Sy Smith

Even if you’ve never heard of Sy Smith, you’ve no doubt seen or heard her work in recent years. This Washington D.C. native’s resume reads more like a music and entertainment veteran than a newcomer. There’s Sy Smith the background singer, who’s worked with artists like Whitney Houston, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Eric Benet, and Brandy. And there’s Sy Smith the singer/actress, who appeared with Vonda Shepard on the hit Fox tv show Ally McBeal and in a series of commercials for The Gap. Smith also sang with legendary singer Al Green for the famous duet that was the theme song for the long-running Showtime series, Soul Food. In 2001, Smith added “Emmy nominee” to her already impressive resume, for “Welcome Back, All my Soulmates,” a song she sang and wrote for the critically acclaimed HBO film, “Dancing in September.”

Earlier this year, Smith was called on to do backgrounds for Usher and James Brown for their electrifying performance at the Grammy Awards. Right now, she’s a lending her voice to the popular Fox show, “American Idol,” making the contestants sound better as part of Ricky Minor’s AI band. She’s also currently starring in the Los Angeles production of “Body Language,” a musical featuring the music of Patti Labelle.

For those who are aware of this enormously talented and versatile artist, their favorite Sy Smith is the singer/songwriter, who has two standout records to her credit as a solo artist. Her 2000 debut, “Psykosoul,” is a hard-to-find hip-hop soul gem that was never prioritized, pushed, or put out by Hollywood Records.

Smith released her second record, “The Syberspace Social,” earlier this year on her own label, and has folks around the world feeling her cool, funky cosmic soul vibe.

The Syberspace Social stands out among recent soul releases mainly because of three elements: its sound, which is a futuristic melding of soul, jazz, and hip-hop rhythms, Smith’s honey-smooth voice, and her vivid, clever writing

Smith shines both on uptempo songs like “Fa Sho’,” “Aquarius Rising,” “Time,” “Love and Such,” “Drop That,” and slow cuts like “Runnin’ ” and “Bruise.”

Smith spoke recently about her interesting and hectic career as a singer, songwriter, and actress, and shared a surreal story about receiving vocal cues from music legend James Brown.


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