We caught up with Jorja Smith while she was wrapping up the European leg of her world tour. The 21 year-old, who released her acclaimed debut album Lost & Found last June, has taken the music scene by storm with her unique, soulful, smoky timbre. We touched up on a variety of subjects with the british singer, who’s been lowkey compared to Amy Winhouse and Adèle… no less! That’s basically like getting to interview music royalty… can’t say no to that now can you?
KALTBLUT: You’re almost done touring Europe, next up is America and then Australia. It’s your first album and your first headlining tour. How’s tour life been treating you so far?
Jorja Smith: This has been the best tour so far, mentally, physically and emotionally. All round it’s been the best tour, I’ve had so much fun!
KALTBLUT: Are you excited about your North American tour?
Jorja: I am excited for the whole of North America, every show is extra special in its own way just because you don’t know what to expect out there.
KALTBLUT: You wrote your first song when you were 11. What’s your songwriting process like? What comes first, the melody or the lyrics?
Jorja Smith: It can depend, sometimes it can be both and the melody and lyrics at the same time, there’s no real structure to writing a song. The whole process is organic and natural, nothing is forced and everything just comes to me in the moment.
KALTBLUT: What made you want to become an artist at such a young age?
Jorja: I’ve always loved to sing and to write. I went with the flow of everything and it just happened.
KALTBLUT: You’ve been dead set on living from your music ever since you were a teen. What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Jorja: Follow you dreams, do not compare yourself to others and keep working at things. Everybody’s journey is different. I’d say be patient and persistent.
KALTBLUT: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Jorja: Sometimes don’t always listen to your peers.
KALTBLUT: You once said that your musical style is just “Jorja”, that you just do you. Tell us what it’s like to be Jorja Smith right now. What has your life been like since the release of Lost & Found?
Jorja: Busy and fun. I am literally living the dream.
KALTBLUT: Any artists in particular you would love to do collabs with in the future?
Jorja: Frank Ocean and Solange, I think they’re both amazing.
KALTBLUT: You’ve talked about police brutality and racism in “Blue Lights”. Do you think it’s important for the young generation to be socially engaged?
Jorja: Yes, I think it’s really important to be aware of what’s going on in the world and to ask questions.
KALTBLUT: Your smoky, dusky, soulful voice has led many to compare you to Adèle, AlunaGeorge and even Amy Winehouse. What were your musical influences growing up?
Jorja: My musical influences came from whatever my parents were listening to, we’d always have Sade and Nina Simone playing.
KALTBLUT: What’s on your playlist right now? Anything on repeat that you’d like to share?
Jorja: Rosalía, Ezra Collective, Kelela and 6lack.
KALTBLUT: The songs on Lost & Found were written over a period of several years. You seem to be a very prolific writer. I know it might be very early to ask, but does that mean that you already have an idea what your next album will sound like?
Jorja: I just love to write and whatever is my head, I write down on paper, so I have no idea of my next album will sound like and that excites me.