Willow Smith could “certainly” imagine herself leaving the music industry to become a full-time author. The singer recently unveiled the novel “Black Shield Maiden,” a historical epic that she co-wrote with Jess Hendel.
The story follows an African warrior in the Vikings world. In an NME interview promoting her first book, Willow expressed her desire to continue writing. “That could definitely could happen,” she smiled. “Who knows? I love books, I love reading so hopefully. I love reading, some of my favourite artists are authors. I just always wanted to be an author, even before I wanted to do music. I love literature, I just think it’s a really beautiful art form.”
“Black Shield Maiden” is now available to purchase. This month, Willow also released her fifth studio album, “Coping Mechanism,” although she remained tight-lipped about her other impending endeavors.
However, there is no disputing her talent in the music industry. Willow’s last four years have been nonstop. In 2019, she released a self-titled psychedelic R&B album, followed by a 10-track collaboration with longtime collaborator Tyler Cole as The Anxiety that encompassed everything from dreamy pop (the viral smash “Meet Me at Our Spot”) to boisterous punk (“Fight Club”) six months later.
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In the midst of the pandemic, Willow released the devotional meditation EP RISE, and by the spring of 2021, she was marketing her debut full-length rock album, “Lately I Feel Everything”, and its Travis Barker-assisted lead single, “transparentsoul.”
Recently, Willow’s clear-eyed passion has made her the go-to artist when a song needs an edge, as evidenced by her contributions to “psychofreak” by Camila Cabello and “Where you are” by PinkPantheress. Even artists who are already established in the rock genre recognize that a feature from Willow, such as on MGK’s “emo girl” and Yungblud’s “Memories,” might push them over the top. Shari Bryant, co-president of Roc Nation, insists there is “no single reason” why these musicians seek out Willow.
For some, it may be the large audience she reaches with 30 million weekly streaming, while others simply “appreciate her perspective.” Her aura is something that cannot be obtained elsewhere.
Willow’s plans of early retirement or a shift to writing might just have to be postponed, or else artists and fans will feel sad indeed.
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