If you have never heard of Abbey Smith, better known by her stage name "Yebba", it is time to find out ASAP. "Soulful" only begins to describe her raw, powerful voice, which has all of the qualities of a star, but remains strikingly unique.
I first discovered Yebba courtesy of Chance The Rapper, who chose her to perform as one of his backup singers for his performance of his song "Same Drugs" during his memorable performance on SNL in December of 2016. At the 4:00 mark during the video below you can begin to hear Yebba almost stealing the show from Chance as she literally sings the solo guitar riffs. Yebba's display of her insane vocal talents later earned her a shout out on Twitter from Chance himself.
After quickly searching this mysterious "Yebba" after seeing the Tweet and wondering why I had never heard of her, I came across the following video of her performing an original song, "My Mind" at Sofar NYC. Sofar NYC puts on "more than 70 shows every month in New York" and primarily features undiscovered indie artists. Yebba's performance is one of the top most-watched videos on the Sofar Sounds YouTube channel.
"My Mind" is intensely captivating, and once again, Yebba's vocal range is mindblowing. Her own lyrics are deeply meaningful and are strikingly better composed than most songs that come out today from multi-million dollar record label singers. From the very first note, Yebba's voice captures your attention while the lyrics tug at your heartstrings and force you to listen to it on repeat for days whether you have ever experienced heartbreak or not.
Yebba's long-awaited debut single, "Evergreen" was finally released on October 27, 2017, and became the perfect pre-Halloween surprise. Before its release, she tweeted that "Evergreen" is dedicated to her mom and the people who have rooted her "since day 1, for life," which is amazingly fitting. The song has a deep emotional appeal that could make anyone miss their family a little more. Like "My Mind," it also showcases her incredible vocal range and is equally chills-inducing. "Evergreen" is the perfect song to formally introduce Yebba to the world, and I cannot wait to watch her achieve the success she rightfully deserves. Give it a listen to on any music streaming service!