Jorja Smith

Drake-ap­proved R&B from the Mid­lands

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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.”

Thomas Smith

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