Both Willow and her mother pursued Rock music and according to the Pop Punk star, Jada’s Metal pursuits caused the genre’s fans to act unhinged.
Yet, these days, she’s a certified rockstar as she invades the Pop Punk space, and it isn’t a far cry from her mother’s Metal band successes. The Alt-Rock princess caught up with Glamour UK and spoke candidly about being Black in Rock ‘n’ Roll, even mentioning that there was a time when they feared for Jada’s safety.
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“Oh, my goodness. She was getting death threats. It was a crazy amount of stuff going on,” said Smith of her mom being targeted for simply being a Black woman in Alternative Rock. “I remember being like, ‘Yo! People are really upset about this, they’re mad that a Black woman wants to do Metal and is in the space. Like that was activism.”
Smith added that she, too, has faced racism because she doesn’t fit an industry stereotype.
“When I wanted to do a Rock album, there were a lot of executives that were like, ‘Hmm…’” she said. “If I had been white, it would’ve been completely fine; but because I’m Black it’s, ‘Well… maybe let’s just not’ – and making it harder than it needs to be… I go through that, every single other Black artist is getting the pushback [too].”
“I love all different kinds of music, I don’t like to box myself into anything,” she tells me. “I was trained to be an R&B singer so I went in that direction. But I’ve always had a huge affinity for Rock music ever since I was just a wee bean.”
Check out more from Willow below.