Jorja Smith has released her new single single “Be Honest” featuring Burna Boy. Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu AKA: Burna Boy and Jorja have also collaborated on his African Child album track, “Gum Body.” Produced by Izy (Koffee “Toast”) and Cadenza (who previously worked with Jorja on her 2016 single “Where Did I Go?”), “Be Honest” is a sonic contrast to Jorja’s calmer, ballad-leaning album tracks. The single is upbeat, flirtatious and empowering – showing a new side to the musician, who is still just 22 years old.
The Amber Grace Johnson-directed video (who has previously worked with Rihanna and A$AP Rocky), was filmed in locations across London, including Rye Lane Market and Peckham Liberal Club. The visual sees Jorja and two of her best friends, Erin and Sandra, battling effortlessly through the hot London summer Smith travels through the Rotheride Tunnel, and across the lit-up city landscape on a futuristic jet-ski, before cooling off at a dimly-lit indoor pool (Wapping Leisure Centre) covered in glowing tennis balls and surrounded by friends. Making an appearance in the videos 70’s style interior (complete with photos of Jorja’s grandfather and family on the walls).
Director Amber Grace Johnson, who recently directed the PSA for the Free The Bid campaign supporting female and under-represented talent in the film industry explains:
“For “Be Honest”, Jorja wanted to create a film that embodied the spirit of Summer- pure wild fun. We wanted to invite the world in, to experience a different side of Jorja. Free and full of light, and some “Hot Girl Summer” energy. While writing in my AC filled apartment in Brooklyn, I thought about how there’s nothing quite like Summers in the city. You’re caught between concrete high rises, sweating from heat delirium, with our make-shift fire hydrant beaches. Yet despite it all, there’s a contagious air that floods the city, and your imagination becomes infinite.
With that in mind, we imagined a film nostalgic in nature, with your inner child memories running rampant. Jorja takes us on a ride; sunbathing on her Grandma’s sticky plastic couch, midnight break-ins at the neighborhood pool, running around with real-life friends Sandra and Erin, and of course, some jet ski drifting through London streets. That feeling like the world is yours, and rules don’t exist. From afar, Jorja always felt like she was/is from a tribe of angels – that voice, the melodies, and timeless beauty. After this collaboration, I feel even more inspired by her energy, artistry, and presence.”
Arriving onto the scene in 2016 with her debut single “Blue Lights.” In 2017, Jorja, went on to support Bruno Mars on the US-leg of his world tour, worked with Stormzy on her single “Let Me Down”, collaborated with global lyricist Drake (More Life) and also co-wrote “IAm” – her solo single on the Black Panther soundtrack with Kendrick Lamar.