- 16 Jul 18
She’s collaborated with Drake and Kendrick Lamar and was one of the best things about Black Panther. Ahead of Electric Picnic and with her debut album rushing up the charts, Jorja Smith talks about overnight success and why she isn’t the artist you think she is.
During her days as a Starbucks barista, Jorja Smith would take the bus to London’s Waterloo Bridge and then walk the rest of the way to work. En route she’d pass Somerset House – a 17th century neoclassical structure that each summer has an unlikely second life as an outdoor music venue. Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse are among those to headline the ornate central courtyard. As she hurried by every morning, Smith promised herself that she would join that exalted club.
“And now I’m playing there this summer and I can’t wait,” says the English Midlands R&B sensation. “I used to get off the bus and walk past on the way to Starbucks. I remember thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to play there?’”
She isn’t nervous about her dream coming true. Smith, it becomes quickly obvious over the course of her first ever Irish interview, doesn’t do nerves or self-doubt. She brims with self-belief all day long.