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CONCERT REVIEW: Jorja Smith, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich


By Spalding Reporter


Jorja Smith, the Walsall-born but London-based rhythm 'n' blues singer, is on a sold-out UK tour. Photo supplied by Pomona UK. (4770610)
Jorja Smith, the Walsall-born but London-based rhythm 'n' blues singer, is on a sold-out UK tour. Photo supplied by Pomona UK. (4770610)

Award-winning rhythm 'n blues (R&B) sensation Jorja Smith, a young singer who I find exceedingly inspirational, performed at UEA for the first date of her sold-out UK tour.

The 21-year-old West Midlander has gained an ever-growing following, largely because of the depth and meaning found within her lyrics.

Jorja blew her Norwich-based audience away with a powerful, classically-trained voice as she performed some of her most popular songs, including "Let Me Down, On My Mind’ and Blue Lights", the latter being her first and breakthrough song which she released, aged just 18.

During her performance of "Let Me Down’, Jorja was forced to alter the song's second verse to accommodate rapper Stormzy’s contribution as he was not with her at UEA.

Jorga sang: “Most times, I could have cried - instead I tried to hide it.”

I could hear the passion in her voice as she harmonised to pre-recorded operatic backing vocals in order to achieve the sound of a James Bond theme song, similar to that managed by Adele (Skyfall) and Sam Smith (Spectre) in her appreciation of the orchestration and harmony produced for both movies.

Other iconic songs from her debut album "Lost and Found", for which she won both the 2018 BRITS Awards Critics' Choice prize and the UK Breakthrough of the Year crown at last month's AIM Independent Music Awards, illuminated the atmosphere.

The lighting and stage effect were perfectly and effortlessly tuned to the emotions created by the instrumentation provided by piano, drums, and electric guitar.

Jorja has been an incredible highlight over the past couple of years and is an increasingly recognised R&B pop star, with one of her social media profiles having one and a half million, having begun her career with only 500 three years ago.

At the end of her set, the London-based R&B diva thanked the audience and left the stage; with many believing she had finished her performance.

I was so excited to see her more clearly because, as a few people left, I pushed my way forward at which point her pianist re-entered the stage before Jorja's started her slow ballad encore.

Amileah Richards reviews Jorja Smith in concert at UEA, Norwich. (4770772)
Amileah Richards reviews Jorja Smith in concert at UEA, Norwich. (4770772)

I was so excited to see her more clearly because, as a few people left, I pushed my way forward at which point her pianist re-entered the stage before Jorja's started her slow ballad encore.

Jorja also took time to express her gratitude to her audience crowd for setting the tone of the "Lost and Found" tour as a darkly lit stage suddenly burst into streaks of blue, purple and white lights that shone across the audience.

I felt as if she was looking at me, with her confident demeanour broken by smirks and smiles towards her audience.

Jorja Smith has the ability to draw you in more than you can imagine and, overall, her night out at UEA was a precise and articulated performance where the musicians worked in harmony to provide tranquility for the sold-out audience.

Review by student writer Amileah Richards



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