Jorja Smith @ O2 Academy Bristol

Thomas Turner describes the anticipation of rising star Jorja Smith.

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After a flurry of Summer festival performances, boasting tour dates across the globe in the coming months, Jorja Smith brought her “Lost & Found” album tour to Bristol’s O2 Academy on October 5th.

Smith’s debut full-length album, Lost & Found, was released on June 8th 2018 and has projected her to new heights of critical acclaim. After UK media outlets had consistently (and somewhat prophetically) tipped her to be one of the most exciting upcoming talents the country had to offer in 2017, she has managed to maintain the momentum with startling velocity. It peaked at #1 on the UK R&B charts and has garnered Smith an even greater overseas presence too, after featuring on the previous projects of market-dominating artists such as Drake and Khalid. It’s potentially in Smith’s overtly “millennial” approach to music and the sheer honesty with which she pens her songs that have caused us all to fall in love with her. The way in which she blurs musical genre is also an enormous strength of the project: soul and R&B influences are seamlessly blended in her tracks to deploy both a self-reflection and a far wider and perhaps more compelling introspective social commentary. It is in this field that Smith really pulls herself away from the heavily-populated spectrum of similar artists – tracks like ‘Blue Lights’ and ‘Lifeboats (Freestyle)’ in particular are noteworthy for their important inspection of our social climate.

one of the most exciting upcoming talents the country had to offer in 2017

While this tour is certainly not Smith’s first foray into performing in front of sizeable home-grown audiences, with a spattering of concert dates throughout 2017 to her name and previously supporting Drake on his UK tour to Birmingham and London, it is arguably the most impressive string of performances yet in her career. While there is little doubt Smith is only going to move from strength to strength from here, the time is ripe to go and witness one of the most current and exciting voices in music.

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