R&B singer Willow Smith has reflected on inking with Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation label and what the experience has been like being only nine years-old.
For Smith, being offered a deal to Roc Nation was proof of her work ethic reaping the benefits.
“It felt like all the hard work paid off, mostly that,” Willow told us. “Like all the hard work that I’ve done, like recording ‘Whip My Hair’ — it’s paid off.” She recalled making introductions: “We went to this building, I don’t remember what it was, but we had a meeting and I got to hang out with him and meet him, and it was fun.” (MTV)
In September, Jay-Z confirmed speculation of Willow signing to his Roc Nation management company/label.
“First off, I heard the [‘Whip My Hair’] record first, before I knew that it was recorded by a nine year-old,” Jay said in an interview with radio host Ryan Seacrest. “I was like, ‘Man, that record is a smash.’ — I went to Japan to do some stuff and they were out there and I met Willow and she walked in and the first thing she said was, ‘I’m really nervous,’ and I thought that maturity, explaining exactly how she was feeling as she was walking in the room, I knew right there she was a star. I believe in super stars and I believe in big records on super stars…Yes, [I signed her and we plan on helping her] facilitate all her ideas. As you’re going to learn today, if you sit with her for a half hour, you’ll see, she’s just a wealth of information and ideas…She’s a child, she has child innocence but she has a refreshing clear vision of what she wants to be…And I imagine that’s how Mike [Jackson] was as a kid.” (Rap Radar)
Southern rapper Rick Ross recently shared his admiration toward Willow.
“It’s incredible, I was like wow, she’s can’t be nine,” Ross said with a smile. “It can’t be true. But you know, every so often, you find a true ball of talent and that’s what that is. She’s a young beautiful superstar, it’s just written all over her face and just to hear the record, it’s crazy.” (Rap-Up TV)
Earlier this week, Smith released her new music video, “Whip My Hair.”
In “Whip My Hair,” the pre-teen diva introduces a 21st century version of head banging as she whips her various hair styles — long braids, heart-shaped Mohawk, back-combed pouf — throughout the video. With two diamonds on her lips, Willow enters the scene with a juke box in a white-washed room that looks like a prison canteen but turns out to be a classroom. Switching on her jukebox with blinged up nails, she dips her tresses in some paint and proceeds to whip them around the room to turn it into a multi-colored confection. (New York Daily News)
Check out Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” down below: