About Sy Smith
Sy Smith has an impressive career. As a much in-demand vocalist, Sy has gained as much respect behind the scenes as she has on stage. Her musicianship has attracted the attention of fellow artists such as Whitney Houston, Chris Botti, Macy Gray, Usher, Jamie Foxx, Me’shell N’degeocello, DJ Quik, and Brandy who recruited her to sing background vocals on various television shows and tours. She has appeared in tv commercials (e.g. Gap, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola) and regularly sang with Vonda Shepard on the FOX television series “Ally McBeal.” In addition, Smith shares the vocal spotlight with legendary singer Al Green performing the title song to the hit drama "Soul Food." Sy pushed her own boundaries by serving as musical director for BET's spoken word series, “Lyric Café.” For the last 6 seasons, Sy was in the house orchestra for FOX’s wildly popular series American Idol as a backing vocalist. She also regularly joins the Rickey Minor Band on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Born in New York, raised in Washington, D.C., and drawing on a wealth of influences; Sy was exposed to a diverse musical palette at an early age. She studied classical piano for most of her childhood and early teens, and later found a musical outlet in the school choir. Smith went on to attend Howard University earning a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Music Therapy (magna cum laude).
Soon after graduation, Smith’s musical aspirations began to swirl – she joined a local all female band. With encouragement from fellow musician-friends, she packed up and moved to LA, hoping to get a toehold in the business. Studio sessions and local clubsallowed her to have her voice heard, and luckily, producer/songwriter Sauce (Somethin' For The People, Will Smith) was listening. Sauce summoned her for vocal and writing sessions, pushing her to develop her own skills as a producer; Sy was a quick study. She went on to write songs for artists in various genres including Santana, Mya, Me’shell N’degeocello, and Gerald Albright.
She has since released 4 CDs independently to critical acclaim (“One Like Me”, “The Syberspace Social”, “Psykosoul Plus” and most recently the top-selling “Conflict”) and a live DVD (“Worship At The Temple - Sy Smith Live”). In 2001, she was nominated for an Emmy for her writing contribution to “Welcome Back All My Soulmates”, the opening title theme of HBO’s Dancing in September. Her guest appearances with Chris Botti (including the Botti & Friends concert at the Boston Pops in September 2008) have gained for her a whole new audience of fans. Sy continues to wow new aficionados with her soulful and energetic interpretations (including performances with Grammy-nominated duo, The Foreign Exchange) that critics have called “rousing” (Boston Globe), “lighting up the stage” (The Current, St. Louis), and “worthy of the spotlight” (EDGE, Boston). It’s no wonder that the Cincinnati Pops summoned her talent for their 2008 holiday concert series. Her latest single, "Truth" (released in August on Strictly Rhythm) with producer Mark de Clive-Lowe is causing a stir in the dance/electronic world, with Gilles Peterson saying simply "This is a BIG tune"!