Jorja Smith

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Jorja Smith
Smith performing in November 2018
Smith performing in November 2018
Background information
Birth nameJorja Alice Smith
Born (1997-06-11) 11 June 1997 (age 24)
Walsall, West Midlands, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2016–present
Labels
  • FAMM
Associated acts
Websitejorjasmith.com

Jorja Alice Smith (born 11 June 1997) is an English singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Walsall, West Midlands, she has been writing songs since the age of 11. In 2012, Smith's friend uploaded her cover to YouTube, which led to her discovery by record producer Guy Moot. After her first two singles received broader recognition, she signed with Sony/ATV in 2016, releasing two EPs throughout 2016 and 2017.

Her debut studio album, Lost & Found, was released in 2018 to critical acclaim, and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. The same year, Smith won the Brit Critics' Choice Award. In 2019, she was named Best British Female Artist at the Brit Awards and was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Her third EP Be Right Back, which was released in May 2021 received favorable reviews.

Early life[edit]

Jorja Smith was born on 11 June 1997 in Walsall, West Midlands, to a Jamaican father and an English mother.[2] Her father Peter, a benefits officer, is a former musician who sang in a neo-soul group called 2nd Naicha before Smith was born, and her mother, Jolene, is a jewellery designer.[2][3] Smith has a younger brother, Luca, and is the cousin of Rangers player Kemar Roofe.[4][5]

She began taking piano lessons at the age of 8 at the encouragement of her father.[6][7] Smith earned a music scholarship at Aldridge School, where she learned the oboe and studied classical singing, before taking music for her A-level exams.[8] She was scouted by a manager at the age of 15 after uploading videos of herself singing cover songs on YouTube.[9] Shortly after, she began travelling to London for writing sessions with Maverick Sabre and Ed Thomas, while still in school.[6][7] After graduation, she moved to London at the age of 18 where she supported herself by working as a barista, and continued to write songs.[9][10]

Career[edit]

2015–2019: First EPs, and Lost & Found[edit]

In Late 2015, Maverick Sabre co-signed Smith publicly.[11] In January 2016, Smith released her debut single "Blue Lights", which samples Dizzee Rascal's song "Sirens", on SoundCloud; the song garnered 400,000 plays on the website within a month.[12] Her second single "Where Did I Go?", released in May, was singled out by Drake as his favourite track of the moment in Entertainment Weekly in July.[13] Following the worldwide recognition and exposure Smith gained from Drake, Smith caught the attention of Guy Moot. Moot, an executive and worldwide creative at Sony/ATV with mainstream industry connections, signed Smith to a publishing deal in late 2016.[14] In November 2016, she released her four-track debut extended play, Project 11.[15] The same month, Smith was selected as one of the fifteen rising acts on BBC Music's Sound of 2017 longlist, and finished fourth on the list.[16][17]

Smith performing in 2018

Smith performed as a special guest on Drake's Boy Meets World Tour in February and March 2017,[18] and featured on two tracks on his mixtape More Life (2017).[19] She released the song "Beautiful Little Fools" on International Women's Day; the title is a reference to the novel The Great Gatsby.[20] In May, she featured on Kali Uchis' song "Tyrant", the lead single off Uchis' debut studio album Isolation (2018).[21] She released her third single, "Teenage Fantasy", in June.[22] Two months later, Smith and grime artist Preditah released a single together called "On My Mind".[23] In September 2017, she began dating singer and producer Joel Compass.[24]

She performed as the opening act on Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour in October and November 2017.[25] In December, it was announced that Smith would be the recipient of the Brit Critics' Choice Award, to be presented at the Brits nominations launch on 13 January 2018.[26][27] She is the first independent artist to have been nominated for the award, let alone win.[28]

In January 2018, she released the single "Let Me Down" featuring rapper Stormzy.[29] Smith co-wrote and performed the song "I Am" on Kendrick Lamar's soundtrack album for the film Black Panther, released in February.[30] Later that month, she performed at the BRIT Awards with Rag'n'Bone Man.[31] In April, she made her US television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with a performance of "Blue Lights".[32] Her debut studio album, Lost & Found, written over a five-year period, was announced in April and released in June 2018 to critical acclaim.[10][33][34] In the month of the album's release, Smith began touring in support of the album, with dates scheduled across Europe and festival appearances in Japan.[35] The Lost & Found Tour's North American leg began on 19 November in Seattle and conclude on 19 December in Toronto and will be supported by Ravyn Lenae.[25][36]

In 2019, Smith announced a co-headlining North American tour with Kali Uchis starting on 28 April in Washington, D.C. and concluding in Toronto on 30 May. In August 2019, Smith released the single "Be Honest" featuring Burna Boy.[37]

2020–present: Be Right Back[edit]

In early 2020, Smith began hosting a 12-part BBC Radio 3 show called 'Tearjerker', which focuses on the healing power of music.[38] She released two singles that year: "By Any Means" and "Come Over" featuring Popcaan.[39][40]

On 14 May 2021, she released her third extended play Be Right Back, which received generally positive reviews.

