12 May Willow Smith and Avril Lavigne Collaborate on New Track
Phoning Famous Friends
Smith revealed the news in an interview with W Magazine, as she discussed her album coming this summer.
So, how did this collaboration between Smith and Lavigne come about anyway? Well, it turns out Smith pretty much just asked the Canadian pop-punk star to sign on.
“I needed to get that pop-punk cosign,” Smith said. “Working with Lavigne in particular was a dream come true: I wanted ‘Grow’ to sound like it was on Radio Disney in 2007, so I hit up Avril Lavigne; I wanted that 2007 Avril angst.”
Smith explained that she was very happy with the work they’ve created.
“When I heard what she did with what I sent her, I felt like I was transported back to my tween days, in the car, just screaming, ‘ don’t have to try to make you realize!’ It was beyond any joy that I could have imagined,” she said.
During the interview, Smith also admitted she was unsure of her ability to produce a rock album.
“I never thought I could do rock music, because I was trained since I was eight to sing R&B,” Smith said. “Then I was just like, You know what? Eff it.”
Smith revealed that the inspiration to experiment with new sounds and be unapologetically bold, both in music and life, comes from her accompanying “a strong Black woman,” like her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, on tour.
“I always wanted to do a metal album, because my mom was my inspiration as a child,” she said. “I went on tour with her when I was 7 or 8, when she performed at Ozzfest with her band, Wicked Wisdom. Seeing a strong Black woman onstage singing rock was so amazing—but a lot of people weren’t happy about seeing a Black woman in that space.”
Smith launched her career with the 2010 banger, “Whip My Hair.” She later released her first full-length album, “Ardipithecus,” five years later, in 2015. She was only 15 at the time of its release.
Her most recent album, a 10-track collaboration with Tyler Cole called “The Anxiety,” dropped in December 2020. The pair promoted the 10-track album in a performance art event at the Los Angeles museum, where they acted out eight different emotional states in a glass box for 24 hours.
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