There was a certain energy in the air as the sun set on Queen Street West last night. A long line of buzzing fans outside the Velvet Underground marked another night of music at the recently renovated music venue (not an uncommon sight); however, this night, in particular, held a special place in the hearts of many as it marked Jorja Smith’s debut performance in Toronto. In addition to being featured on two tracks from Drake’s chart-topping More Life playlist, she recently released her Project 11 EP and has clearly created some buzz in the city as the Velvet was completely sold out.
Scarborough native Alcordo opened up the evening with her soulful, emotive blend of pop and R&B music (and a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids”). It’s not often that a supporting act has the chance to perform for a 100% packed venue but Alcordo showed no signs of anything other than confidence.
After a short break, Jorja Smith appeared to an eruption of cheers and screams. “Jorja! Jorja!” the crowd chanted as the young singer smiled at a crowd full of fans in a city where she had never before performed – and from the minute she began to sing, she had a complete hold on their attention. Mesmerized by the power and beauty of her voice, the audience sang along to almost every word of songs like “Something In The Way,” “Teenage Fantasy,” “Where Did I Go?” and a cover of DJ Snake and Bieber’s “Let Me Love You.” Following expressions of gratitude to her fans, Smith brought out fellow UK native Maverick Sabre to perform their collaborative “Carry Me Home.”
But that wasn’t the end. After leaving the stage for a few minutes, Smith returned and exclaimed that it was only proper that she performed a certain track because she was in ‘The 6.’ The drummer began to play that familiar beat from “Get It Together” and Drake appeared on the small stage to give one of the most intimate performances of his recent career – only pausing to admit “they want to hear you sing, not me!” Starstruck in his own right, the 6 God praised Smith saying she is “one of the most incredible voices, incredible talents and incredible people I’ve ever met” and thanked her for having him on her stage.
— lil photo pass (@drewyorke) August 25, 2017
Check out our photos of the legendary night at Velvet Underground below.