Willow Smith gave her mother an early Mother’s Day surprise this year. To pay tribute to Jada Pinkett Smith’s artistry and influence, the young musician put together a reunion performance with her mother’s nu-metal band Wicked Wisdom.
The performance aired on a special Mother’s Day episode of the Facebook show Red Table Talk. For the episode, Smith arranged the secret concert and spoke about the importance of her mother’s career for her own musical development.
Red Table Talk is a Facebook Watch series featuring three generations of Smith’s family. For each episode, Smith joins her mother Pinkett Smith and her grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris for candid interviews, discussion and other features. The women often bring on guests, including Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg and Smith’s brother Jaden Smith.
In this special Mother’s Day episode, Smith chose to provide her mother with a musical gift. The young artist introduced the episode by revealing to viewers that she had spent three months reforming her mother’s band Wicked Wisdom.
Rather than immediately tip off her mother to her plans, Smith chose to give a long hint in the lead-up to the performance. She offered a detailed sense of why her mother’s musical career was so formative for her as a child and a young artist.
“When I was, I want to say about 3 or 4, I went on tour with my mom and her band Wicked Wisdom,” Smith says. “Wicked Wisdom was lit. This is the music that I grew up around. My mother was superwoman, she was a rockstar, she was a warrior and a nurturer all in one—so unapologetically badass. I remember being on the tour bus with Jaden when I was 6 or 7, and we got the opportunity to clean the bus. That was one of the most purely exciting experiences. I was my mom’s biggest fan. Every night I wanted to ride on the security guard’s shoulders and watch her perform. She was a rockstar and I was living for Wicked Wisdom.”
Smith also framed the performance as a tribute to her mother’s overall impact on her life.
“I felt like it was only right for me to pay homage to a time in her life because she showed me what womaning up really is about,” Smith says. “So for Mother’s Day I’m about to reunite with some of my mom’s old band members to do one of my favorite songs by my mom, which is called “Bleed All Over Me.” She’s gonna be floored. I’m really excited about it.”
When it came time for the big reveal, Smith led her mother outside, where members of Wicked Wisdom were waiting to perform. She joined Pocket Honore, Taylor Graves, Michael Anderson and Ronald Bruner Jr. on stage before launching into a rendition of “Bleed All Over Me.”
In the new rendition, Smith captured her mother’s soaring vocal lines perfectly. The young singer led the group through the tune as Pinkett Smith sang along. Pinkett Smith commented on the performance via Instagram, writing “My heart burst in a thousand different ways having my daughter honor me in this way. I love you Willow♥️🙏🏽♥️.”
The episode of Red Table Talk is available to watch via Facebook or below.
More About Willow Smith
Willow Smith’s performance of “Bleed All Over Me” is perfectly timed. The artist is in the middle of a number of other ventures into alternative rock.
The song takes cues from alternative pioneers including Paramore’s Hayley Williams, My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. In crafting the track, Smith also took inspiration from her mother.
Smith is also slated to release a new album this summer via Roc Nation/MSFTSMusic. Started in 2020 at the height of quarantine isolation, the record pays tribute to Smith’s evolution as a creative artist.
Smith initially felt doubt about contributing to alternative rock. However, the musician quickly understood she was capable of bringing her own distinct perspective to the genre.
“I realized that it’s not my voice that can’t sing this kind of music,” she says. “I was afraid to sing this kind of music because I wasn’t sure what people would think.”
Despite her reservations, Smith came to the conclusion that the new venture was a perfect direction for her work. As Smith continued, “I thought this was a really dope outlet for a new energy I wanted to bring to my music.”
The video for “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” is available to watch below.
Let us know in the comments below what you think of Willow Smith’s cover of “Bleed All Over Me.”