A scroll through Smiff’s Instagram and you’ll find yourself caught up in a hue of oranges – not so organized and curated that it feels inorganic, but enough that the color sticks with you. Pretty quickly you’ll realize that orange is the main color of his most recent released E.P., To Whom It May Concern.
Dropped in fall 2018, Smiff tells a range of stories on how he navigates the world from his career to relationships, friendships and all the shit in between. The EP really does fit the vibrancy and openness that is associated with the color orange, and it’s even more poignant at this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. The relatability of his work and modern references to what he calls an ‘East Coast vibe’ established back in the ‘90s, didn’t just resonate in Virginia but overseas as well.
“I responded to a challenge one woman posted and she liked it so she re-posted and I got few followers based in Europe,” Smiff says. “Eventually those connections and pushing for write-ups let me and my team visit England and Denmark to do shows and connect with people out there.”
It was an exciting time for the artist and Smiff, a Roanoke native, now based in D.C., plans to keep the hype he was able to generate around To Whom It May Concern in mind as he approaches finishing up his next project.
It is tentatively called Flowers and around 70 to 80 percent done according to him. Smiff says he plans to keep his sounds but is focusing on shifting the narrative. He wants the project to focus on how he and others who come from similar backgrounds made it and how it impacts them.
“I also want to focus on giving people flowers while they’re around – not waiting until they’re gone to appreciate them. ,” Smiff said. “Plus, for people who need a little more validation, I want to remind them to take their flowers even if someone isn’t giving it to them .”
A self-described lyricist, Smiff wants people who listen to the project to feel a range of feelings when listening to his new work. The process of growth through survival, having an appreciation for others and the process to get to the self-acknowledgment that we all deserve to celebrate ourselves are just a few.
“It’s really about a rose out of the concrete type of situation,” Smiff said. “How I made it and how we make it.”
Some quotes have been paraphrased for clarity