Jorja Smith at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA on November 27th, 2018
I’ll admit, I have a tendency to avoid hyped up artists like the plague. All the constant exclamations of how talented an artist makes me resistant to listen to them, as it usually leads to a let down. Jorja was one of those artists that I held off on listening to for so long. All my guy friends have massive crushes on her and all the girls I know play her songs on repeat, no matter their mood. I decided to finally give her a chance once her debut album Lost & Found was released. Honestly, “February 3rd” hooked me. Part of it was my inherent Aquarius bias but the rest due to was how magical the song was. I listened to the rest of the album only to discover tracks like “Teenage Fantasy” & “Blue Lights” were undeniably relatable and heartfelt. I’ve carelessly missed her sets at the last three festivals I been to and I began to deeply regret not giving her a shot sooner. So, I decided to head out to the Wiltern in Los Angeles to catch her performance at one of her two sold out shows.
Opening the night was burgeoning soulstress Ravyn Lenae. She may still be a teenager but she already has had one of her singles played during an episode of Insecure and has earned numerous coveted festival spots. Prior to the show, I was notified that Jorja was a little under the weather and I instantly was concerned I wouldn’t be able to witness an accurate depiction of her singing abilities. I luckily was proven very wrong. Not only did she never utter a single word about being sick to the crowd, but she also hit every single note throughout the whole set. Jorja is extremely meek and reserved on stage, but when she did the occasional hip movement or shimmy, the crowd went wild. One of the most lovable aspects of Jorja is how humble and polite she is when she speaks, consistently showing her appreciation for the crowd coming out to see her perform. She played a majority of her album and finished out the night with “Let Me Down” (which features fellow Brit Stormzy) and her arguably most popular song, “On My Mind”. Initially she did a slowed down rendition of the Preditah produced single, only to transition into the popularized version with the full band.
Undoubtedly, Jorja Smith has had a spectacular year and her album will certainly be gracing many best albums of 2018 lists. So heed my warning and dont make the same mistake I did; Jorja Smith isnt one to be under estimated.
Words and Photos by Summer Dos Santos