Willow Smith Signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation, Releasing First Promo Picture
Hot on the heels of her debut single "Whip My Hair", Willow Smith confirmed rumor that she inked a deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. The daughter of celebrity couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith revealed the news when visiting Ryan Seacrest's radio show.
At almost the same time, Willow launched an official website which provides free audio stream of her newly-released track. She is scheduled to film a music video in Los Angeles at the end of September and has unveiled her first promo picture.
Creating a buzz on the web and drawing comparison to Rihanna's music when it first came out, "Whip My Hair" is a fun song about the celebration of freedom, energy and expression. Willow explained to Ryan, "It means just be an individual. Like, you can't be afraid to be yourself, you have to be yourself, and you can't let anyone tell you that that's wrong."
Ryan then called Jay-Z who shared about his reaction when listening to her song for the first time. Stating he heard it before he knew it was recorded by a 9-year-old kid, he gushed, "I was like, 'Man, that record's a smash.' And then [Roc Nation partner] Jay Brown said, 'She's 9,' and I was like, 'Whoa!' And [then] he was like, 'She's Will and Jada's daughter,' and I was like, 'Whoa!' and it just went from there."
When they first met and "the first thing she said was, 'I'm really nervous'," Jay-Z was more impressed with her. "I thought, 'That's maturity to explain exactly how she was feeling when she walked right into the room.' I knew right then she was a star," he said. "I believe in superstars. I believe in big records and superstars, and I think she has both."
Continue praising Willow as a person who has "child innocence" and "a clear vision of what she wants and who she wants to be," Jay-Z has faith on her. He even compared her to the young Michael Jackson, pointing out that they both entered music industry in such young age.
"I believe that you have to start somewhere, and when you have that sort of talent and vision, there's no such thing as too young. Again, I heard the record without knowing who it was. ... We all danced to Michael Jackson records when he was 8. Stevie Wonder started at 8, it's just what it is, who she is."
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