Willow Smith released her first new video in 2 years—and it’s a revelation
While dad Will is suiting up as Deadshot for DC’s all-villain Suicide Squad and mom Jada just wrapped up a season of villainy on Fox’s Gotham, the Smith kids Willow and Jaden have had less mainstream pursuits, and freely speak out about their esoteric interests: the nature of time, the inadequacy of school, and their approaches to music-making. It’s this last point that’s possibly evolved the most, and especially for Willow, who’s only 14 years old — she broke into the music world with “Whip My Hair,” a poppy jam that inspired hair windmills around the world, but her music from then on since has been electrifyingly unique, and totally outside of the mainstream pop scene.
The trend continues with her latest video and song. “F Q-C #7” has a name like a compositional sketch, or a Philip Glass track, but in reality, it’s the kind of song you shimmy-dance to in front of your mirror after you put together an ace outfit. Featured in the video are xylophone pings, shots against nature and against street art, some very obvious Beats by Dre headphones, possible Aboriginal-inspired face paint, and notably, four color-coded Willows, which Smith told The Fader represented different aspects of herself: “The different Me’s represent my Chakras. Yellow is self-confidence, Blue is my voice (song), Red is my survival instinct, and the Black is a combination of everything (the true me).”
The song and video were both produced and directed, respectively, by Willow herself, and you can tell that the youngest Smith has put her personal touch on everything, from her outfits to the tone affectations of her voice. Though, she doesn’t live in a bubble away from influence: Her influences on the song are also boundary-pushing musical ladies: “Girlpool, tUnE-yArDs, and Cree Summer really were the women who inspired me to make this song.”
The song repeatedly asks “How you feeling’?” and after listening to this shimmering, shouty jam, we’re feeling pretty great. But lest you think Smith is only tackling deep thoughts, she peppers in lyrics like these: “I’m just climbing on trees / and skipping my class now.” Stay cool, Willow.
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