By: TK Quann (aka TK Wonder)
Admittedly I have seen and heard very little from this sibling duo (as so it appears on their instagram page (@gweelos) However whether they are officially confirmed as a band remains to be seen so for now let’s say collaborative work, but intrigued nonetheless I decided to investigate a little further into this musical union. Thank goodness for social media. Navigating through various instagram video snippets and youtube clips my first impressions emanating from their live act call upon old and new with the likes of Sza, (who recently joined Willow on stage, as well as big brother Jaden, for her CMJ debut at Fader Fort in New York) Syd tha Kid, Kilo Kish and dare I say a smidgen of De La Soul. Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself but piqued your curiosity? Well four years ago I’m sure there was nary a club that you could not hear, “I whip my hair back and forth / I whip my hair back and forth!”
Okay so let’s get this out of the way. People are going to say, “Oh puhleeze they’re just getting this kind of attention because their dad and mom are Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.” “Or they have an unfair advantage like most kids who come from famous lineage.” Alright, okay, alright so these claims may hold some validity but if you separately dissect these teens catalog of work, albeit diminutive, you will be unable to negate the raw talent that these siblings possessed at a very young—ahem, younger age. I mean we are talking about watching Willow headbanging with the vigor of Motley Crue at nine-years-old and Jaden showcasing his acting chops on the big screen with his father at the age of eight.
“A forthcoming EP, called ‘3’ will feature her “big sister” SZA and be produced mostly by AzZi, a friend and frequent collaborator of Willow’s older brother Jaden”—Fader.com. It’s blatant that Willow is changing the musical direction of her career from her viral hit, ‘Whip My Hair,’ but have Willow and big brother Jaden forayed into this music realm in a collaborative effort as Gweelos? Perhaps not since Willow is releasing a solo EP however they are definitely collaborating. Jaden, rocking facsimile Weeknd locs, and Willow, a short curly haircut, have already formulated the visually stimulating artist image. So yes it’s proven that Will and Jada produce aesthetically pleasing to look at offspring. So what? Big deal. What’s their music sound like? Well let’s talk about that.
Photo: Miguel Reveriego (via: vanity fair)
Watch their live performance at the Fader Fort and listen to Willow’s speak easy sing-song intonation akin to Odd Future’s female counterparts on her track entitled “5.” Then listen to Jaden’s flow on the track, reminiscence of those neo-soul/ hip hop days that had you nodding your head and digesting every rap syllable without thinking about creating a “What did he just say?” instagram meme.
Photo: Ryan Muir (via: The Fader)
Now listen to Willow’s ‘King Krule—Easy’ (Cover) and feels like you’re listening to the precocious love child of Zoe Kravitz, Febe Dobson and Res.
Photo: John Francis Peter
There is not much material for me to fully access these siblings’ work as a duo however at this stage it would be fair to acknowledge a few things. Are they talented? Yes! Is there room for improvement in their live performances? Yes. Have they reached their full potential? No. They are thirteen and sixteen years old so one would hope that the potential for growth is not stagnant at this point in their careers.
Sure I could concoct a few catch phrases garnered from their parents’ extensive catalog of work…but I shall eschew from doing that. What I will say is once you get over the fact that their parents’ net worth is over two-hundred million dollars you’ll realize they are just kids who are pursuing their passions. Just kids enjoying honing their craft and having fun in the process. Simply put Willow and Jaden have a love for music and hope that more than just their parents will understand.
Sigh. I couldn’t resist.
**About the author:
I’m thrilled to be joining Urban Bush Babes as a music contributor. I will be choosing an ‘artist of the month’ as well as writing on music related topics. Most of the UBB audience knows me as Cipriana’s identical twin sister, those I’ve met in the music world know me as TK Wonder, an electronic rapper and singer, however I am also a writer. Under our father’s strict upbringing, as children and teenagers, my sister and I were forbidden to hang out with our peers outside of extracurricular activities. We were the epitome of a hermit. So thinking our life was akin to a hermit we found comfort in a creative realm of writing and drawing at a very young age. Growing up Cipriana at a very, very young age had the innate ability to draw…I mean draw anything ya’ll! I was a lover of books and began writing poetry at the age of six to penning novellas, novels and screenplays strictly for my personal enjoyment by the time I was thirteen. It wasn’t until I moved to NY I began to perform, starting off with spoken word poetry for a few years, which evolved into rapping, singing and songwriting. I currently perform and tour overseas every summer and I’m incessantly meeting new artists and hearing new music. Since the world I live in is quite musical I thought my best contributions could be music related.