What makes Willow Smith cooler than you? Let’s see, she reads quantum physics and Osho in her free time. At 15, she has a platinum single and a few movies under her belt, and she was just named as Chanel’s new ambassadress—what were we doing at that age? Then again, I suppose when you are the child of Hollywood A-listers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, it will be hard to shy away from the limelight. But Willow and her 17-year-old brother Jaden Smith, who was just named the face of Louis Vuitton earlier this year, aren’t just going along the road of fame set by their parents, they have arguably become icons of modern pop-culture in their own right.
When one talks about the infamous Smith siblings, it is hard to disassociate them from one another—it is clear that the two share a uniquely strong bond, as Jaden stated in a recent GQ interview: “I’d say it’s like a full-on sibling brain connection. I’d say that she’s definitely the female version of me, 100 per cent, in every single way. And I’d say I’m the male version of her.” While Jaden first made an appearance on the silver screen in 2006 with The Pursuit of Happiness, Willow’s acting debut soon followed with I Am Legend in the year after—both played Will Smith’s child in the films. But it wasn’t long before Willow made her name for herself, and in music at that too. Remember “Whip My Hair”? Love it or hate it, you probably do.
That went platinum in the US in 2010, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard charts and number 2 in the UK. It wasn’t quite smooth-sailing after that though, as a collaboration with Nicki Minaj (“Fireball”) bombed and talks of debut album Kness and Elbows turned to naught, but Willow soldiered on, and eventually surprise-released her first album ARDIPITHECUS late last year. On her new music as a continuation of her past work, Willow has this to say: “I mean, “Whip My Hair” was a great thing. When I look back I think, “Wow, I did so much for young black girls and girls around the world. Telling them that they can be themselves and to not be afraid to be themselves.” And I’m doing that now but in a whole different way, coming from source energy and universal truths… it’s a part of me, it’s my artistic journey.”
But the Smith siblings aren’t just making headlines for their music and films, they are turning heads with their blatant individuality. On the front line of defying social conventions, Willow and her brother have minds of their own and are advocators of boundary-pushing creativity. She is certainly not fitting into any mould that has been carved out for her judging by her gender-fluid and ever-changing style. Having just landed a modelling contract with The Society Management (an agency that represents the likes of Adriana Lima and Liu Wen), and topped with the recent announcement by Karl Lagerfeld that instates her as the face of Chanel, you can be assured that Willow Smith is not going anywhere.
We’ll leave you with a few, classic if you will, quotes by the It girl herself:
“My style is who I am all the time, and who I am always changes.”
“I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that’s how I know it doesn’t exist. “
“(On her work) And the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made.”
“There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.”
“That’s what art is, shocking people. Sometimes shocking yourself.”
“I think by the time we’re (she and Jaden) 30 or 20, we’re going to be climbing as many mountains as we can possibly climb.”
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