Transparent Soul

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"Transparent Soul"
Willow - Transparent Soul.png
Single by Willow featuring Travis Barker
from the album Lately I Feel Everything
Written2020
ReleasedApril 27, 2021
Recorded2020
GenrePop-punk
Length2:48
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Tyler Cole[1]
Willow singles chronology
"Hey, You!"
(2020)
"Transparent Soul"
(2021)
"Lipstick"
(2021)
Kid Cudi remix cover
Transparent soul remix.jpeg
Music videos
"Transparent Soul" (Performance Visual) on YouTube
"Transparent Soul" (Official music video) on YouTube

"Transparent Soul" (stylized as "t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l")[1] is a song by American singer Willow featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker on drums, released as a single via YouTube on April 27, 2021. Rolling Stone and Guitar World described the song as pop-punk. The song was released as the lead single from her fourth solo studio album Lately I Feel Everything.[2]

Background[edit]

The theme of the song is Willow's struggle with "fake" people seeking to exploit them, revealed to the singer by her ability to see these qualities in their "transparent" souls.[3] Willow described the song as having been written during a very introspective time at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and inspired by a quote from Hindu guru Radhanath Swami.[3] Smith was also inspired to enter the genre by her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, who previously fronted nu metal band Wicked Wisdom in the early 2000s.[4][5] Smith plays an Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent signature guitar on the track.[6]

Music videos[edit]

An initial music video for the song features Willow "dressed in classic punk attire—spiked collars and all".[7] Revolt described it as "almost reminiscent of classic rock and roll videos", with Willow "rocking wild fashions that range from colorful to goth" overlaid with various special effects, though without an appearance by Barker in the "short-yet-energetic" production.[1] The video received over a million views on YouTube within its first two weeks after being uploaded.[8]

A second, "official" music video was released on May 28, 2021, this one featuring Smith in a "dingy rock club" having various encounters with other people, and performing the song with Barker playing the drums.[9] Willow then "runs into a mysterious (and terrifying) figure" in the club, which follows her out.[10] Smith collapses on the ground in an empty street, and the video cuts out as she appears to reach her hand out to the mysterious figure.

Remix[edit]

The song was officially remixed featuring vocals from American musician Kid Cudi. The remix was released via streaming and digital distribution on November 19, 2021. Cudi previously collaborated with Willow on “Rose Golden” from his 2016 project Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. Willow also appeared in the Cudi documentary A Man Named Scott, released on November 5, 2021, where she spoke on how his music has had a influence on her.[11]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[12]

  • Willow Smith – vocals, composition, lyrics
  • Travis Barker – drums, composition, lyrics
  • Tyler Cole – production, composition, lyrics
  • Michelle Mancini – mastering
  • Mario J. McNulty – mixing
  • Zach Brown – engineering

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Transparent Soul"
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[13] 44
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[14] 54
Canada Rock (Billboard)[15] 38
Global 200 (Billboard)[16] 84
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 26
Lithuania (AGATA)[18] 73
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19] 37
UK Singles (OCC)[20] 28
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 76
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[22] 10
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[23] 9

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "Transparent Soul"
Region Date Format Version Label Ref.
Various April 27, 2021 Original
United States May 25, 2021 Alternative radio Roc Nation [25]
Mainstream rock radio [26]
August 24, 2021 Contemporary hit radio [27]
Various November 19, 2021
  • digital download
  • streaming
Kid Cudi Remix
  • MSFTSMusic
  • Roc Nation
[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Powell, Jon (April 27, 2021). "Willow teams up with Travis Barker for "transparent soul"". Revolt.
  2. ^ Benitez-Eves, Tina. "Willow Smith Fills Upcoming Fifth Album with 'Transparent Soul'". American Songwriter. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Rice, Nicholas (April 28, 2021). "Willow Smith Releases Video for New Punk Rock Song 'Transparent Soul': 'Let the Vibes Commence'". People.
  4. ^ Haylock, Zoe (April 27, 2021). "Willow Shreds Expectations in Her New Track, "Transparent Soul"". Vulture.
  5. ^ Valdivia, Pablo (April 28, 2021). "Willow Smith Is The Pop-Punk Icon We've Always Deserved". BuzzFeed.
  6. ^ Owen, Matt (April 27, 2021). "Willow Smith unleashes her inner pop-punk in guitar-centric new single, Transparent Soul". Guitar World.
  7. ^ Shaffer, Claire (April 27, 2021). "Willow Smith Goes Full Pop-Punk on New Track 'Transparent Soul'". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ Wally, Maxine (May 10, 2021). "Willow Enters Her Pop-Punk Era". W.
  9. ^ Blistein, Jon (May 28, 2021). "Willow Smith Confronts a Terrifying Figure in a Dingy Rock Club in 'Transparent Soul' Video". Rolling Stone.
  10. ^ Iasimone, Ashley (May 29, 2021). "Willow Meets a Strange Figure in 'Transparent Soul' Video Featuring Travis Barker". Billboard Magazine.
  11. ^ a b https://www.complex.com/music/willow-smith-kid-cudi-travis-barker-transparent-soul-remix
  12. ^ "Transparent Soul". Retrieved May 2, 2021 – via Tidal.
  13. ^ "Willow feat. Travis Barker – T R A N S P A R E N T S O U L" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  15. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Canada Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  17. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  18. ^ "2021 24-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. June 18, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  21. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  22. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  23. ^ "Willow Smith Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  24. ^ "American single certifications – Willow – t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Alternative Future Releases". All Access. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  26. ^ "Rock Future Releases". All Access. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  27. ^ "Top 40/Mainstream Future Releases". All Access. Retrieved August 28, 2021.