‘There’s Something Beautiful about Classic Rock’: Willow on Her Secret Influences

Willow is known for her wide-ranging taste in music, from teen-pop to R&B to punk and more. But one influence has been looming even larger for her lately: Queen’s bombastic, glam 1970s rock.

“If you really think about it, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was the craziest [song],” she said when she caught up with Rolling Stone before her Lollapalooza set. “Nobody could even think about putting a beautiful operatic part right next to a metal breakdown and insane guitar solo… There’s something deeply musical and beautiful about classic rock.”

The 21-year-old artist also revealed she’s been revisiting her previous albums for inspiration, including her 2019 self-titled effort. “It really showed what is underneath all of me,” she says. “It was this trippy, spacey world with beautiful harmonies — kind of creepy, very guitar-inspired. I will say I’m very proud of that album.”

She continued her description of trippy, spacey worlds with a mention of the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, saying, “It made you want to fix all of your internal issues.” She brought it back down to earth at the end, though, admitting that if she were not a musician, she’d be doing “something earthly,” like writing and spending time in the woods.


The conversation capped with Willow surmising what her legacy will be. “I want people to be like, ‘Willow always did what was in her heart and she always wanted to inspire people to do what was in their heart. Even though it may not have been my cup of tea at one point, it was still my cup of tea because of who she is as a person,’” she said. “I just want people to feel my love.”

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