It's easy to forget just how young Willow Smith is.
It's been seven years since she dropped her huge 2010 single "Whip My Hair," but she's still only 17. Actually, it's her 17th birthday today. And to celebrate, she's back with a new album called The 1st. Like we've come to expect from the daughter of Will and Jada Smith, it's a wise-beyond-her-years, folksy album that takes an introspective look at romance, philosophy, and the human condition.
"This album is the first step into me diving 100 percent into my musicality," she tells Refinery29, discussing the project's organic, guitar-driven sound. "For my last album, I spent a lot of time on the computer producing, so this time I was learning the guitar as I created the album and focused more on composing and instrumentation. I was seeking the answer to the question, 'Who am I as an artist, really?' I'm so excited for people to hear what's in my heart."
Impossibly grounded, she downplays the praise she's been given for being so mature at such a young age, and adds, "Throughout my entire life, everyone’s been telling me 'You’re so ahead of your time, your parents should be so happy. But when people are telling you this all the time, you start to believe it, and then you start condemning yourself for making mistakes, because you already see yourself as someone who should already know everything. But I don't know everything. I'm still growing up."