Sy Smith

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Sy Smith
Birth nameSyretha Olivia Smith
Born (1974-02-18) February 18, 1974 (age 45)
OriginNew York City
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–present
LabelsPsyko! Records/MDI Distribution
Associated acts

Sy Smith-Peterson (born February 18, 1974) is an American singer, songwriter and actress.

Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Sy Smith began her career leading a six-person Washington D.C. go-go band called "In Tyme".[1] After graduating from Howard University with a bachelor's degree of Science in psychology and a minor in music therapy, she moved to Los Angeles, California. She soon charted territory singing backup for Usher, Eric Benet, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Ginuwine, Brandy, and spending more than a year on the road with Whitney Houston.[1] Among it all, Smith made appearances as a regular fixture behind Vonda Shepard on the FOX television show Ally McBeal.


1999–2003: Psykosoul and departure from Hollywood Records[edit]

Smith moved to L.A. in 1997 and signed with Hollywood Records in 1999. Later that year, she released her first single "Gladly", which charted at number 79 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In early 2000, Smith released the second single "Good N Strong".

In 2001, Smith was dropped from Hollywood Records. In the same year, Smith made a cameo appearance in All About You as the restaurant singer. She has since written for Santana, sung backup for Whitney Houston and with Vonda Shepard on "Ally McBeal". After talking to the proprietors of a coffee shop in Los Angeles' Leimert Park neighborhood, Smith established B!tchcraft in 2001. The monthly showcase ran for nearly two years. The showcase featured three to four female acts, unsigned and signed singers, and comedians. Between releases, Smith served as a temporary lead session singer for British funk group The Brand New Heavies on their album We Won't Stop.[2] In 2001, Smith released a single "Welcome Back (All My Soulmates)", which later received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Music and Lyrics".[3] In 2002, she released her extended play One Like Me.

2004–2007: The Syberspace Social[edit]

In 2004, Smith received a minor role in The Seat Filler as Fitz (VJ). Smith also signed a recording contract with Kajmere Records and began recording her second album in 2004. Later that year, Smith starred as Rose in the independent film Black Rose. In early 2005, Smith began her own recording company, Psyko! Inc. In early 2005, Smith released a single "Fa'Sho". In September 2005, Smith released her second album, The Syberspace Social. The album featured contributions from R&B singer Anthony Hamilton[4] and producers such as James Poyser and Victor Duplaix. In December 2005, Smith released a deluxe edition of her first album entitled, Psykosoul Plus, which contained three additional songs. In the same year, she also appeared in the theatre If You Don't Believe: A Love Story. She received a NAACP Theatre Award nomination for Best Supporting Female – Local.[5]

Sy Smith, along with Sharlotte Gibson and Kenya Hathaway, were featured background singers on American Idol. Smith also appeared on The Article 3, a 2006 EP release from bass guitar impresario Me'Shell NdegeOcello in addition to opening for the artist. In mid-2006, Smith recorded a single "Fill in the Blanks", which was featured on the Airpushers' Themes for the Ordinarily Strange. In 2006, Smith released a deluxe edition of her second album, The Syberspace Social. The album featured two additional songs. While embarking on her tour in 2006, Sy Smith released her first live DVD Sy Smith Live: Worship At The Temple, recorded live at Temple Bar in Santa Monica, California. She also appeared in the theatre Body Language in the supporting role "Holt". She received a NAACP Theatre Award nomination for Best Supporting Female – Local.

2007–2009: Conflict[edit]

In April 2008, Smith released her third studio album, Conflict, with "Fly Away With Me" as the lead single. The song "Fly Away With Me" charted at number 38 on the Top 40 Hot Adult R&B Chart. In late 2008, Smith's album Conflict received an "Album of the Year" nomination from Soultracks. In 2009, she made a guest performance at the Live in Boston show of Chris Botti where she sang the Burt Bacharach classic "The Look of Love". She also features on the DVD release of this concert and is seen in his tour in Europe. Sy Smith also serves as the voice actor of Aisha in the Saints Row video game series, recording three tracks as the character for the games' soundtracks.

