the revival of the pop-punk and emo genres. Her forthcoming album also takes inspiration from the likes of Fall Out Boy and Avril Lavigne, who features on one of the tracks.
However, in a new interview with V Magazine, Willow has opened up about how she was bullied when she was younger for her taste in music, specifically because she used to listen to bands like Paramore and My Chemical Romance.
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In the interview, Willow spoke to metal musician Alexis White about the pressures of being a black woman within in the punk and metal crowds. She also touched on how the same assumptions were evident during her younger years.
“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 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.”
Willow 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?"
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Speaking about the inspirations behind her new music, Willow previously said: “I never felt like I could sing that kind of music because I was always trained to sing R&B and pop. I realised that it’s not my voice that can’t sing this kind of music. I was afraid to sing this kind of music because I wasn’t sure what people would think.”
Willow counts the likes of Hayley Williams, Gerard Way, Avril Lavigne and Patrick Stump as some of the influences in her new music.