Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith

Musician

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Photography Sarah Piantadosi, styling Nell Kalonji

Collaborating with Drake on ‘More Life’ cemented the politically-charged British singer’s transition into stardom

Age
20
Location
London, United Kingdom

Midlands-born singer Jorja Smith was already well known for her addictive blend of pop and modern soul music when she featured on Drake’s record-smashing playlist More Life, but their track “Get It Together” certainly hasn’t harmed her ascent into the ranks of music royalty.

Unafraid to be overtly political, she first blew up with her debut “Blue Lights”, a 2016 track about police brutality that sampled Dizzee Rascal’s “Sirens”. Drake, who describes Smith’s music as “introspective soul”, isn’t her only fan – the teen has collaborated with the likes of Maverick Sabre, Cadenza and Dre Island.

Smith, who’s known that she wanted to be a singer since the age of eight, has a strong pedigree – her dad is a singer with a neo-soul outfit called Second Nature. “I sang “Silent Night” (during a nativity play), which was the first time my dad heard me sing. He told me he knew from then I had something special,” she told Dazed. When she was 15 or 16 her future manager was sent a video of her singing and came up to meet Smith and her father. “I just kept writing and sending them stuff, and obviously they liked my hustle!”

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff