★★★☆☆Great expectations are riding on Jorja Smith’s young shoulders. She may be just 20, with only a handful of releases to date, but the precociously talented Walsall-born singer-songwriter has won a Brit award and collaborated with R&B superstars Drake, Stormzy and Kendrick Lamar. She is on her biggest nationwide tour, with every date a sell-out. This Oxford show was packed to bursting with an excitable, youthful, multiracial crowd.
Smith’s rapid ascent to fame may have a faint whiff of industry hype, but she has been propelled largely by her exquisite voice, a weapon of mass seduction that blends classically trained precision with grainy, soulful, voluptuous warmth. Her jaw-dropping beauty has undoubtedly helped, although she plainly has substance as well as style. One stand-out song here,…
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In her brief career so far, the rising star from Walsall has already worked with Canadian superstar Drake and performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
This year, the star released a new song featuring grime star Stormzy, which garnered more than two million views on YouTube.
WARNING: This video may contain language and themes that some viewers may find offensive:
She was nominated for three MOBO Awards, including a win in the Best Female category, and this year won the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award. The former Aldridge School pupil is the first independent artist to be nominated for the prestigious Critics’ Choice Award. The singer beat two other newcomers, Mabel and Stefflon Don, to the prize.
The award, which recognises ‘the future stars of British recording talent’, has previously gone to Adele, Emeli Sande and last year’s winner, Rag N Bone Man.
Talking ahead of the win, Jorja said: “I cannot believe it, it’s been an unforgettable 2017 during which I’ve fulfilled so many of my dreams and this is such a special way to end the year.
“And to be part of an all-female shortlist alongside Mabel and Stefflon Don, who’ve both had incredible 2017s, makes it even better.
“There’s lots more to come in 2018 from all of us and I will do my best to make it another memorable year.”
Jorja’s first release, Blue Lights, was uploaded to SoundCloud in January 2016 when she was 18 years old. The song samples hit single Sirens by hip hop artist Dizzee Rascal.
The vocalist followed this release with single A Prince, featuring Maverick Sabre, and Where Did I Go?, which rapper Drake chose as his ‘favourite track of the moment’ in an article featured in Entertainment Weekly.
The 20-year-old up-and-comer was also featured in the Top 100 in NME magazine, which lists the rising stars set to make it big in 2018.
Entertainment journalist for Native Monster, Express & Star & Shropshire Star. Contact me: [email protected]
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