Influences[edit]

Smith grew up listening to reggae, punk, hip-hop, and R&B, and wrote her first song at the age of 11.[41] She describes being "obsessed" with Amy Winehouse's 2003 debut album Frank as a teenager and was inspired by the singer's raw approach to songwriting.[42] Smith said her songs are about social issues: "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."[43] She cites Lauryn Hill, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Sade, Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, Mos Def and the Streets as influences.[18][44][45] Style wise, Smith cites Rihanna as the sole fashion icon she is inspired by.[46]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums with selected details
Title Details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
UK
[47]
UK
R&B

[48]
AUS
[49]
BEL
(FL)

[50]
BEL
(WA)

[51]
FRA
[52]
IRE
[53]
NLD
[54]
NZ
[55]
US
[56]
Lost & Found 3 1 13 12 22 20 14 12 16 41
  • UK: 41,983[57]
    (as of September 2018)

EPs[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[47]
UK
R&B

[48]
AUS
[49]
BEL
(FL)

[50]
BEL
(WA)

[51]
FRA
[52]
IRE
[53]
NLD
[54]
NZ
[55]
SWI
[60]
Project 11
  • Released: 17 November 2016[61]
  • Label: FAMM
  • Format: LP, digital download, streaming
Spotify Singles
  • Released: 13 December 2017[62]
  • Label: FAMM
  • Format: Streaming
Be Right Back
  • Released: 14 May 2021[63]
  • Label: FAMM
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
9 1 49
[64]
52 92 81
[65]
77
[66]
28 27
[67]
33
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[47]
UK
Indie

[68]
UK
R&B

[69]
AUS
[70]
BEL
(FL)
Tip

[50]
BEL
(WA)

[51]
FRA
[52]
IRE
[71]
JPN
[72]
NZ
Hot

[73]
"Blue Lights" 2016 38 4 20 31 56 69 89 Lost & Found
"Where Did I Go?" 13 85
"Teenage Fantasy" 2017 77 8
"On My Mind"
(with Preditah)
54 5 Non-album singles
"Let Me Down"
(featuring Stormzy)
2018 34 3 62
"February 3rd" 75 7 192 Lost & Found
"On Your Own" 14
"The One" 16 4 72
"Don't Watch Me Cry" 2019 73 8
"Loose Ends"
(with Loyle Carner)
62 33 39 Not Waving, but Drowning
"Goodbyes" 10 Lost & Found
"Be Honest"
(featuring Burna Boy)
8 2 7 77 3 5 28 20 5 Non-album singles
"By Any Means"[39] 2020 89 11 38 28 Reprise[75]
"Come Over"
(featuring Popcaan)[40]
35 89 94 Non-album single
"Addicted"[76] 2021 46 4 24 20 Be Right Back
"Gone" 79 14 28
"Bussdown"
(featuring Shaybo)
56 6 26 41 22
"All of This"
(with GuiltyBeatz)
non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"A Prince"[77]
2016 Non-album singles
"Beautiful Little Fools"[78] 2017
"Rose Rouge"[79] 2020 Bluenote Reimagined

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK BEL
(FL)
IRE NZ SWI
"People"[80]
(Cadenza featuring Jorja Smith and Dre Island)
2016 Non-album single
"Tyrant"[81]
(Kali Uchis featuring Jorja Smith)
2017 Isolation
"Bridge over Troubled Water"
(as part of Artists for Grenfell)
1 26 25 [A] 28 Non-album singles
"Follow the Leader"[83]
(George the Poet and Maverick Sabre featuring Jorja Smith)
2018
"Go 2.0"[84]
(Alex da Kid featuring Jorja Smith, H.E.R. and Rapsody)
"Reason in Disguise"[85]
(Ezra Collective featuring Jorja Smith)
You Can't Steal My Joy
"Slow Down"[86]
(Maverick Sabre featuring Jorja Smith)
2019 When I Wake Up
"Peng Black Girls (Remix)"[87]
(Enny featuring Jorja Smith)
2020 Non-album singles
"Nobody but You"[88]
(Sonder featuring Jorja Smith)
2021 [B] TBA
"Patience"[90]
(Wesley Joseph featuring Jorja Smith)
Ultramarine
"1000 Nights"
(Jaykae featuring Jorja Smith)
TBA
"My Sister"
(Shaybo featuring Jorja Smith)
Queen of the South
"Killing Me"

