Jorja Smith is an interesting yet soulful singer who I have been watching gain popularity over the years. Her feature in Drake’s “Get it Together” and Kali Uchis’ “Tyrant” called my attention to her stunning voice. I absolutely loved her new album “Lost and Found” and will be attending her concert in two weeks.
Jorja was born in Walsall, West Midlands, in the United Kingdom, on June 11,1997, to Peter and Jolene Smith. Peter is her Jamaican, neo-soul singer father who is in a group called Second Nature, and her mother Jolene is a jewelry designer.
Since the age of 8, she has been encouraged to be musical and take piano lessons. The first song she wrote at the age of 11 was called “Life is a Path Worth Taking”. In her early years she earned a music scholarship at Aldridge School, where she studied classical singing and also how to play the oboe. A manager scouted her at the age of 15 after viewing her singing videos on YouTube. After graduating from school, she moved to London and supported herself as a barista and continued to pursue her dreams and write songs.
Her second single “Where Did I Go?” was lauded by Drake as his favorite track during the summer of 2016. Soon after Smith was picked as number four on the list of BBC Music’s sound of 2017. She performed as an opening act on Bruno Mars’ tour 24K Magic World Tour and was a special guest on Drake’s Boy Meets World Tour. In December of 2017, it was announced that she was the recipient of the 2018 Brit Critics’ Choice Award. She is the first independent artist to have been nominated for the award, let alone win.
Smith has said her songs serve as a platform to address social issues. She stated regarding her music, “When things are going on in the world, I think it’s important to touch on them, because as a musician, you can make people listen. As soon as people press play, you’ve got their attention.”
Project RACE Teens Vice President
Photo by: Ebru Yildiz