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Willow Smith on Rock and Mental Health | Yungblud Podcast

Yungblud and Willow Smith Chat Candidly About Mental Health and the Music Industry

Willow Smith has a lot to say about the music industry — after all, it's always been a big part of her life. As a young kid, she toured with her mum Jada Pinkett Smith's band Wicked Wisdom and released music on her own at just 10 years old. Now, she's back in a big way. In Yungblud's latest episode of The Yungblud Podcast with BBC Sounds, the singer-songwriter was joined by "pop royalty" Willow to talk all things rock music, challenging stereotypes, and the negative impacts of the music industry.

Since the release of "Whip My Hair" 10 years ago, Willow has crash-landed back into the music scene with an epic new sound with her track "Transparent Soul" featuring Travis Barker. "I have seen for so many years, the hate that not just Black women [get] but people of different colours, that aren't white, that want to come into rock music and into this space," Willow opened up. "I just hope that I can show young Black girls, that despite the fact that people are telling us 'We shouldn't listen to this music, we shouldn't dress this way, we shouldn't sing this way', we do it! And do it to the fullest! And it's kinda the best that it's ever been done."

It wasn't long into the podcast before Yungblud and Willow got candid about mental health, particularly within the music industry. "For so long, I had a lot of fear," Willow said in a refreshingly honest response. "I felt extremely unsafe in my music career in the past and that feeling of insecurity or unsafety, like I didn't feel protected, which went really deep."

"It's interesting because all of those memories and emotions have just been resurfacing. I was doing the Jimmy Fallon performance, and I had like a flashback of being like 10 or 9 and having like an anxiety attack on set and basically feeling like everyone around me was like 'You're just a brat'. 'Why aren't you grateful?'. They didn't see it as an anxiety attack — they saw it as a tantrum, and now I look back and know it was an anxiety attack," she added. "[I] tell myself that, 'You're not 9, you're a grown-ass woman.' I have to retrain my mind. My mental health is in a very fragile state, but I think it's in a state where it's about to grow in a really awesome way."

Listen to Willow Smith on BBC Radio 1's The Yungblud Podcast now on BBC Sounds.

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