Future Class Of 2017: Jorja Smith

Written By Sam Murphy on 02/09/2017

Illustration by Bianca Bosso.

The Future Class Of 2017 is 15 acts that we believe are poised for greatness this year. Last year we tipped Sampa The Great, Kiiara, Dua Lipa and more to do big things and over the next week we’ll be rolling out individual features on each both here and on Cool Accidents. Today, we’re shining a light on Jorja Smith.

We could've called Jorja Smith a superstar a year ago. Last year she dropped her debut Blue Lights, one of the best debuts we've heard in a long while and one that easily cruised into our best songs of 2016. She immediately positioned herself as a vivid, socially conscious songwriter with the chops to line her up next to the greats like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.

A true, timeless artist is one that ignores trends and runs in their own lane. Smith's releases following Blue Lights show that she's got the goods to go the distance, choosing powerful, passionate soul music that sounds anything but forced. Her debut EP Project 11 was mature and finessed from the grooving break-up anthem Something In The Way to soaring ballad Carry Me Home.

Inspired by Amy Winehouse, Mos Def and Damian Marley, she's out to make genuine, heartfelt music and while she's probably not going to land a number one single anytime soon, she has an iconic record inside of her. And she's handling it all herself. All her videos and covers are DIY, with her boyfriend shooting the cover for Project 11.

Maybe that's why her music feels so organic. Because it is.

Check the rest of the Future Class Of 2017 so far here.