Blue Lights

Album: Lost & Found (2016)
Charted: 38

Songfacts®:

  • Originally from Walsall, in the English West Midlands, classically trained singer-songwriter Jorja Smith moved to South London where she paid for her studio sessions with intermittent shifts at Starbucks. She first started making waves with this cut about police injustice.

    "The song is the beginning of my journey, and I wanted to start from home," she told Pigeons and Planes. "Back home in Walsall is where I started writing, and this song is influenced by what I grew up around."
  • The song samples Dizzee Rascal's "Sirens," which was the lead single of the rapper's third album Maths + English. The track was one of Smith's main inspirations for "Blue Lights."
  • The song's black-and-white music video was shot by photographer-director Olivia Rose. Though Smith doesn't appear in the clip, the cast includes Mike Skinner of The Streets, her father, Jaykae, plus grime artists Preditah and Mist. The singer explained the vision behind the video.

    "I wanted to capture men/boys of Walsall and Birmingham from all different walks of life doing everyday activities to show that the stereotypes we are bombarded with are misleading and, ultimately, harmful," she said. "I chose Walsall as the setting for the video as that is where I am from and where I drew my inspiration from when writing the song."
  • Jorja Smith wrote the song while still at school, inspired by some interviews she'd done with her fellow students for a documentary she was making about the relationship between grime music and police. Smith told MTV News she'd noticed "they were all like, 'I hate the police, they're always after us, they're always on to us." When the young singer asked them what they'd done, they replied "nothing."

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