JORJA SMITH RETURNS WITH “TRY ME”
Jorja Smith has made her long-awaited return with her intrepid and bold new single “Try Me”–available now, globally via her independent label, FAMM.
Produced by duo DAMEDAME*, “Try Me” is a catchy, drum-heavy sound, the inspiration of which stems from “Putting yourself out there, in front of a world that has many opinions, as it only ever used to be me really being my own critic,” Jorja states on the single.
It’s as urgent as it is compelling, complete with a stunning video directed by Amber Grace Johnson, which is in turn both majestic and captivating, with a chopped up, collaged structure perfectly mirroring the landscape it maps; a place of beauty and danger, of frustration and dogged resistance.
Shot around the suburbs of Marseille, France – the visual opens with Jorja lying and crawling softly in the moonlight preparing for battle. With the lyrics as our guide, this video is a metaphor through interpretative dance – a ritualistic game between Jorja and The World and a precursor for what’s to come in this new era. “The dancer, Andrea Bou Othmane, embodies a bull which represents the world and its opinions out of my control,” Jorja says. Soon after, set in the Amphitheatre in Arles, a theatrical La Horde inspired routine embarks; a scene of which oscillates between power and vulnerability, showcasing a symbolic portrayal of the song.
To conclude, the viewer is transported to a shift in tone. A new scene arrives, something tender and unexpected. Inspired by musician Charlotte Moorman’s 1965 human cello; the come down after the fight, disarmed and gentle – showcasing a victorious defeat.
Of the many British voices in music today, Jorja is among the most commanding, writing at a pitch of intensity and urgency that few can match. Over the past five and half years, since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Lost & Found, she has been celebrated unanimously across the world for her evocative song-writing, powerful delivery, pure emotion and unbridled talent as a young woman navigating her way through life and in 2021 was the year Jorja’s hiatus from music was broken. Enter Be Right Back, the holding space between the sensation that was Lost & Found, and her next project. Be Right Back was born from playing, jamming, free-styling, and sounding out what Jorja had been on the edge of expressing all her life. It was a project entirely for her fans. “Be Right Back did exactly what I wanted it to do. It was a little waiting room so people knew I was coming back.”
And come back she did – entering a chapter of her return to music that’s certain to draw in and intoxicate Jorja’s fans and new listeners alike. And what has changed for her, in the five years since Lost & Found dominated the charts and the soundscape? “I like this world that I’ve just come into. And I’m still figuring things out. Always figuring things out,” Jorja says. “This is the first time I’m putting stuff out there that I can connect with right now.” Over the last few years, it’s been a reflective and transformative step into her mid twenties for her. She’s been able to step into herself and evolve as a songwriter and a woman despite an ever-changing musical landscape.
While she recognizes that the global pandemic has been completely devastating, she acknowledges that it allowed her to stay still, to come more into herself, and to be more in control of the person she is, and of her musical output. Like some of the legendary musicians that came before her, Jorja is looking at the chaos and disorder in the world right now with resourceful, refined eyes, and she sees the glorious opportunity and enormous responsibility that affords. Listen on to “Try Me” in wonder.
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