The new issue of THE FACE takes signals from UK shores and boosts them all around the world.
Fronted by singer-songwriter Jorja Smith – in an exclusive story written by Gal-dem founder Liv Little and shot by Bolade Banjo – it marks THE FACE’s first British cover star since its relaunch with Harry Styles and Dua Lipa in September 2019.
Headlining it all is singer-songwriter Jorja Smith. This summer, the 23-year-old followed up her biggest hit to date, Be Honest, with her most explicitly political number yet: the moving, Black Lives Matter-inspired By Any Means. The song’s video, shot in Smith’s hometown of Walsall in the West Midlands, features portraits of Black families, communities and businesses. It was an example of using your power to uplift – a sentiment tied together in an exclusive essay by #Merky Books writer Joshua Virasami, who writes about the power of “signal boosting” and punching up.
“As we approach winter, the number of signals in need of boosting is likely only to rise,” says incoming THE FACE Editor Matthew Whitehouse. “If we can give you one constant going into 2021, it’s that you’ll continue to see them on the pages of this magazine – wherever you or they may be.”
In celebration of THE FACE’s cover story, Jorja Smith will be appearing on No Signal radio at 12-2pm next Wednesday (December 2nd).
Key quotes from Liv Little’s interview with Jorja Smith are below:
Jorja on navigating her identity as a Black woman of mixed Jamaican and English heritage… “It’s confusing as fuck. I grew up being Black. My dad told me I’m Black. It wasn’t until I did music that I was told I’m not Black. People comment that you’re not Black and it’s like… wow. When you’re mixed race, you get told what you are.”
Jorja on the pressure to showcase your activism online as a person with a platform... “I saw people posting that people with big platforms should be saying something. In my head, I was like, I don’t know what to say – but I swear I write about this. What happened to George Floyd has been happening forever and now it’s happened again – as it always does. Another Black man getting killed by the police, again.”
Jorja on not being naturally at ease in the spotlight… “I don’t like anything outside my house. I like being on stage but that’s all I like. I don’t like anything else. I love everyone, but I just like being by myself. That’s why I used to go home quickly after school. I thought, why the fuck didn’t I change my name? Why did I give myself my actual government name? I can’t switch off. There’s nothing to differentiate. But I don’t know what the difference would be? Maybe I wouldn’t be Jorja Smith?”