Willow Smith
Willow Smith (Photo: Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

The newest princess of pop-punk on the scene is none other than the magnetic Willow Smith. On Tuesday, the 20-year-old released “Transparent Soul,” featuring Travis Barker on the drums and it was everything we never knew we needed. Accompanying the single with a performance visual, Smith is definitely delivering a Lisa Left-Eye Lopes and Avril Lavigne hybrid aesthetic as she emphatically blares out Smile in my face but put your cig out on my back / if we ever see me just get to running like the flash.

The internet’s rapt reaction to the video, which quickly garnered upward of 166,000 views, came as no surprise. One user tweeted a clip of the video captioning it, “Willow Smith resurrecting 2000s rock with a vengeance and I love it.” Another tweeted: “Thank you Willow Smith for saving punk rock.” And although fans may be mesmerised by her latest venture, the hit comes as no surprise to her mother, multi-hyphenate Jada Smith, who formed in a rock band, Wicked Wisdom, in the early-aughts. As the lead vocalist, the Girls Trip star has opened for Britney Spears, performed at heavy metal festivals like Ozzfest and toured alongside Sevendust.

The baby of the Smith clan credits her introduction to rock to touring with her mom’s band during her childhood. “That was my first real tour experience, and that was the first music that I was surrounded by as a child. When I first started doing my own music and my parents got me a vocal coach, we only did pop and R&B kind of vibes, and so for my entire life, I didn’t think I had the voice to sing this kind of music or sing rock in general,” the singer told Rolling Stone. 

In 2010, Smith launched her singing career with “Whip My Hair,” an upbeat pop song that rocked the airwaves and had every teen girl rocking half-shaven dos with flamboyant neon streaks. The hit would land her to sign and become the youngest artist at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. With a pandemic giving Smith time to explore alternative genres, the singer’s recent release is actually a track off of her upcoming fifth album with the label. Smith continued, saying: “When Covid hit and quarantine started, I just kind of needed something new — everything was slowing down, and I wanted to try something that I had never tried before.” If this single gave us the slightest glimpse into what the upcoming album has in store, we know fans will be anticipating everything this superstar has planned.

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