Drake-approved R&B from the Midlands
Jorja Smith is ready to go global. Having wowed as a featured artist on Drake’s ‘More Life’ collection, and with an upcoming support slot for Bruno Mars in the States, Smith’s ascension to stardom is inevitable. But before all that, the 20-year-old is bringing it back home with new single ‘On My Mind’, a distinctly British garage banger. Here’s the lowdown on her next step.
Tell us about your new single ‘On My Mind’.
“It’s a bit of an old-school garage thing. There’s bit of grime in there too, so it was nice to try something new. I wrote it when I was still in school, so it’s got a really nostalgic edge to it.”
Amy Winehouse is a big influence for you, isn’t she…
“She was so honest, everything she sings about, you believe. I think that honesty is really important when writing, and it meant Amy was always able to capture your ears and heart [with] what she’s singing about. Good music is timeless, and if you create with that honesty, it will last.”
Is that something you replicate in your music?
“Definitely. I like to write about what I’ve seen and experiences I’ve been through. Music is an outlet, so I’m not going to get things out that aren’t true. Sometimes I do exaggerate – but only a little bit…”
You featured on Drake’s ‘More Life’ playlist back in March – does that spotlight put pressure on you now?
“It was so mad. People from across the globe were listening to me so that was important moment for that. But I’ve got a very clear idea of exactly what I’m doing and I haven’t rushed anything. Honestly, I don’t feel pressure right now.”
From: Walsall, UK
Buy: ‘On My Mind’ is out now
Best Track: ‘Blue Lights’ – A piano-led soul chinstroker, backed by a tone-perfect sample of Dizzee Rascal’s 2007 single ‘Sirens’.