Leading up to the release of her much anticipated debut album Dawn, out this Friday 9/10, Grammy winning singer/songwriter/arranger/producer Yebba performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series. Watch it HERE.
Filmed in an intimate setting in New York City, Yebba played four songs from her debut album including “Stand,” “Distance,” “All I Ever Wanted,” and “How Many Years.” Performing alongside Yebba were James Francies, (MD/keys), Burniss Travis (bass), Stro Elliot (drums), