British singer-songwriter Jorja Smith's voice is a force to be reckoned with. At once bold and smooth, it infuses her political R&B with complex, evocative textures like yearning, melancholy, and strength. Today, she released a music video for her song "Blue Lights," which is a single for her forthcoming debut album Lost & Found.
The song, which begins with Smith singing "I want to turn those blue lights into strobe lights," is a somber ballad that laments how black people are often targeted by police officers. The black and white video, directed by Olivia Rose, depicts groups of men in a variety of roles both strong and sweet as they stare solemnly at the camera, do dishes, and dance. Though Smith is not in it, the video was filmed in her hometown of Walsall, England. The locations are specific to her experience growing up there, depicting the venue where she played her first show and a park she visited as a child.
In an interview for our Beautiful People series, Smith told us about her personal songwriting style, saying, "I've always been personal because I'm able to empathize with people and make it relate to me as well. I just write whatever. I never have a plan that I'm going to write about this, I could say, 'Oh someone told me this. I could put this in a song.'" She added the "Blue Lights" specifically is, "from the boys I grew up with, that's also personal."