It’s time to add another R&B superstar to your playlists, TasteMakers! Our Artist of the Week is the fast-rising modern day Queen of Soul music: Jorja Smith.
The British singer-songwriter has quickly captured the hearts of listeners around the world with her soulful vocals and poignant lyrics. Her vocal prowess was first discovered on YouTube after which she was scouted at the age of 15. At just 18, the emerging star was lauded by major artists Drake, Skrillex, and Stormzy after the self-release of her debut hit “Blue Lights” on SoundCloud.
Now, at the tender age of 22, she’s already got two Brit Awards under her belt along with countless collaborations with fellow industry giants (including the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Khalid, and Drake) as she continues to create timeless music.
This week, we take a look at Jorja Smith’s soulful progression through her album discography:
Project 11 (2016)
Project 11 was the first EP to be released by Jorja Smith in 2016 when she was just 18 years old. The five-track compilation is raw, vulnerable, and refreshingly intimate as Smith recounts her personal experiences with heartbreak, independence, and growth. This soulfully crafted debut cemented Smith’s status as an artist to watch within the UK R&B scene. There’s “Something In The Way” she delivers her music that makes our hearts quake - listen to the live performance of the highlight track here:
On My Mind (feat. Preditah) (2017)
Smith released this hit single with grime artist Preditah a few months after the debut of Project 11, and we haven’t been able to get “On My Mind” off our minds since. She makes the sonic transition from her soulful balladry to this upbeat UK garage dance track with perfect elegance, showing off her versatility and taking the UK music scene by storm.
Lost & Found (2018)
Lost & Found is a treasure box that is the culmination of Smith’s work over a five-year period. Her debut album is filled with gems she had been writing from the ages of 16 to 21. Once again, Smith’s music is brashly honest and unapologetically her. She invites listeners to join her in her journey to discover herself and her place within this world in the form of audio bliss; Smith tackles a range of subjects such as love, youth, and social issues with so much heart and soul in this coming-of-age album that we’re left with a lump in our throats.
Lost & Found contains a goldmine of perfect tracks and it’s difficult to single out our top picks, but we recommend you start out with “Teenage Fantasy”, “The One”, “Lifeboats (Freestyle)”, and of course, her breakout track “Blue Lights”. Listen to the tunes and some of their amazing live renditions below 💎
Be Honest (feat. Burna Boy) (2019)
We come full circle to Smith’s latest single, where she teams up with Burna Boy for a 🔥🔥🔥 collaboration. Released just last month, the track features more of her sultry, honey-smooth vocals paired with reggaeton beats and tropical vibes. We KNOW summer is long gone, but can you blame us for wanting to keep this on repeat a little longer? The release of her first new single since Lost & Found keeps us on our toes in anticipation of Smith’s next steps!
In case you couldn’t tell, this Queen of Soul has conquered our hearts 👑 💖
💥 MAKE for Jorja Smith to bring this vocal powerhouse to your city now! 💥
🔽 Jorja Smith live at NPR Music 🔽
🔽 Jorja Smith covers Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly” 🔽