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  • WILLOW Releases New Album “empathogen”

  • American singer-songwriter Willow Smith, aka WILLOW released the sixth studio album “empathogen” on May 3, 2024 via Three Six Zero Records.

    It is her first body of work in two years since the 2022 album “Coping Mechanism”.
    The album comprises a 12-track, featuring collaborations with American multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste and American singer-songwriter St. Vincent, produced by WILLOW, Chris Greatti, Eddie Benjamin, and Jon Batiste.

    WILLOW told Rolling Stone about the album, “With this album, I feel like I took a bat and just was like, 'No, no, no!' to all of these old ways of conducting myself as an artist and as a musician. Coping ­Mechanism was definitely a step towards that. But this was really like, 'OK, now the foot is all the way in this new place.' That makes me really excited.”
  • This time, she approached some tracks of the album, like “symptom of life” and “b i g f e e l i n g s”, in a Jazz style rather than a rock or pop music unlike her previous albums after hearing American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker.

    When she released “symptom of life”, she told BBC Radio 1, “I recently I've been just really diving into so many different kinds of music. And I feel like, even just in popular music, melodies are getting slightly more, complex. I feel like rhythms are getting a little bit more syncopated.”
  • Also, she worked with Jon Batiste and St. Vincent on the album. She told Allure about collaboration, “Collaboration, I'm starting to realize, is how you make the best art. I used to be so afraid to allow myself to collaborate with people because I want my ideas to be my ideas. And I'm afraid of somebody trying to micromanage my idea, which I've experienced a lot. But you grow up and you realize it's actually a really beautiful experience to [see] the seed of my idea brought to life by this person paying attention and nurturing the idea.”

    WILLOW explained about some tracks for the album.

    “​symptom of life”
    “The song has a very beautiful whimsical nature but holds a lot of mystery. There's this beautiful light coming in through the piano, but also this syncopated rhythm of the bass bringing in that mysterious element. A juxtaposition of light and dark.
    This visual is for all the beautiful people who have ever gone into nature with their friends & been guided to a deeper understanding of life together by plant medicine. I hope this song and visual can bring catharsis to anyone who experiences them.”

    “​run!” via Rolling Stone
    “I'm trying so hard to be in the moment and see their sincerity and not let my toxic mental pattern paint them as this person who's trying to attack me or judge me. There's almost a sadness to it because it's like I wasn't strong enough to stay in the moment and see this person for who they really were, and I just ran from the situation.
    I hadn't really sang like this. I kind of wanted to stay away from that more rock-leaning sound because I really wanted to strip everything back and just bare my voice in its raw form. I really wanted it to feel anxious.”

    “​b i g f e e l i n g s”
    “​The piano part of this song is so dense and dissonant but also darkly beautiful. I wrote 'b i g f e e l i n g s' during a week where I was coming to terms with my own emotional patterns that I hadn't known were there. Musically, it has a darkness and complexity that reflects what we all experience in our own minds. The song is about accepting those intense feelings that you have no idea what to do with.”

    Photo by Salomé Gomis-Trezise
  • source : Apple Music
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