2010–2011: Syberselects[edit]

In April 2010, Smith appeared on The Mo'Nique Show to perform her single "Fly Away With Me" and promote her album Conflict. She later announced that she was planning to release a new project in 2010.[6] In July 2010, Smith went on tour with Mark de Clive-Lowe. In mid-August 2010, Smith released a single "Truth" to iTunes. In October 2010, Smith received a Soultrack Readers Choice Award "Song of the Year" nomination for her song "Greatest Weapon of all Time". On October 26, 2010, Smith released her best of album, SyberSelects: A Collection of Sy Smith Favorites.

In December 2010, Smith confirmed in an interview, that she will be doing a jazz album.[7]

In January 2011, Sy Smith and Mark de Clive-Lowe recorded a version of Teena Marie's 1984 hit "Lovergirl" and went on the tour with The Foreign Exchange.

2011–present: Fast and Curious[edit]

In November 2011, Smith began touring with Sheila E. and the E Family. In December 2011, Smith announced her fourth album, Fast and Curious to be released on March 6, 2012.[8][9]

In January 2012, Smith and The Decorders released a remake of Minnie Riperton's song "Inside My Love". On March 6, 2012, Smith released her fourth studio album Fast and Curious. She regularly appears as a guest soloist on tour dates for trumpeter Chris Botti. In 2013, she performed regularly as a supporting vocalist for French musical icon Johnny Hallyday. Smith also re-joined Chris Botti as the featured vocalist for his tour.

In September 2015, Smith released a cover version of Janet Jackson's "When I Think of You".

Personal life[edit]

On July 11, 2010, Sy Smith married Shawn Carter Peterson.[10]


Studio albums



Year Title Role Notes
2001 All About You Toomie's singer Cameo appearance
2004 Black Rose Rose Lead role
The Seat Filler Fitz (VJ) Minor role
2005 If You Don't Believe: A Love Story Ellie Jackson Minor role
2006 True Grits Pregnant woman Minor role
Body Language Holt Minor role
2016 California Love – A Triptych Herself Main role

TV/video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Singer 1 41 episodes
2002 Lyric Cafe Herself Music director
2006 Saints Row Aisha Supporting role
2008 Saints Row 2 Aisha Supporting role
2011 American Dad! The Hot Tub Singers Episode: "Hot Water"
2011–2012 How I Met Your Mother Singer Episodes: "Tick Tick Tick" and "The Autumn of Break-Ups"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2001 "Welcome Back" Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Music and Lyrics Nominated[3]
2005 If You Don't Believe: A Love Story NAACP Theatre Awards: Best Supporting Female – Local Nominated[5]
2006 Body Language NAACP Theatre Awards: Best Supporting Female – Local Nominated
2008 Conflict Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Album of the Year Nominated[11]
Sy Smith Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated[11]
2009 Sy Smith LA Weekly Music Awards: Best Contemporary Blues/R&B Artist Nominated
2010 "Greatest Weapon of All Time" Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Song of the Year Nominated[12]
2012 Sy Smith Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated[13]
Fast and Curious Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Independent Album of the Year Nominated[13]
"Nights (Feel Like Gettin' Down)" Soultracks Reader's Choice Award: Song of the Year Nominated[13]


  1. ^ a b "Sy Smith". The Soul of Amsterdam.
  2. ^ The Syberspace Social on
  3. ^ a b Sy Smith – Awards. IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  4. ^ The Syberspace Social on CD Baby
  5. ^ a b "NAACP Announces Nominees for Annual Theatre Awards". Broadway Wisdom Digital Media. January 25, 2005. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Published by Krysten Hughes Q&A// CONFLICT, LOVE AND NO REGRETS: SY SMITH. CentricTV. Retrieved April 30, 2010
  7. ^ Sy Smith: The Girl That Everybody Knows That Nobody Knows (Let Her Explain). Washington City Paper. Retrieved December 8, 2010
  8. ^ Get your pic in Sy's new CD cover. MyEmail.ConstantContact. Retrieved December 8, 2011
  9. ^ Upcoming Soul Music CD Releases!.
  10. ^ Sy Smith gets married!. Chris Botti Forum. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "2008 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards Winners!". SoulTracks. SoulTracks, LLC. October 4, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "SoulTracks Awards Show coming on Dec. 7th". SoulTracks. SoulTracks, LLC. November 30, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "SoulTracks 2012 Readers' Choice Awards nominees named!". SoulTracks. SoulTracks, LLC. October 9, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.

External links[edit]