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EQUAL Artist of the Month Jorja Smith Shares Her Advice for Women Creators

June 7, 2021

Award-winning R&B artist Jorja Smith has made a name for herself in today’s music scene thanks to her soulful jazz-tinged sound and heartfelt lyrics. The British singer-songwriter takes inspiration from her life, penning songs that document her journey to self-discovery and self-confidence. Her work inspires her more than 2 million followers, and she is this month’s featured artist in Spotify’s EQUAL Global Music Program.

The program, which launched in April earlier this year, takes aim at the gender disparity in the music industry by amplifying the work of women creators. It’s part of Spotify’s new campaign, EQUAL, to demonstrate our commitment to fostering equity for women in audio and celebrating their global contributions. To do so, we’re extending resources and generating more opportunities for these artists by creating a global, cohesive, branded experience with EQUAL.

We’re turning up the volume on women artists like Jorja. And, as the global artist of the month, she will be featured on the cover of our EQUAL Global playlist, giving her more visibility around the globe.

In addition to the relatable, resonant themes in her music, Jorja was also selected to join EQUAL because of her efforts to uplift emerging women artists in her work. The song “Bussdown” from the singer’s recent EP features U.K. rapper Shaybo and is a powerful collaboration between two women at the forefront of international music culture. 

To get to know the R&B star, For the Record asked Jorja to fill in the blanks and share her advice for other women using their voices to change the industry.

The artists who have most inspired me are ____.

Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Mos Def, Damien Marley, Alicia Keys, Adele . . . I can just keep going because I’m newly inspired by old classics that I hadn’t discovered when I was younger.

One piece of advice I’d give other women artists is ____.

It’s always easier said than done, but just be you because you’re you and you cannot be anyone else. Don’t watch others and think “why aren’t I where they are, I’m not as good,” or out of spite or jealousy. Only watch others to be inspired and motivated, because that’s what we should do as women—want to inspire and uplift each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

One notable moment in my career so far ____.

Moving into my house, putting up my plaques, and sitting back like, “Wow, you did that.”

My creative process consists of ____.

Just getting lost with whatever I start singing or freestyling. Once I start singing, I record because usually I just speak my mind and the lyrics flow. Other times I get melodies down but can’t figure out what to say. I think it’s because what I was trying to say hadn’t happened yet.

One way I’d like to see greater gender equity in the music industry is ____.

More women everywhere. On set, in studio producing, front of house, head of music, publishing companies, and record labels. The list goes on and on. I’m so used to a mixed and balanced team, I sometimes forget that the industry is very male-dominateduntil I get on a set and remember.

One up-and-coming woman artist I’m excited to watch is ____.

Shaybo. She can flow on any beat, and I’m just captured by her love, her realness, and the way she captures how I feel in her bars.

My girl-power anthem right now is ____.

Wildfires” by SAULT because it makes me feel strong.

Keep celebrating Jorja and other women artists on Spotify’s EQUAL Global playlist below: