Yebba

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Yebba
Born
Abbey Smith

(1995-01-16) January 16, 1995 (age 25)
West Memphis, Arkansas
Other namesYebba Smith
CitizenshipUnited States
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Backing vocalist
Years active2015–present
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • piano
Labels
  • Abbey Smith Publishing
Associated acts
Websitewww.yebbasmith.com

Abbey Smith,[1][2][3] (born January 16, 1995)[4] known professionally as Yebba, is an American Grammy-award-winning singer and songwriter from West Memphis, Arkansas. She first became known for her backing vocal performance on Chance the Rapper's SNL performance of the song "Same Drugs" in 2016 and releasing her debut single "Evergreen" in 2017. She has also collaborated with a number of artists, including PJ Morton, Sam Smith, Mark Ronson, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran.

Career[edit]

In 2017, Yebba revealed that she was co-signed by Ed Sheeran's label[5] when she performed a song called "My Mind", which was written and performed about a week before her mother died. He described how the Sofar Sounds performance of the song was so powerful, it made him cry. Shortly after followed the official release of her debut single "Evergreen". About the song, she said "I grew up doing music in my dad's church from a baby, so I've spent about a seventh of my life on the front row, beside my momma, and right behind my dad's organ. Church has always been a place of honesty, questioning, and family. So after we saw mom's suicide, and that sense of family seemingly dissolved, a building I had become entirely estranged to seemed like the only place I could go."[6] Later that year, she collaborated with Sam Smith on the song "No Peace", which was released through Smith's 2017 album The Thrill of It All.[7]

In 2018, she collaborated with Zane Lowe to release her debut music video for her debut single "Evergreen", which was done so with support from Apple Music and Beats 1. Lowe stated about the music video, "YEBBA is an artist in every sense of the word, and working together to bring her vision to light was truly remarkable. She has one of the more powerful and exciting voices to come along in years, and we are excited to introduce her to the world".[6] She also appeared as a featured artist, alongside Maverick Sabre on Rudimental's promotional single "They Don't Care About Us", which served as a track from their 2019 album Toast to Our Differences. Additionally, she was a backing vocalist on the recent projects from Jess Glynne[8] and Mumford & Sons.[9]

In 2019, Yebba was nominated and won her first ever Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance of the song "How Deep Is Your Love", alongside PJ Morton at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.[10] She also appeared on three songs from Mark Ronson's album Late Night Feelings.[11] In April, she appeared as a guest vocalist alongside The Staves for Mumford & Sons' live performance of the song "Beloved" on The Jonathan Ross Show.[12] In June, she was revealed to have a featured appearance on Ed Sheeran's collaborative effort No.6 Collaborations Project on a song entitled "Best Part of Me", which was eventually released as a promotional single. The song became her first charted release, peaking at 99 in the US Charts.[13] In August, she released her follow up single to "Evergreen", entitled "Where Do You Go". The song was produced by BJ Burton and The Picard Brothers.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Yebba has been an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and support. Her mother died by suicide about a week after Yebba sang her first original song, causing "My Mind" to take on new meaning representing mental health. She says her artist name was chosen to honor her mother, who she said "always called her by the nickname" (her name Abbey written backwards) as a child. In memory of her mother, Yebba gave the song away free through her website.[15][16]

Artistry[edit]

Yebba credits The Clark Sisters for her vocal prowess, citing them as her heroes and number one influencers. She wrote on Instagram: "This family's music made me come to know Jesus. Anything I've learned about singing has been from trying to mimic them."[17] Records like "Nothing to Lose," "Jesus Lifted Me," "You Brought the Sunshine," "The Darkest Hour is Just Before the Day" and "Jesus is a Love Song" are some of her favorites.[18]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

as lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"Evergreen" 2017 Non-album single
"Where Do You Go" 2019 TBA

as featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions, certifications and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US UK AUS
[19]
CAN DEN
[20]
FRA
[21]
GER NZ
[22]
SWE
[23]
"They Don't Care About Us"[24]
(Rudimental featuring Maverick Sabre and YEBBA)
2018 Toast to Our Differences
"Don't Leave Me Lonely"[25]
(Mark Ronson featuring YEBBA)
2019 58 Late Night Feelings
"Best Part of Me"
(Ed Sheeran featuring YEBBA)
99 17 44 35 162 55 13 41 No.6 Collaborations Project

