With a record that seems like it came out of nowhere but feels like it’s everywhere right now, Jorja Smith’s become the one word of mouth that’s on every mouth – and all with just one track ‘Blue Lights‘.
In a matter of months, this virtual unknown 18 year old from Walsall, has delivered with a simplicity and grace on record that appears to defy the odds of an industry that’s stacked in favour of formula singles. Unsigned and doing exactly what music should do – it’s hit all the right notes and emotions in one.
With influences loaded from the 90’s and beyond from Mos Def to Lauryn Hill to The Streets, Jorja has delivered a beautifully charged video directed by Drew Cox taking ‘Blue Lights’ to black and white. Dressed up with her motivations, Jorja isn’t just another girl she’s the kind of girl that knows what growing up with stereotypes mean. Serving coffee over the counter while dreaming of making something from nothing, Jorja took a hook from Dizzie Rascal’s ‘Sirens’ and reworked it into a soulful boom bap styled R&B record that’s reworked all of our perceptions.
Lyrically driven with a focus on the notion of guilt and what it means to be plagued with ‘hoodie’ stereotypes that are ingrained, institutional and insidiously biased against black men in Britain. While the rise in youth violence is drawing criticism about cuts in policing, controversial collective punishment schemes like the The Shield, have only exasperated problems for young people. Jorja Smith message is a measured and urgent one about the plight of British youth delivered through the humble aspirations of a rising new voice.
Word to the wise, if you’ve seen her live you know she’s as powerful onstage as she is on her record, so expect a full house at her next appearance at The Bedford in Balham, London on the 2nd of March. Its free so get there early.
‘Blue Lights’ is out on iTunes now.