(Sasha Keable featuring Jorja Smith)

/ / / / /
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

List of other charted songs, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[47]
UK
Indie

[68]
UK
R&B

[91]
CAN
[92][93]
GER
[94]
IRE
[71][95]
NLD
[96]
SWE
[97]
US
[98]
US
R&B

[99]
"Jorja Interlude"
(Drake featuring Jorja Smith)
2017 42 14 28 51 84 [C] 49 More Life
"Get It Together"
(Drake featuring Black Coffee and Jorja Smith)
24 5 20 67 30 58 88 45 9
"I Am" 2018 62 32 80 [D] 9 Black Panther: The Album
"Lost & Found" 11 Lost & Found
"Wandering Romance" 25
"Lifeboats (Freestyle)" 26
"Tomorrow" 29
"Home" 2021 37 Be Right Back
"Burn" 39
"Time" 46
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Jorja Interlude" (Uncredited)[102] 2017 Drake More Life
"Get It Together"[102] Drake, Black Coffee
"Location" (Remix) 2018 Khalid, Wretch 32 Non-album remix
"I Am"[103] None Black Panther: The Album
"My World"[104] OSHUN Bittersweet, Vol.
"Gum Body"[105] 2019 Burna Boy African Giant
"I Can't Be My Old Self Forever"[106] None A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"Make It Right"[107] Rapman Presents: Blue Story (Music Inspired By the Original Motion Picture)
"Im Workin"[108] 2020 Giggs Now or Never
"Kiss Me in the Morning" None The Eddy (From the Original Netflix Series)

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director(s) Ref.
"A Prince" 2016 Yao Xiang [109]
"Blue Lights" Drew Cox [110]
"Where Did I Go?" Jorja Smith [111]
"Beautiful Little Fools" 2017 Hector Dockrill [112]
"Teenage Fantasy" Rashid Babiker [113]
"On My Mind"
(with Preditah)
Hector Dockrill [114]
"Let Me Down"
(featuring Stormzy)
2018 [115]
"Blue Lights" Olivia Rose [116]
"On Your Own" Hector Dockrill [117]
"The One" [118]
"Blue Lights" (French Remix)
(featuring Dosseh)
Aldo Hacheme [119]
"Goodbyes" 2019 Rashid Babiker [120]
"Be Honest" Amber Grace Johnson [121]
"By Any Means" 2020 Otis Dominique [122]
"Addicted " 2021 Jorja Smith
Savanah Leaf

Tours[edit]

Headlining[edit]

  • Lost and Found Tour (2018)

Co-headlining[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result
2016 MOBO Awards[123][124] "Blue Lights" Best Song Nominated
2017 Herself Best Female
Best Newcomer
Best R&B/Soul Act
BET Awards[125] International Viewers' Choice Award
2018 Brit Awards[26] Critics' Choice Won
Q Awards[126] Q Breakthrough Act Nominated
AIM Independent Music Awards[127] UK Breakthrough of the Year Won
Most Played New Independent Act Nominated
Lost & Found Independent Album of the Year
Mercury Prize[42] Album of the Year
UK Music Video Awards[128] "Blue Lights" Best Urban Video - UK Won
MTV Europe Music Awards[129] Herself Best Push Nominated
Urban Music Awards[130] Lost & Found Best Album
Soul Train Music Awards[131] Herself Best New Artist
Soul Train Certified Award
2019 Grammy Awards Best New Artist
Sweden GAFFA Awards[132] Best Foreign New Act
Brit Awards[133] Lost & Found British Album of the Year
Herself British Female Solo Artist Won
British Breakthrough Act Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards[134] "Blue Lights" Best Contemporary Song
AIM 2019 Independent Music Awards[135] Herself Most Played New Independent Artist
UK Music Video Awards "Be Honest" Best Urban Video - UK
Best Production Design in a Video

Nominated for a uk MVA for by any means [136]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bridge over Troubled Water" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number four on the NZ Heatseekers Singles Chart.[82]
  2. ^ "Nobody but You" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 16 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[89]
  3. ^ "Jorja Interlude" did not enter the Swedish Singellista chart, but peaked at number four on the Swedish Heatseeker chart.[100]
  4. ^ "I Am" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but peaked at number five on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[101]

References[edit]

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