WILLOW On Women Of Color In Rock: 'We've Been Silenced For A Long Time'

2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards – Backstage

Photo: Getty Images North America

WILLOW recently released her second rock album  <COPINGMECHANISM>. Though it may seem out of left field for an artist who has made a name for herself in the pop and R&B arena, rock is in her blood. In fact, Willow's mom Jada Pinkett Smith used to front a nu-metal band called Wicked Wisdom.

During an interview in 2021, the 22-year-old recalled the "intense racism and sexism" her mother endured on tour. "My mom got so much hate," she divulged at the time. "It was intense racism and sexism, just packed on to the tens. People giving her death threats, throwing glass at her onstage. Some crazy stuff went down when she was touring with her band."

"I got to see that hate firsthand," Willow continued. "It was so scary to me, and I think I internalized a little bit."

Now, a couple years into her own personal rock journey, the singer-songwriter has a different view. “I would say that every woman of color who has picked up a guitar or picked up the drums or picked up the bass or started to sing or wanted to express herself through this genre of music is in a beautiful lineage,” she expressed in a new interview with Vanity Fair. “We’ve been silenced for a long time, and that’s ending.”

She mirrored that sentiment during an interview with Guitar World last month, saying: "I want women and girls of color to feel accepted and know that rock is for them. They can pick up the guitar, bass, drum sticks or microphone. I want to hear them scream and sing, putting all of their energy into this beautiful genre and change the world."

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