Jorja Alice Smith (born 11 June 1997) is an English singer from Walsall, West Midlands. She has independently released numerous singles and one extended play, Project 11 (2016). She has collaborated with other artists, most notably with Drake, Stormzy, and Kali Uchis, as well as producer Preditah. In 2018, Smith won the Brit Critics' Choice Award.
Smith was brought up on a blend of Trojan Records boxsets, Curtis Mayfield and Damien Marley. She was classically trained as a vocalist during secondary school. Smith was part of a music collective, OGHORSE, and began releasing music online. Her father was born in Gloucester, UK and was part of a neo-soul group called 2nd Naicha.
Smith's first release, "Blue Lights", was uploaded to SoundCloud in January 2016 when she was eighteen years old, followed up by "A Prince" featuring Maverick Sabre and "Where Did I Go?", which artist/rapper Drake chose as his favourite track of the moment in an article which featured in Entertainment Weekly. To close out 2016, she released her first body of work, Project 11 (2016), a 4-track EP covering a variety of matters and musical styles. "Blue Lights" was nominated in the Best Song category at the 2016 MOBO Awards. Smith supported Canadian rapper Drake on his UK tour at a show in Birmingham and London.
Throughout 2017, Smith was covered in the UK national press tipped by the BBC and Evening Standard as one of the UK's most up and coming artists. Jorja was one of 15 artists selected for the BBC's 15 Sound of 2017 longlist. She came 4th, with Ray BLK as the winner. FACT Mag also named Smith as one of their 10 Pop and R&B artists to watch in 2017.
In March 2017, Smith appeared on two tracks on Drake's album More Life (2017). That same month, she released the single "Beautiful Little Fools" on International Women's Day. The title is a reference to The Great Gatsby, and the video features Smith singing at the Rivoli Ballroom in London, playing characters from different levels of society.
She was nominated in the Best Female category in the 2017 MOBO Awards and in January 2018 she won the Brit Critics' Choice Award. The following month she performed at the 2018 BRIT Award’s with Rag'n'Bone Man.
She announced her debut studio album Lost & Found in April 2018. It was released on June 8, 2018 About her debut album, Smith told Exclaim!, "It was never like, 'Okay, I'm going to take three years to create an album.' I just write songs. As much as I love plans and stuff, when it comes to music - same as how I do my EP - they just happened. I made them, and then I was like, 'I want to put out an EP,' 'Oh, these songs will go well together, so I'm going to put them together.' That's what happened with the album, it just came to a point where I thought, 'I think this year is a good year to put out an album, because people are watching me.'"
Smith's influences include Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Mos Def, and The Streets. Her vocal style has been compared to Adele, Alicia Keys, FKA Twigs.