Music

Jorja Smith Says Kendrick Lamar Likes Her New Album, But He Won’t Be On It

Jorja Smith has set herself up for success by aligning herself with some big-name talent, like Stormzy, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar; it also helps that she’s a world-class talent poised for a breakout on her own merits. We’re now just a few days until her debut album comes out — Lost & Found will be released on June 8 — and while it’s one to look forward to, don’t expect to see any high-profile collaborators on it.

In a new interview with Julie Adenuga on Apple Music’s Beats 1, Smith says that she decided to go about her first album on her own: “No features on my first album. I thought, ‘Nah.’ Just me. People probably are gonna expect me to have a Drake feature and Kendrick feature. Maybe Kali Uchis feature, too. Who else? Stormzy feature. Sorry! […] But what am I going to do for album two? I’ve got stuff to do.”

So, Kendrick won’t be on the album, but it seems like he enjoyed it when he heard it: “I sent Kendrick my album and he liked it,” Smith said. “I was happy.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Smith also discussed her future plans, saying she’s love to write a song for a James Bond movie:

“I just want more people to hear my music. Be able to do big shows but they’re still intimate. […] My plan is to get a lot of people to listen to this music. I also want to write a Bond tune. Also want to direct some of my videos and perform in bigger venues but make it intimate. Don’t know about this, not being able to leave places without loads of security. It’s weird.”

She also talked about working on the Black Panther soundtrack, saying how surprised she was that Kendrick wanted to collaborate with her or even knew her work:

“I get a DM from Tunji [while in LA] saying, ‘Hey, do you want to work with Kendrick?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Okay, I’ll connect you with his manager.’ So Kendrick said, ‘Meet Dave.’ Dave Free, Kendrick’s manager, is really cool. He’s like, ‘Do you want to write tonight?’ ‘Yes.’ So I get it […] I didn’t even know he listened to my music at all. So I was just like, ‘Cool.’

Get an Uber, took me like 20 minutes to get there. Get to his studio house at about 7. I’m like, ‘Hi.’ So it’s Kendrick, Dave and Sounwave […] Then I get to the studio, he left the room but he was like, ‘You can just mess around.’ So I was like [sings] on the mic, getting a melody started. He comes back in, then we play that […] He’s just sick. The things he comes up with, sick […] He told me that he wanted to work with me for a while but it just wasn’t the right time. So I was like, ‘I didn’t even know you knew my music like that.'”

Watch the full interview above.

Lost & Found is out 6/8 via FAMM. Pre-order it here.

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