Jorja Smith in No Rush to Sign a Record Deal

Glen Wiltenburg
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Jorja Smith isn’t in a rush to sign a record deal, despite being named this year’s BRITs Critics’ Choice winner.

The 20-year-old singer/songwriter became the 11th winner of the prestigious prize at the BRIT Awards 2018, following in the successful footsteps of last year’s recipient Rag’n’Bone Man.

Interest in the young rising star is now huge, but Jorja, at the moment, is content to continue making music on her own and doesn’t feel the “pressure” to be attached to a major label.

Speaking to Music Week magazine, she said: “I’m pretty clued up (about the industry), but I’m just being myself, I never really feel pressure, I’m doing things on my own terms. I can’t really slip up being me.”

Jorja – who wants “the whole world” to listen to her music – is still absolutely thrilled to have won the accolade, which she received in January weeks ahead of the ceremony, which took place at The O2 arena in London on Wednesday evening .

The musician – who performed with Rag’n’Bone Man on the night – said: “I didn’t think I’d get it, loads of people said, ‘She’ll never get that because she’s not with a label’. Well, oh look, I got it! Ha, ha, ha.”

Jorja does recall a time growing up where she believed the only way to make it big in the music industry was to move to America and be on the lookout for record label opportunities, but now the ‘Let Me Down’ hitmaker wants to set the standard as to how young artists can make it on their own terms.

She explained: “When I was 12, I thought, ‘You can’t make it unless you’re with a label, you have to go to America and sign a deal. Living in Walsall, that’s how I thought you became a successful singer. Now you can do it by yourself, if you have a good team and the music is good … I don’t know any different.”

Jorja did sign a publishing deal at the end of 2016 with Sony/ATV and the company’s president, Guy Moot, said that her upcoming music comes from “a place of emotion rather than formulaic songwriting” rather than being “”three-minute pop songs, dumbed down”.

The songstress has worked with high-profile artists such as Drake and Stormzy, as well as collaborating on a track with Kendrick Lamar for the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack. She toured with Bruno Mars and admits that although more people are aware of the singer, her family still treat her the same way.

She said: “More people know about me now… A load more people, but my friends and family are the same. The main thing is, more people are watching me and listening to my music.”

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