*Willow Smith has dropped a new single that celebrates her love of punk.
“Transparent Soul,” featuring driving percussion by Travis Barker of the 90s pop-punkers Blink-182, has Smith calling out fakes and liars. “I knew a boy just like you/He’s a snake just like you/Such a fake just like you/But I can see the truth,” she sneers on the track. The accompanying visual features Smith clad in full punk attire.
Smith told Rolling Stone that the song’s inspiration came from a quote she read from Hindu guru Radhanath Swami. It reads: “It is said that a saintly person is so pure that he or she acts like a spotless mirror. When we come in the presence of such a mirror-like soul, we can see both the beauty and ugliness of our inner life.”
“I read that quote, and it really spoke to me,” Smith says. “And that’s kind of how the idea of this song came to be.”
Smith says recording punk music has been a goal since tagging along with her mom Jada Pinkett Smith while she toured with her heavy metal band Wicked Wisdom.
“That was my first real tour experience, and that was the first music that I was surrounded by as a child,” she says. “When I first started doing my own music and my parents got me a vocal coach, we only did pop and R&B kind of vibes, and so for my entire life, I didn’t think I had the voice to sing this kind of music or sing rock in general.”
That changed around the age of 12 when Smith first got into acts like Avril Lavigne and My Chemical Romance. “That was insanely inspiring. I always felt like I wanted to do it, but for some reason was really insecure and felt like I couldn’t. And so when Covid hit and quarantine started, I just kind of needed something new — everything was slowing down, and I wanted to try something that I had never tried before.”
Watch Willow Smith’s video for “Transparent Soul” feat. Travis Barker below: