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The ShortListen: Jorja Smith (no. 242)


Who? Jorja Smith

What’s the story? We're just into February and the first big music industry scrum of the year is under way, in the form of unsigned 18-year-old Walsall singer Jorja Smith. However, in contrast to most explosions of hype, this one is completely justified. Blue Lights ticks every single box of what you'd want from a potential new global superstar, featuring (no pressure) distinct echoes of Amy Winehouse, the sass of Rihanna, the purity of voice of Adele, the easy switch between singing and rapping shown before by Lauryn Hill - and she even chucks in a cool Dizzee Rascal sample for good measure. Lyrically, strangely, it reminds us of early Arctic Monkeys - wryly observing a situation around her -  and thinking over the consequences of what she's seeing. She's already attracted support from Stormzy, MNEK and Skrillex and you can imagine one tweet from Ed Sheeran - another artist that this has shades of - will send it over the edge into the mainstream. As ever, one song alone won't be enough, but this is a startlingly good debut.

For fans of: Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Adele

In three words: Future global star

Click here for more ShortListens

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist



The ShortListen: Zayn (no. 241)


The ShortListen: Massive Attack (no. 240)


The ShortListen: Pet Shop Boys (no. 239)


The ShortListen: Iggy Pop (no. 238)


The ShortListen: Klangstof (no. 237)


The ShortListen: The Coral (no. 236)


The ShortListen: Chairlift (no. 235)


The ShortListen: Nina Nesbitt (no. 234)


The ShortListen: Mogwai/Explosions in the Sky (no. 233)



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