A soul melting voice, radiant face and keen sense of self-awareness.
For three years now everyone’s eyes have been focused on Jorja Smith. With the help of heavyweights like Kali Uchis and Drake, an inestimable sum of attention has cemented onto the British R&B singer/songwriter since this spring. Being in Smith’s shoes would terrify the average person her age, some would even keep blogs or journals to record this type of moody nostalgia and coming of age stories. Smith, on the other hand, wrote songs about her youth experience, love, hate and living in a boy’s world. All those written memories are just one of the pillars of Smith’s success – a soul melting voice, radiant face and keen sense of self-awareness are the others.
“On My Mind,” one of Smith’s latest offerings exemplifies her mainstream potential, along with an ability to adjust to new sonic atmospheres. Smith’s formula has always been heart-melting soul, never rushed and rocking at mid-tempo. At the same time, “On My Mind” is a fresh and unfamiliar track that makes an artist’s longtime listeners crave a bit of the old, not because the new isn’t any good, but because the old is a different kind of good.
Stunning is the only word to describe Jorja Smith’s debut, but “new classic” is more adequate. Given a decade or so, Project 11 (2016) will be christened as as apt reference point for post millennial neo-soul. Project 11 is not just a handful of stories crafted into track, but instead a multidimensional exploration of the aching human heart via soul in its most honest forms: music and poetry. Even the backing piano is an ornamental touch; her voice and stories admire each other and meet in sheer perfection, showing strength as a duo that doesn’t need much help.