FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: Jorja Smith: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert



June 11, 2018 | Sidney Madden — It’s a good thing the weather was gloomy the day Jorja Smith rolled in for her Tiny Desk concert. Even though the skies threatened rain and thunder, the overcast light lingering in our dimmed office space allowed the teardrop pendant lights, hung from the ceiling by her lighting team, to cast the desk in a warm, honey-hued glow. And while the nimble guitar strings and double-time drums of her supporting band was enough to dizzy the focus in the room, it was the U.K. singer’s slow, silky cadence that anchored the performance in tranquility.

As Smith worked her way up the scales to each high note in “On My Mind” (a track usually sung over a reverberated garage beat) and “Teenage Fantasy” (a ballad to love lost written when she was 16), there wasn’t an ounce of pressure evident in her face or body language. When she closed her eyes to deliver the rap verse of “Blue Lights,” the anti-injustice song that first positioned her as a SoundCloud darling in 2016, a hush fell over the room in awe of her precision.

Though Smith’s boldface collaborations to date range from Drake to Kali Uchis, her debut album Lost & Found is free of featured acts. Much like this Tiny Desk performance, those 12 tracks show off Smith’s talent in a minimalist way — musing about life and love with the ambiguity and sense of agency that only comes with newfound freedom.

After she finished, but before retreating to the comfort of Supreme sweats, Smith and her band bestowed the Tiny Desk with a blue lava lamp signed by every member. Keep an eye out for that Easter egg in future episodes.

Set List

“On My Mind”
“Teenage Fantasy”
“Blue Lights”

MUSICIANS
Jorja Smith, Femi Koleoso, Benjamin Totten, Mutale Chashi, Amane Suganami

CREDITS
Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Bronson Arcuri; Lighting: Tyler C. Trofatter; Production Assistant: Bobby Carter; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

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26 thoughts on “FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: Jorja Smith: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

  1. I can't get into her voice. It's annoying half way through. Probably would sound better if she opened her damn mouth and let her words out. But damn she fine!

  2. Don't want to feel you
    널 느끼고 싶지않아
    Don't want you on my mind
    내 마음은 당신을 원하지 않아
    Don't want to feel you
    널 이해하기도 싫고
    Don't want you on my mind
    이제는 더이상 당신을 원하지 않아
    Don't want to feel you
    널 느끼고 싶지않다
    Don't want you on my mind

    Why on earth would I leave
    도대체 왜 난 너을 떠나고 싶을까?
    If you were everything I wanted you to be?
    바로 네가 내가 원하는 전부인데?
    When I saw what you did, who you were with
    너가 하는 짓을 보면 누구랑 함께 였는지
    Got me questionin' the things that I believe
    내가 믿는것에 대해 질문을 하게 만들뿐이야

    So I ask myself, do I let you go?
    내 자신한테 물어보고 싶어~너를 놔줄까?
    Or do I keep you in the frame of my mind?
    아니면 그냥 내 마음속에 담아둘까?
    Now I'm growing wise to your sugar-coated lies
    이젠 나도 모든걸 알고있어 ~너의 사탕발림 거짓말!
    Nothing's sweet about my misery, yeah
    내 불평속에 달콤한 것은 없어~

    I finally found what went wrong
    마침내 내가 틀렸다는걸 알았어
    I finally found the wrong in you
    이제는 너의 나쁜 진심을 깨달았어
    I finally found what went wrong
    I finally found the wrong in you

    Don't want to feel you
    Don't want you on my mind
    Don't want to feel you
    Don't want you on my mind
    Don't want to feel you
    Don't want you on my mind

    You again, why'd you call?
    왜 또 전화를 한거야?
    I don't need to hear you cryin' out my name
    난 너의 징징거리는 목소리를 듣고 싶지 않아
    Unlike before when you and I laid eye to eye
    이제는 예전처럼 너랑 다시 눈을 마주치고 싶지 않아
    Now it's time for you to taste the bitter end
    이제는 네가 쓴 이별을 맞볼 차례야-

    So I ask myself, do I let you go?
    Or do I keep you in the frame of my mind?
    NowI'm growing wise to your sugar-coated lies
    Nothing's sweet about my misery, yeah

    I finally found what went wrong
    I finally found the wrong in you
    I finally found what went wrong
    I finally found the wrong in you

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