Willow Smith
Source: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Musical Fusion: Exploring Willow Smith’s Collaborations


Nov. 30 2023, Published 9:56 a.m. ET

Willow has a long and storied career as an artist. While she has always been famous as the daughter of Will and Jaden Smith, she has steadily built a career over the last 13 years.

She introduced herself as a musician with the mega-hit song "Whip My Hair." The double-platinum single would set the stage for more success. Since then, she has taken a journey of musical transformation.

Willow's sonic evolution shows her depth and breadth of talent. In the formative stages of her career, many of her songs were pop-oriented. However, over the course of her five solo albums, a collabo album, and numerous singles, she has incorporated other genres into her singing, including experimental neo-soul, alternative R&B, emo, and punk rock.

Part of her growth has been spurred by her collaborations throughout her career. She has had several collaborations with successful artists where she has pushed the boundaries of her art.

Willow Smith's Collaborations – A Deep Dive

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2010 – 2019

Despite making her debut with the "Whip My Hair" hit in 2010, she took a hiatus from making music. She started releasing music again in 2015 with the launch of her first self-produced album, "Ardipithecus."

However, she did not feature other artists in her first and second albums (“The 1st”). She started to collaborate with other artists on her third self-titled album – "Willow." The only artist she featured on the album was Jaden Smith on the song "U Know."

Featuring Jaden did not influence her style. The third album, “Willow,” was sonically similar to "The 1st."


Willow formed The Anxiety with Tyler Cole, producing a joint self-titled album they released in 2020. The 10-track collaborative effort marked her foray into rock-style music. “The Anxiety” featured indie rock, punk, alternative rock, progressive rock, and dream pop.

Her collaboration in creating "The Anxiety" would have lasting effects on her musical evolution. The project marked a transition point in her musical style. She transitioned from creating music largely in the pop, soul, and R&B genres to rock and emo-esque genres.

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In 2020, Smith collaborated with British musician Jahnavi Harrison to make "R I S E." The spiritually focused EP explores the teachings of sacred texts and Bhakti-yoga. Sonically, she introduced us to her melodic and mellow side.

Speaking about working with Jahnavi, Willow noted that she "had listened to her [Jahnavi] music for months and months before we started working together and really got acquainted with just her vibe." "R I S E" allowed Willow to expand her musical boundaries and explore her spirituality.


Fast forward a year, and Willow released her fourth album, “Lately I Feel Everything.” Once again, she explored a new sound, creating angst-packed pink and nu-metal singles such as "Transparent Soul" (a collaboration with drummer Travis Barker), “Grow” (a collaboration with Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker), "Gaslight" (another Travis Barker collaboration) and "Lipstick."

“Lately I Feel Everything” was a success, with the album peaking at No. 5 on the Top Alternative Albums. "Transparent Soul" would peak at No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.


She released her fifth studio album – "COPINGMECHANISM" in 2022, continuing with her sonic exploration of rock music. The album featured rock artists such as PinkPantheress, Yungblud, and Camila Cabello.

Willow has built a reputation for being a genre chameleon. Her musical catalog features diverse genres, from R&B, alternative R&B, soul, rock, and punk, to pop. Collaborations have played a huge role in helping her explore the depths and breadths of her musical talents, especially rock-style music.

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