Thanks to Drake, America is about to fall in love with Jorja Smith. Yes, the 6 God has a long track record of finding incredible R&B singers and plucking them out of obscurity, giving them big boosts with features (like he did with Jhene Aiko), but as soon as Smith’s appearances on last year’s More Life hit the airwaves, it was clear this woman was a star in her own right. “Get It Together” was an obvious standout on the packed “playlist” from Drizzy, but her old world, elegant vocals combined with an unrelenting house rhythm and tinkling keys immediately set her apart. The world was hers.
Since then, Smith has been steadily rising in the ranks; last weekend she performed at Coachella, a kind of christening for any artist on the rise in America, and she’s collaborated with UK rapper Stormzy on “Let Me Down,” and guested with Kali Uchis on her Isolation album track “Tyrant,” among others. Last night, Smith performed on Jimmy Kimmel for her TV debut in the US, further showcasing her incredible voice and cementing her star power.
It’s hard to believe she’s only 20-years-old, but Smith is also a classically trained vocalist raised by a father who was formerly in a neo-soul group, 2nd Naicha, so she’s been exposed to and working in music from a very early age. Check out her performance “Blue Lights” above, in which she both sings and raps with equal ease. This was the first song that Smith ever publicly released, and look for much more from her coming soon. If you’re headed to Coachella next weekend, definitely check her out there — full tour dates below.
4/18 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
4/21 — Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
4/23 — San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brew
4/24 — San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
4/26 — Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
4/27 — Seattle, WA @ Neumos
4/28 — Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Caberet
5/1 — Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
5/2 — Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
5/4 — Detroit, MI @ El Club
5/5 — Toronto, ON @ Opera House
5/8 — Montreal, QC @ L’Astral
5/9 — Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
5/11 — Philadelphia, PA @ Foundry
5/12 — New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
5/13 — Washington, DC @ Union Stage