Willow Smith Said She Was Bullied In School For Enjoying Rock Music

Willow Smith has always been stood out in a crowd. The singer’s breakout single, “Whip My Hair,” which she dropped at the young age of 10, was proof of this. Now Smith, who is months away from turning 21, continues to be loud and proud. A little over a month ago, she teamed up with Travis Barker for their first collaboration, “Transparent Soul.” The track arrived with a raucous video that captured the two acts rocking out during an underground show. It was clear that Smith is well into the rock stage of her career — though some don’t approve.

During a recent interview for V Magazine, Smith spoke about her love for the genre and how it was received by her peers in school. “…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 to Alexis White, of metal core band Straight Line Stitch. “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.'”

Smith replied back, “Exactly! And it’s not okay. 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.” She added, “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?”

Smith also spoke about her upcoming album and how it will contain many more guest acts, like Avril Lavigne, than her previous record, 2020’s The Anxiety.