Jorja Smith pops up at Bene Culture’s Custard Factory store

Words by Emily Doyle / Photographs by Connor Pope

Brit Award Winner and Walsall native Jorja Smith appeared at Bene Culture this weekend to celebrate the launch of her highly anticipated second album, Falling or flying.

After summer single ‘Little Things’ stormed the airwaves, Jorja returns with Falling or flying. Her sophomore album, following on from 2018’s Lost & Found, sees her stepping into a new era of her music, with features from British rapper J Hus and Jamaican singer Lila Iké.

Following an excitable queue snaking round the side of the Custard Factory, fans were welcomed into the store to explore an exhibition and pop up shop. An exclusive collab with Bene Culture forms the centerpiece, with a table of exclusive stamps for shoppers to customise their purchases.

The walls are adorned with photos and collages from the album artwork, and the dress Smith wears on the cover hangs in the window.

And what’s a party without good food; local favourites Only Jerkin’ are keeping everyone well fed with Caribbean style fried chicken and cauliflower, while Big Kid Ice Cream are back in town offering such esoteric flavours as “Champagne and Maraschino Cherry” and “McDonald’s fries”. Peak “mood drinks” have furnished the pop up with a well stocked fridge of their beverages for caffeine enjoyers and avoiders alike.

With a buzz that looks set to build as the weekend grows on, it’s heartening to see one of Birmingham’s success stories celebrating with the community that got them there.

Jorja Smith at Bene Culture, Custard Factory – Friday 29 September / Connor Pope

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