Release Date: Jun 8, 2018
Record label: Famm.
Genre(s): Pop, R&B
There's a "wise beyond her years" commingled with "new kid on the block" dichotomy with Jorja Smith. "I'm constantly finding myself," she explains at the end of "February 3rd." Indeed, Lost & Found presents an artist in discovery mode. Comparisons to Amy Winehouse, FKA Twigs and Adele are far too facile; the 21-year-old from Walsall, UK represents the best of bleeding-edge soul and traditional sensibilities. Operating at a sleek 12 tracks, Lost & Found idealizes love, crystallizes hope and maintains that feeling of vulnerable ….
"Why do we fall down with innocence?" Jorja Smith wonders on the opening title track of Lost & Found. The 20-year-old English singer's deeply personal debut is full of impressionistic questions like this, yet she never demands easy answers. Her approach to seeking self-knowledge is compassionate and patient, demonstrative of a keen intellect and rich with precocious wisdom.
Clinching the Critics' Choice BRIT Award isn't ever a guarantee of sustained success or even a well-received debut, as a quick perusal of the list of previous winners will attest. Jorja Smith, you suspect, needed neither the affirmation of her ability or any more of a pedestal than she already had, given that she's already got high-profile collaborations with Drake and Kendrick Lamar under her belt. 'Lost & Found' would surely have emerged sounding this assured and fully-formed regardless of the Midlander's extracurricular successes since she began working on it two years ago; there's a diversity of stylistic approach and yet a singularity of vision that few artists are able to combine so early on.
After the slow-burning success of "Blue Lights" and a string of powerful follow-up singles, Smith's popularity and artistry has gradually been gathering momentum over the past few years. After lending her talents to hip hop giants Drake and Kendrick Lamar , the doors to a whole new audience have been kicked down, shining the limelight directly into the eyes of the modest young woman from Walsall. Rather than this knocking her off-balance, Smith takes it all in her stride, using Lost & Found as her talisman.
To download, click "Share" and right-click the download icon | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS The Lowdown: After three years of preparation, Jorja Smith is finally ready to step into the spotlight. Smith underwent a meteoric rise in less than a year, going from working as a Starbucks barista to singing the hook on "Get It Together", one of the best songs on Drake's 2017 playlist, More Life. That led to appearances on the soundtracks to Black Panther and Insecure and singles with Stormzy and Kali Uchis, displaying the versatility to shift between R&B, grime, garage, and pop, all navigated with a deft hand.
Thanks in part to her classical voice training, British singer-songwriter Jorja Smith attacks even the most challenging vocal runs with precision, while at the same time making it all sound organic and effortless. Her voice is silky yet barbed with solemnity, rendering her profound heartbreak and joy palpable to the listener. It's a potent tool for storytelling that's present during every moment, both golden and dull, of her debut album, Lost & Found.
Rating: NNNN Jorja Smith's rise has been nothing short of meteoric. After notching co-signs from Mercury Prize-winning grime merchant Stormzy for her early work, the 21-year-old former Starbucks barista has gone on to snag the Critics' Choice at the Brit Awards and contribute to the Kendrick Lamar-helmed Black Panther soundtrack in 2018 alone. And last year, Drake was so enthralled by her music, he requested her vocal presence on More Life's South African-house stomper Get It Together (and he joined her onstage at the Velvet Underground last summer).
After leaving jaws on the floor nationwide with 'Blue Lights' in 2016 at the age of just 18, the weight of expectation must have been heavy for Jorja Smith. In the two years since, she's barely put a foot wrong; winning Brit Awards, selling out tours and covering magazines (including ours!) while the world waited for her debut. Musically, she's drip fed just enough to keep us satiated while honing her first album.