Photo: Michaela Quan
Following the Burna Boy-assisted "Be Honest," Jorja Smith is back with her first release of 2020, a sultry cover of French musician St Germain's "Rose Rouge." The track arrives as the lead single from Blue Note Record's Blue Note Re:imagined compilation, which boasts reworks of classic Blue Note hits by rising UK acts like Ezra Collective, Yazmin Lacey, Jordan Rakei, and more.
Although the UK songstress has dabbled in jazz in the past (most recently on the soundtrack of Netflix drama The Eddy), "Rose Rouge" sees Smith go all in.
"Rose Rouge" is a colorful celebration of jazz, with soul sensibilities. The track opens with a swelling of breezy arpeggios and hushed drums. Smith vocalizes over the jazz club arrangement, her hypnotizing melisma taking the reins. In a departure from her previous work, Smith lets the percussive production take the spotlight while her vocals dwell in the background. The shimmering keys smoothly intertwine with the groovy sax solos to create a captivating reimagining of St Germain's original.
Speaking further on the single, Jorja says, "Honoured to be involved on this Blue Note album to rework St Germain’s anthem ‘Rose Rouge’, and with such an array of wonderful musicians on the album, including my brothers Ezra Collective."
Blue Note Re:imagined is slated to release September 25.
Listen to "Rose Rouge" below: