Jorja Smith is undoubtedly one of our favorite up-and-comers of the past year. A growing list of notable collaborations, a BRIT Award and her impressive Coachella debut last month already have the talented Brit poised for breakthrough success when her debut album Lost & Found drops on June 8th. But that doesn't mean she plans on sitting idle while we wait. Recent performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and COLORS were a welcome treat for fans who missed out on tickets to her currently sold-out U.S. tour. And now she makes a bold statement with gripping visuals for her hit single "Blue Lights."
Shot by photographer Olivia Rose in Smith's hometown of Walsall, "Blue Lights" is another noteworthy entry in 2018's unapologetic approach to visual artistry. Jorja doesn't appear in the black-and-white video, opting instead to feature an all-male cast. She explains, "I wanted to capture men/boys of Walsall and Birmingham from all different walks of life doing everyday activities to show that the stereotypes we are bombarded with are misleading and, ultimately, harmful. I chose Walsall as the setting for the video as that is where I am from and where I drew my inspiration from when writing the song."
Wholly engrossing from the first frame to the last, we see various images of Black and Brown brothers just being themselves. Interspersed with scenes of a man struggling to escape the torment of feeling bound, the film is both striking and somber as the lyrics take root in our minds. The director provides additional insight behind the inspiration, saying, "What's really beautiful is that a lot of the cast and places are authentically related back to Jorja - her dad, the boys who inspired the song, the park where she hung out as a teenager, the owner of the restaurant where she had her first gig." In addition to local residents, look for cameos from Benjamin Zephaniah, Jaykae, Despo, Mist, Mike Skinner and Preditah.
While the compelling clip serves as the song's official video, it's not the first visual treatment to highlight the powerful message. Scroll down to watch the current video along with the original vision (directed by Drew Cox) that leaked shortly after the song's early-2016 release. Afterward, pre-order Lost & Found and keep up with Jorja Smith on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.