Sabi (singer)

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Sabi fft.jpg
Sabi during performance "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" on Femme Fatale Tour in 2011.
Background information
Birth nameJenice Dena Portlock
Also known asSabi
Born (1987-11-24) November 24, 1987 (age 31)
Inglewood, California, United States
Years active2008–present
Associated acts

Jenice Dena Portlock (born November 24, 1987),[1] also known as Sabi, is a Salvadoran-American pop singer, songwriter, dancer and actress from Los Angeles, California.

She was formerly part of the hip hop girl group, The Bangz. She is currently signed to Warner Bros. Records.[2][3]


Early life and career beginnings[edit]

As a kid growing up in Inglewood, California, daughter of a Salvadoran mother and African American father, Sabi was raised in a bilingual Spanish and English language household and spent every other weekend watching MTV at her father’s house after her parents split up. Her father had cable television and her mother didn't, so she and her sisters were glued to the screen watching music videos all day – she especially loved watching Michael Jackson, Prince, and Sade. That’s when she gained her immense passion for singing and song writing and made the decision that she wanted to be a performer. "I remember watching the Michael Jackson: Moonwalker video over and over and trying to pick up Michael’s moves", she once said in an interview.

Sabi would also choreograph dance routines and marshal her younger sisters into performing them for the family. She got involved in theater in middle school and graduated from Westchester Senior High School in 2005. In 2008, she appeared in an independent short film called The Smallest River in Almirante, which was executive produced by actor Shia LaBeouf. She was cast in commercials for ABC Family, Universal Studios, and Pepsi while majoring in communications at California State University, Long Beach in 2009.

All the while, Sabi continued to work on her vocal technique trying to imitate other singers. "No matter who it was, Justin Timberlake, Brandy, or Alicia Keys, I could mimic exactly how they sounded. That’s how I got comfortable with my voice." She began to write her own songs and record them on a voice recorder, but says that she really learned about the craft of songwriting after working with several producers that she had been introduced to through her then-manager.[citation needed]

2009–10: The Bangz and group disbandment[edit]

In the summer of 2009, Sabi was approached by The Co-Stars, a production team who were looking to launch a female duo. Urban/pop group The Bangz, featuring Sabi and Korttney Ann Elliott (a.k.a. Ella Ann) got signed to the indie recording label VNR, Asylum Records and Warner Bros. Records. With a video that hit almost a million views on YouTube and two singles ("Boys With Tattoos (We Jerkin')" and "Found My Swag" featuring the New Boyz) released, the group was starting to get national radio play and MTV exposure.

Shortly after, Ella Ann got seriously injured in a drive by a stray bullet and unable to continue, leaving Sabi to go on alone. She tried to continue without her; Sabi shot a video and did some performances on her own with back-up dancers, but no one felt the Bangz could continue without Ella, not even Sabi herself. The whole experience was an emotional rollercoaster to her. However, executives at Warner Bros. Records loved Sabi’s talent and energy and wanted to continue the label’s relationship with her as a solo artist.

2011–present: Solo career[edit]

On April 4, 2011, Sabi released her song "Goodnight" on the internet as a buzz single from her debut album. Shortly after, Sabi teased fans with her just-released track "Wild Heart." The Cirkut-produced track is a club banger produced in a dubstep style, also being remixed by dubstep artist Zeds Dead.

She appeared in the studio with Benny Blanco, Klas (from the Teddybears), Diplo, Ammo, Cirkut, The Cataracs and The Co-Stars working on her debut album, due out 2012, which she says will incorporate her love for pop, alternative rock, and urban music, inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill, Bat For Lashes, Florence + the Machine and Lykke Li. She was readying her Warner Bros. Records debut for release in 2012.[4]

Sabi is also featured on Wale's new music video for the song "Sabotage." She's featured on Britney Spears' song "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" and the Cobra Starship single "You Make Me Feel...," which peaked at #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in New Zealand. She is also featured on the New Boyz' song "Tough Kids", from their album Too Cool to Care. She was featured on a few dates of the Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour and is featured on the DVD.

