Lost & found: Lose yourself in Jorja Smith’s debut album
Heard of Jorja Smith yet? You will.
One of the UK’s best upcoming R&B & soul exports, the 20 year old singer-songwriter comes fresh from stamping her unique sound on TLC’s 90s classic ‘No Scrubs’ with her debut album ‘Lost & Found.’ Born in Walsall, an industrial town in the heart of the West Midlands (UK), Smith is a shining star in Birmingham’s urban music scene; her immersive vocal and affective lyrics earning her a place at R&B’s top table. Collaborating with Drake for their 2017 track ‘Get it together’, ‘Lost and Found’ sees Jorja take the spotlight: 12 tracks and 46 minutes of shimmering soul that explore self-discovery, society, love, loss and youth. We pick out our favourite tracks from Jorja’s hypnotic debut, taking a closer look at the lyrics and inspirations behind her rhymes and verses. Watch this space closely-Jorja’s gonna be big …
‘Blue Lights’ is Jorja’s breakthrough and most poignant track, exploring the pressures of U.K.'s gang culture upon finding a knife in a friend’s school bag at the age of seventeen. Jorja creates an alternate paradigm—a what if scenario—as she narrates the struggle of being at a precarious cross roads between innocence, education, and youth crime. With the final verse featuring Dizzee rascal’s ‘sirens’ and her native ‘brum flow’, ‘Blue Lights’ cleverly tackles an issue close to Jorja’s roots—a track mirroring the prejudicial bias between law enforcement and black British/African-American males in modern society.
"I want to turn those blue lights, into strobe lights, not blue flashing lights, maybe fairy lights"
- Blue lights, Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith - Blue Lights (Official Video)
On Your Own
‘On Your Own’ is a punchy and personal battle cry-persuading one’s self to leave lost love behind. Resetting your life compass in the face of heartbreak isn’t easy, though Jorja’s harmonies, wrapped in a alluring guitar and piano sequence, have an electricity that makes you want to press ‘repeat’.
"Wasted it all, on yourself tonight - you're by yourself tonight"
- On your own, Jorja Smith
This Loyle Carner/Misch-esque freestyle is ‘Lost and Found’s’ hidden gem. Reflecting the U.K.’s unique neo-soul sound, ‘Lifeboats’ contrasts with Jorja’s grime-infused single ‘On my mind’ feat. Preditah (2017) and the delicate keys and vocals of ‘Where did I go?’ (2016). Water being the metaphor of choice, the track addresses another social issue: unemployment and the growth of social and economic inequalities in U.K. All against the sound of falling rain, ‘Lifeboats’ validates the maturity of Jorja’s song-writing and is a jam you can’t help but nod your head to…
"Even money sinks to the bottom when it's waterlogged
- so nobody truly stays afloat"
- Lifeboats (freestyle), Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith - Lifeboats | Plus Près de Toi - Nova.fr
Jorja returned from her Coachella debut in April having premiered ‘February 3rd’; a release boasting Jorja’s effortless vocal and sombre soul sound. This bassy slow-jam, with 4 minutes of drum kicks, smooth strings, tambourine, and keys ends with a short monologue: her personal ‘lost and found’ story. Why February 3rd? The day the first lyrics of the demo track were penned, Jorja’s track conjures scenes of winter morning heartache; a sure addition to your chilled-out Summer night soundtrack.
"What is it that your eyes don't see; why don't you lose yourself for me?"
- February 3rd, Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith - February 3rd
Jorja’s debut album ‘Lost and found’ is out now with FAMM records. Preparing for her first full UK Album Tour this October, returning to her home crowd of Birmingham (UK) on October 13th, tickets to Jorja’s shows can be found at https://jorja.tmstor.es/.