There’s a distinct set of rules to surviving in the music industry and singer YOBi not only abides by them, she’s setting a few new ones in the process. The New York native, recognized for her magnetic personality, is relying on her keen knowledge of the business and innate talents to make her imprint on the R&B landscape.
When other grade schoolers were busy throwing paint at their peers, YOBi occupied her time turning thoughts into poetic form. Growing up, the avid poetry writer also found within herself a natural ability to sing. The sounds of songstresses like
Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige saturated her household, inspiring her journey to capture the spotlight. “Whitney Houston was huge for me,” YOBi admits. “That was like my muse in a way. My mom would play Whitney Houston every night before dinner.”
Though YOBi snagged talent show wins throughout her high school and college run by singing Houston’s power ballad “I Have Nothing,” the singer-songwriter has perfected her craft with a bevy of genres other than R&B, including rock and pop. Yet, after graduating from Stony Brook University with a degree in journalism, the performer knew embarking on an R&B career was her calling.
While most entertainers take the plunge into the industry without knowing what to expect, the budding singer was well advised. In 2006, YOBi snagged a gig working as an intern for Interscope Records Promotions department. From working with artists such as Robin Thicke and Rich Boy to corresponding with DJs to get their records played, YOBi mastered essential tools to carry over into her own movement.
With an enhanced education of the music business, YOBi wrote her first song as a one-woman act titled “My Sanity,” produced by Hawk, which showcases her talent for songwriting as well as her honesty behind the mic. “In a lot of my songs, I like to be the blunt voice for women,” she states. “I like to say what I want and make empowering records, but I can also do a party record like my song ‘Drunken Sex.’ Love, happiness, hate, I like to think I’m hitting all corners of the world.”
YOBi’s life is run on a steady diet of music and performance. With two records set to make an impact in 2011--“Painful War,” a motivational tune about persevering through obstacles, and “Set In Stone,” a song highlighting a long-distance relationship cemented by faith—YOBi’s aim is to be a voice for the masses. “I want listeners to identify and relate to me,” she continues, “but I’m also trying to say what
you want to say but won’t.”