It ain't a fantasy
I will readily admit I don’t listen, or know, enough of the underground new “it” tunes. Spending a few days in Berlin only confirmed that: checking out playlists on Spotify is not enough to find the new musical gem we’ve all been waiting for since Freddie Mercury passed away and Adele had vocal chord issues.
Yet, there is one new British artist, who ironically draws part of her success to Spotify — and was talked about in Berlin, always a seal of approval — who’s been standing out in recent months, and that’s Jorja Smith. To be absolutely honest, I heard her first on French radio and was immediately taken by her soft new soul sound that derives equally from 90’s Erykah Badu and contemporary hip-hop / RnB productions. In other words, a pretty remarkable combo for 21-year old singer from the West Midlands.
I point out that I heard her before I saw her, only because she also happens to be a remarkably attractive young woman, which almost feels like overkill. And the song that I discovered her with, “Teenage fantasy”, comes with a sexy black & white music video that happens to be shot in Paris, to make things even better…
Her first — and to date biggest — track happens to be “Blue lights”, though, a somewhat more topical production, stemming from the British tradition of subtly picking up on US-sounding Hip-Hop / RnB beats and then subtly making them smoother, milder — better behaved, basically. The melody still makes for refreshing little surprises in that it turns out not to be as straightforward as one would first assume.
The same can be said about Jorja Smith in general: she’s not just a young and pretty RnB singer able to carry a tune. She’s already got a distinctive voice and, if things continue at this rate, she might just become the new Adele. Albeit with RnB flavours, and probably more collabs.