26-year-old Memphis native, Abigail “Yebba” Smith, is a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, ready to be the next top ten artist.
Yebba first caught the public eye in 2016, singing backup for Chance the Rapper on his first Saturday Night Live performance. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, she co-signed the following year to Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records.
Under the label, she released her debut single, “Evergreen.” Since then, she has collaborated with the likes of Sam Smith, Stormzy, A$AP Rocky and Smino.
Additionally, Yebba received mainstream attention after appearing on the track “Yebba’s Heartbreak” from Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy.” Drake commemorated the collaboration between Yebba and fellow Arkansas Native, Project Pat, using a billboard in Memphis.
In preparation for the release of her newest album, Yebba appeared at the latest Tiny Desk (Home) concert on Sept. 8. This at-home concert has been in the works for over a year, but after her album was shelved during the pandemic for fear of underperforming, so was the performance.
The quality of her voice was never lost in the live performance as it was melodic and velvety in a way that has not been seen in a long time. Her background singers perfectly complemented every song, making the renditions almost better then the studio version.
Yebba’s debut album “Dawn” is as enchanting as it is moving. Released Sept. 10 through RCA Records, the album title was inspired by her mother who passed away in 2016.
Produced by Mark Ronson, “Dawn” toys with both soft tones and loud realizations that create a dynamic album. Yebba incorporates a mix of pop, R&B, jazz and alternative music to fully display her emotions, giving listeners a magical listening experience.
The album’s standout tracks, “Boomerang,” “Far Away” and “Louis Bag,” exhibit the best of this impressive experimentation.
“Boomerang” serves as a playful, up-tempo song that calls out an ex-lover and the karma that will inevitably come to them, while “Far Away” describes escaping pain and offers a psychedelic vibe paired perfectly with A$AP Rocky’s rap verse. “Louis Bag” creatively discusses her experience with label pressure and dispelling bad energy.
Tracks like these exemplify who Yebba is as an artist. Truly a rising star in the alternative music scene, she is someone everyone should be listening to.
Don’t wait, listen to “Dawn” here.
Featured image taken from Instagram: @yebbasmith