Featured appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2015 "Gravity"
(Clark Beckham featuring YEBBA)
Non-album single
"Smoke"
(Luke Levenson featuring YEBBA)
2016 "Melatonin"
(A Tribe Called Quest featuring YEBBA and Marsha Ambrosius)
We Got It from Here...
Thank You 4 Your Service
2017 "No Peace"
(Sam Smith featuring YEBBA)
The Thrill of It All
2018 "How Deep Is Your Love" (Live)
(PJ Morton featuring YEBBA)
Gumbo Unplugged
"My Day Will Come"
(James Francies featuring YEBBA)
Flight
2019 "Knock Knock Knock"
(Mark Ronson featuring YEBBA)
Late Night Feelings
"When U Went Away"
(Mark Ronson featuring YEBBA)
"Fuck Yo Feelings"
(Robert Glasper featuring YEBBA)
Fuck Yo Feelings
"Don't Leave Me Lonely" (Acoustic Version)
(Mark Ronson featuring YEBBA and James Francies)
Non-album single
"Don't Forget to Breathe (Interlude)"
(Stormzy featuring YEBBA)
Heavy Is the Head

Guest appearances[edit]

List of guest backing appearances for other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Year Title Other artist(s) Album
2018 "Broken" Jess Glynne Always in Between
"October Skies" Mumford & Sons Delta
2019 "Money" Michael Kiwanuka, Tom Misch TBA
"Spinning" Mark Ronson, Ilsey Late Night Feelings

Songwriting Credits[edit]

Year Artist Album Song Co-written with
2017 Kingdom Culture Worship Kingdom Culture Worship "Abide" Jasmine Smith, Bradley Riddle
"Waters Rise" Pascalle Fargnoli
"Take My Hand" Pascalle Forgnoli
"Riches" Steven Boal
2018 Basstracks For Those Who Know, Pt. 2 "Improv #2 (Intro)"[27] Ivan Jackson, Conor Rayne, Richard Saunders, Elliot Skinner, Benjamin Lusher, Robert Glasper, Randy Vargas, Conor Szymanski
2019 Rudimental Toast to Our Differences "Leave It for Tomorrow" (featuring Elli Ingram)[28] Amir Izadkhah, Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Leon "DJ Locksmith" Rolle

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hardin, Ralph. "Yebba wins Grammy". theeveningtimes.com. Evening Times. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  2. ^ "West Memphis native nominated for Grammy". wreg.com. Nexstar Media Group, Inc. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  3. ^ Brandle, Lars. "Yebba Shines In Performance With Mark Ronson on 'Fallon': Watch". billboard.com. Promenthus Global Media LLC. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  4. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "YEBBA - Biography & History". allmusic.com. RhythmOne Group. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  5. ^ "Co-Signed by Ed Sheeran, YEBBA is Our New Favorite Singer". Baeble Music.
  6. ^ a b "YEBBA releases new captivating visuals for her single 'Evergreen'". HUNGER TV.
  7. ^ "The Thrill of It All by Sam Smith" – via music.apple.com.
  8. ^ "Broken". October 11, 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "October Skies" – via www.youtube.com.
  10. ^ "Yebba". GRAMMY.com. May 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Late Night Feelings by Mark Ronson" – via music.apple.com.
  12. ^ "Mumford and Sons Perform Beloved featuring YEBBA and The Staves - The Jonathan Ross Show". April 13, 2019 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Ed Sheeran Chart History". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Yebba: Where Do You Go". youtube.com. YouTube.
  15. ^ ""This gives my song a whole new life" - YEBBA Les Twins perform a powerful street dance to "My Mind"". November 29, 2018.
  16. ^ "YEBBA". YEBBA.
  17. ^ "yebba on Instagram: "This family's music made me come to know Jesus. Anything I've learned about singing has been from TRYING to mimic them on records like ... "". Instagram.
  18. ^ "5 Quick Facts About YEBBA, the Music Industry's Next Big Thing". August 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Hitlisten.NU". Hitlisten.NU.
  21. ^ "Top Singles (téléchargement + streaming)". SNEP - Syndicat Nation de l'Edition Phonographique. November 1, 2013.
  22. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART.
  23. ^ "Veckolista Singlar, vecka 29". Sverigetopplistan.
  24. ^ "Rudimental Share 'They Don't Care About Us'". Clash. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  25. ^ Blistein, Jon (17 May 2019). "Mark Ronson, YEBBA spill heartbreak on the dancefloor on new song 'Don't Leave Me Lonely'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  26. ^ https://musiccanada.com/gold-platinum/?_gp_search=Ed%20Sheeran
  27. ^ "ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com.
  28. ^ "ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com.