Who? Jorja Smith.
What? An unsigned 18-year-old R&B wunderkind who counts Skrillex and Stormzy among her fans.
From where? Originally from Walsall, now residing in South London.
What’s the story? Jorja is a classy, sassy proposition, whose debut track Blue Lights offers a powerful antidote to 2016’s over-primped pop and vocodered vocals.
It’s all eighties’ synth twinkles, visceral melodies and swinging hip-hop beats – a winning formula with nods to both the submerged alt-R&B of blogland and the future-soul of Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu.
The track first aired just three weeks ago via Pigeons and Planes and has already clocked up more than 300,000 SoundCloud plays and won national airplay through various BBC channels.
It’s no surprise that this lush debut has struck a chord across the board though – Jorja’s brutally honest vocal delivery hits you straight in the core, while her gripping storytelling leaves you clicking repeat over and over.
The track scores high in the kudos stakes too; it was was produced by Joice (Stormzy, Bonkaz, Benny Banks) during breaks at Jorja’s job in Starbucks, and cleverly references Dizzee Rascal classic Sirens.
With just one track under her belt and very little info out there, Jorja is keeping her cards close to her chest at the moment.
But one thing’s for sure, she won’t be serving lattes to South London’s caffeine fiends for much longer…
Sounds like? Lauren Hill meets London 2016.
Predicted to? Be massive, everywhere, soon.
Must hear? This, immediately: