Song of the Week: Blue Lights

    More stories from Genesis Reddicks

    Jorja Smith’s ‘Blue Lights’ uses a simple repetition of the keyboard and drum set to tell an appealing, but pitiful story. Smith used her official debut single as a commentary on the relationship between predominantly black communities and the police in the UK.

    She starts off the song wishing that instead of constantly seeing the blue lights of the police, she’d rather see “strobe lights” or “flashing lights”. She goes on to be a narrator of a story about someone, possibly of friend of hers, that carries a guilty conscious, even when he’s done nothing wrong.

    ‘Blue Lights’ highlights the tensions between the community, especially the black community, and the police. During Smith’s Genius interview, she says “It’s sad, you know?… It’s kind of instilled in us to fear the police.” You can hear this during the pre-chorus, where she repeats the words, “You better run, when you hear those sirens coming, cuz they will be coming for you.” Her voice emits pain, like she’s imagining a young boy running from the police with shame.

    Jorja has gained an immense amount of popularity in the United States, giving her the opportunity to go on her first North American tour with only one official album to her name. Other than the fact that it’s just an amazing song, ‘Blue Lights’ brings the black experience from England that even black Americans can relate to.

    Smith’s melodic tale ignites a feeling of reflection. Reflection of oneself, and society around us. While listening, I often ask myself, “Why do I relate to this so much?”. Simply put, as a black American, I feel guilty of something, even when I’ve done nothing wrong. A song that relates to the listener is good, but songs like, ‘Blue Lights’, that makes the listener aware of the injustices and mentalities of many in a community, is a great one.

    Check out the hit below! 

    Contact the writer, Genesis Reddicks, at [email protected].