A video for "Wild Heart"' debuted on March 19, 2012.[5] A brand new Dr. Luke, Cirkut-produced track "Where They Do That At?" featuring Wale premiered unexpectedly on April 17, 2012 on Spotify.[6] The video for the song, directed by Tim Cruz, debuted on April 19, 2012, along with a behind-the-scenes video.[7]

Sabi was also announced to be host of her own web-series about fashion titled Found My Swag after The Bangz's single. The series will premiered on The Warner Sound, the YouTube channel belonging to Sabi's record label Warner Brothers on November 1, 2012.[8]

In November 2012, Sabi released the Jakob Owens-directed video for lead single from her upcoming mixtape, titled "Champagne". The song was produced by Crack For Kids.[9]

In August 2013, she released the Tyga-assisted "Cali Love" which will also be included on "0-60: Love Sounds". Sabi released "Love Sounds", produced by Ryan McDermott in November 2013 and announced that the long-awaited mixtape "0 to 60: Love Sounds" would be released on November 13, 2013. On the eve of 0-60: Love Sounds’s release, Sabi premiered a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 No. 1 single, "Dreams," a track included on her mixtape.[10] The entire 11-song mixtape was released for free download via the site[11]



0-60: Love Sounds
1."Intro"Ryan McDermott1:09
2."Cali Love" (featuring Tyga)Mark J. Feist3:37
3."Love Sounds"McDermott3:41
4."Better Than This"Mark J. Feist3:45
5."Hollywood Romance"McDermott, The Arsenals (co.)3:56
6."24K"Jonas Jeberg3:43
7."Both of Us" (featuring Ryan McDermott)McDermott, Mike McTaggard (co.)3:30
8."The Change"The Costars2:29
9."Body Language"Mark J. Feist2:34
11."Cali Love" (Remix) (featuring Tyga)McDermott3:47


List of single
Title Year Album
"Wild Heart" 2011 All I Want
"Where Do They Do That At?"
(featuring Wale)
"Champagne" 0 to 60: Love Sounds
"Cali Love" (feat Tyga) 2013
"Glow" 2016 TBA
"—" denotes a title that was not released or did not chart in that territory.

Promotional singles[edit]

  • Goodnight (2011)

Featured singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"You Make Me Feel..."
(Cobra Starship featuring Sabi)
2011 7 3 4 13 12 28 1 47 16 Night Shades
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Artist(s) Album
2011 "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" Britney Spears Femme Fatale
"Tough Kids" New Boyz Too Cool to Care
2012 "Barely Standing" Diplo & Datsik Express Yourself
2013 "Overflow" Ryan McDermott Ryan Vs. The Sandman: Tale of The Sleepwalkers
2015 "Firestarter"[a] Sandro Silva[24] Non-album single
  • a Sabi's vocals are not officially credited on this release.

Music videos[edit]

Song Year Director
"Wild Heart" 2012 Mike Mahil
"Where They Do That At?" (feat. Wale) Tim Cruz
"Champagne" Jakob Owens
"Cali Love" (feat. Tyga) 2013 Mike Mahil


  1. ^ "Title unknown". Twitter. Archived from the original on November 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Jocelyn Vena. "Sabi 'Grinding' Out Debut Album", MTV, August 9, 2011.
  3. ^ Kelley L. Carter. "Britney Spears Is A VMA 'Icon', Sabi Says", MTV, August 26, 2011.
  4. ^ Sabi Lights Up the Screen in ‘Wild Heart’ Video. (2012-03-05); retrieved on 2012-06-08.
  5. ^ Sabi – Wild Heart [Official Music Video. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-06-08.
  6. ^ Sabi, Listen to the world premiere of Sabi’s new track Archived 2012-07-16 at (2012-04-17). Retrieved on 2012-06-08.
  7. ^ Video: Sabi f/ Wale – ‘Where They Do That At?’. (2012-04-19); retrieved June 8, 2012.
  8. ^ Profile,, October 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Sabi - Champagne,, November 29, 2012.
  10. ^ Daw, Robbie. "Sabi's Cover Of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" From Her '0-60′ Mixtape: Idolator Premiere". Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  11. ^ Ray, Jason. "Sabi - 0-60: Love Sounds". Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "You Make Me Feel... – Cobra Starship". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "Australian Discography Sabi". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  14. ^ "French Charts Discography Sabi". Les Charts. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  15. ^ "Irish Charts Discography Sabi". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  16. ^ "Dutch Discography Sabi" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  17. ^ "New Zealand Discography Sabi". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  18. ^ "Swiss Discography Sabi". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  19. ^ "Chart Stats – Sabi". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  20. ^ Recording Industry Association of America. RIAA. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  21. ^ Displaying Search Results for: Cobra starship Archived 2014-02-25 at the Wayback Machine. Gold Platinum Database.
  22. ^ Top 50 Singles Chart – Australian Record Industry Association Archived 2011-09-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  23. ^ recording industry association of New Zealand Archived 2010-03-06 at the Wayback Machine. RIANZ. Retrieved on 2011-12-17.
  24. ^ "Firestarter". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

External links[edit]