UPDATE: The Kids Are Stepping Out: Willow Smith (Daughter of Will and Jada) and Zoe Kravitz (Daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz)
UPDATE (9/10/10): Willow Smith submits to an interview by radio host Ryan Secrest in Los Angeles in the wake of the response to her debut single, “Whip My Hair.” Yep, Jada is there. And Jay Z. Willow is quite precocious and direct in some respects, but she’s still nine. Or ten.
H/T to Shadow and Act.
Actually, these two have been around for a while. They’ve been making baby steps in the business. (Montana Fishburne, take notes.) Willow has played bit parts in films and done voice overs since 2007, and has even won a couple of awards. Zoë, too, has been working since 2007, acting in films, modeling, and fronting a vanity band. I really should be reading more often at Black Celebrity Kids, but there is only so many hours in a day.
But the big news this week is that ten-year-old Willow Smith has signed to Jay Z‘s Roc Nation label. Her new single is “Whip My Hair.” People knew that she was working on an album, via her mom on George Lopez‘s show in June, but no other details were offered. Apparently, people are really digging this song, which I believe was strategically leaked out to gauge and sustain audience interest and response.
Girl has even had her hair cut and styled to reflect that “back and forth,” that hair flipping in her song.
I have no doubt that Willow Smith is being groomed to get the tweens’ bucks that Miley Cyrus and some other girl vocalists and groups outgrew. And possibly relieve some others’ hard-earned green, too. However, with all that electronic enhancement, she sounds grown. Like a young woman of sixteen or eighteen with a big, fierce, and knowing voice. I mean, she might indeed front this kind of voice–both Will and Jada aren’t slouches–but it may give some people the wrong ideas. The sound of the voice does not confirm maturity.
Just remember that Willow Smith is still a little girl of ten.
Ten is about the age when everything comes together for kids, and among other things, they learn about what all those love songs really mean for their parents. And some begin to get crushes on other kids in their classes and other social venues. How slow or how fast this knowledge breaks on them, and what and how they use it is up to the individual kid and their parent(s).
Mr. and Mrs. Will Smith seem to be creating a brand here. Along with their own exploits on film, they have Jaden out there doing films like The Karate Kid. Now Willow is doing her thing. If it works out, and the appeal is sustained, Willow and Jaden do will very well. They’re certainly getting a lot of encouragement and advice. Going into the family business is not easy, and being an entertainer–an actor or singer–may not be where they will eventually end up.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Zoë Kravitz, 22, is another story entirely. I remember seeing a photo of she and her father, singer Lenny, shopping in New York, and being blown away: man, how time flies. Former Cosby kid, Lisa Bonet, 42, now known as Lilakoi Moon, has created another family with actor Jason Momoa, Lola and Nakoa. Momoa, 31, has recently been cast in the new Conan the Barbarian movie. Momoa is also biracial.
As I said before, Zoë has been busy. This is her latest film, coming in October, It’s a Funny Kind of Story, in which she plays the long-time school-boy crush of long-suffering Craig, played by lead Kier Gilchrist. Craig has committed himself to a mental health facility because of his recurring depression, and Nia (Zoë), the girlfriend of his best friend Aaron, has come to visit him.
This is not the only film in which Zoë will be featured this year. She’ll be in the much-anticipated Twelve, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. She’ll also appear in Beware The Gonzo, in which she portrays a high school newspaper sex columnist. Zoë will also star in a sequel to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome called Fury Road, in which she’ll play one of “The Five Wives” who are protected by Max, but are being pursued by a convoy in the desert.
In mid-August, it was announced that Zoë would star as Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class.
On television, Zoë will star in the next six-part Californication series on Showtime, premiering in January 2011. She become Becca’s new BFF, who will invite her to join her all-female band. (Hmmm…) For those not in the know, Becca is the daughter of Hank (David Duchovny) and Karen (Natascha McElhone) on the series.
Previously, Zoë appeared in The Brave One with Jodie Foster, as a teenage hooker; and in No Reservations with Catherine Zeta-Jones. She managed to fit both films into her schedule during her last year of high school.Vodpod videos no longer available.
As Zoë is old enough to smoke and drink, and vote and date, her last squeeze was Ben Foster, who appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand as Angel, and who has been nominated for a number of awards, including a cast nomination from the Screen Actors Guild for 3:10 to Yuma. They parted in late 2008. I’ve looked around, and frankly, she may be too busy to even contemplate a relationship. More power to her.