Artist News

Willow Smith working with Skillz and Jazzy Jeff

By | Published on Friday 7 January 2011

Willow Smith

Willow Smith, whose debut single, ‘Whip My Hair’, is all over the place at the moment, is working with lyricist Skillz and producer Jazzy Jeff on songs for her forthcoming debut album, which will be released by Roc Nation at some point this year. Both men have previously worked together on tracks by the young singer’s father, Will Smith, of course.

Skillz told this week: “Me and Jazzy Jeff are … working on some stuff for Willow Smith’s album. I worked with her dad on a few projects before so you know I have a relationship with him. It was just a natural progression like they’re doing music so, you know, that door’s always open. I’d be crazy not to try to walk through it, so we’re working on some stuff”.

Despite being a popular ghostwriter in US urban circles, the obvious question for this project is surely: is it a challenge to write from the perspective of a ten year old girl? No, says Skillz: “I can write for anybody. It’s just stepping outside of yourself, looking at the market and working out what’s missing and trying to fill that void. We all throw darts, sometimes they stick, sometimes they don’t. But, you know, you keep going”.

Speaking of ghostwriters, elsewhere in Willow Smith news this week, Soulja Boy has claimed to have written the aforementioned ‘Whip My Hair’, telling his fans on Twitter: “Yes, it’s true, I wrote ‘Whip My Hair’ for Willow Smith. That’s why she says, ‘hop out the bed, turn my swag on’. We getting $$$ [in] 2011, no games”.

This is news to many, not least its credited writers Ronald ‘JukeBox’ Jackson and Janae Rockwell. Jackson tweeted yesterday: “We’ll see who did when those royalties come around … Soulja wrote ‘Whip My Hair?’ And Waka Flocka wrote ‘Thriller’, right? My house must be POPPIN, cuz I had NO IDEA Soulja was in my house when I did that song!”

Though we suspect Soulja Boy’s tweet was more about accusing Jackson and Rockwell of nicking one of his lines rather than about claiming to have written for Smith. Soulja Boy did release a single called ‘Turn My Swag On’ in 2009, which does indeed also contain the line “hop out the bed, turn my swag on”.