WILLOW recently opened up about the racism and sexism that she witnessed in the rock music scene. She got introduced to the world of rock music through her mother. She tells NME about the racism her mother faced as a rock-star.

Ahead of her intimate London show, the LA artist expressed how she is going to continue the legacy of Black rock genre with her new heavier sounds. She spoke out of her generation and her real rock identities. She believes in becoming a superstar in her own right.

Her mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, formed the nu metal band Wicked Wisdom in the early 2000s. Back then WILLOW would go to see her mom play in live performances. She subsequently witnessed her being subjected to racist and sexist abuse.

“She showed me what being a woman is really all about. There are literally no words to describe having to get up in front of people who literally hated her, every night. She did it with such grace and power. And at every single show, she won them over. By the end of the show, the people who were calling her racial slurs and throwing things at her were like, ‘Actually, they kinda went off’. That made it really worth it.”

She discussed about her latest album, the pop-punk-inspired ‘Lately I Feel Everything’ in this week’s Big Read cover feature. WILLOW sees herself following in the footsteps of her once-rocking mother as she teams up with the likes of Travis Barker and Avril Lavigne.

“I think the magnitude of oppression that any minority in America has historically experienced, it puts something inside of us that makes us want to growl a little bit and scream. I think pop-punk is a very beautiful expression of that.”

The sheer power to face a crowd of racist and sexist audience with such courage and grace has seeped deep into the roots of WILLOW’s origins Her mum did her thing just like other beautiful black women like Straight Line Stitch’s Alexis White. It’s not about proving anything but more about continuing the legacy. And WILLOW is rightfully continuing her mother’s legacy.

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Gunjan Nath

In search of simplicity and inner peace, Gunjan is basically a guy soldiering through his paranoia. You could say Art, Witty/Dark Humor, Movies, Anime, Post-rock/Black Metal/Hip-Hop/Shoegaze Music, Football, Creative Writing, Photography, Videography are his forte. A Jack of All Trades and a Master of Many.

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