This year has been a busy one for budding young singer Willow Smith. With a few original tracks out and an upcoming EP release, she is poised for a musical rebirth. At the beginning of October, she released her latest song “Your Love V2” on her SoundCloud, a steady, meditative track on tender emotions.
Smith’s first dip into the music pool at 9-years-old started with “Whip My Hair,” a pop anthem about being yourself and having fun that dominated airwaves in 2010 and climbed top 40 charts worldwide. Now at 13-years-old, she shifts from her dance pop beginnings to more atmospheric music with R&B roots. She works with musicians in that genre like SZA and Ta-Ku, and even pairs up with her rapper brother, Jaden. From a cover of King Krule’s “Easy Easy” to an original song, “8”, for Kitty Cash’s mixtape, she ventures into an introspective side of music, noted for its chill vibes and emotive lyrics.
In a recent interview, Smith talks about her spiritual and musical growth through the years: “I don’t think it’s that different from what I was saying before, ‘cause I was saying ‘Love yourself’ and ‘You have to live your life for yourself.’ Now I’m just coming to the spiritual and consciousness aspects of it.”
“Your Love V2” pairs Smith’s original lyrics with instrumentals from the xx’s “Basic Space”. Airy, dreamy vocals paired with a heavy, resonating bassline echoes the song’s romantic themes. It plays like a diary entry with precocious percussion opening the page and Smith’s wispy voice writing down adolescent thoughts on feelings and gentle love overflowing the book. Smith pays attention to pacing and volume, building to a confident crescendo where her emotions nearly leap into life.
Even though the instrumentation is not hers, her lyrics and her vocals make it a song of her own. Paired fittingly with the moody atmosphere of the xx’s music, Smith shows care to the delivery of her words and singing. Listeners may roll their eyes to the fact that a teenager is singing about love but her writing is appropriate; in the beginning, she sings “I love you / even when the snow is falling”, but towards the end she sings “My emotions change like the weather / and I’m sad”, reflecting the tumultuous nature of a teenager’s heart.