And judging by the barrage of tweets and online buzz that followed after Willow Smith — the youngest offspring of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith — leaked her debut single, Rihanna and every other pop starlet should have Willow on their radar.
Titled “Whip My Hair,” the radio-, club- and recess-friendly track sounds like something that Rihanna, Keri Hilson or Ciara might have cooked up for their latest albums.
And don’t let her age fool you; the song packs serious punch.
Already a red carpet veteran, the littlest Smith has made a splash with her eye-catching outfits and hair — her asymmetric bob looks perfect to whip back and forth like a helicopter (as she instructs in the single).
No stranger to entertainment, Willow appears to have her sights set on music after racking up some acting credits. She costarred with her father in 2007’s “I Am Legend” and later alongside Mom — who also dabbled in music when she fronted her own metal band — in the animated feature “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.”
Big brother Jaden had a big summer with the surprise success of “The Karate Kid,” in which he starred. Like Dad, he also added rapper to his resume after the Justin Bieber-assisted “Never Say Never,” from the film’s soundtrack, became a hit.
Rumors are swirling that Willow will be snatched up by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation music label for her debut, and she already has a few famous fans in her corner.
[Updated Sept. 9 12:30 p.m. Roc Nation officially announced they signed Smith to a record deal Thursday morning. The 9-year-old appeared on Ryan Seacrest’s morning show along with label founder Jay-Z.
Of course like any proud (Hollywood) parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith issued their own statement, “After meeting with several record companies, it was clear that Jay-Z, Ty Ty, Jay Brown and the Roc Nation staff was the unquestionable choice. Their passion for Willow combined with their boundless vision and artistic integrity made Roc Nation the perfect home for our little girl.”
Jay-Z, who was responsible for launching Rihanna, offered his co-sign on the pint-size star in the making.
“We at Roc Nation are excited to work with Willow. She has an energy and enthusiasm about her music that is truly infectious,” he said in a statement. “It’s rare to find an artist with such innate talent and creativity at such a young age. Willow is about to embark on an incredible journey and we look forward to joining her as she grows in all aspects of her career.”
The video for “Whip My Hair” will be shot in Los Angeles at the end of September.]
Bieber video director Alfredo Flores tweeted, “WHAT!!??! Willow Smith just KILLED “Whip My Hair”… Rihanna, Keri, Ciara, Ashanti — please be warned.” Solange Knowles, meanwhile, raved, “Willow Smith make me wanna whip some haiiirrr in this house. Ummm kill em girl. Kill em!”
Give a listen to the track below and tell us what you think.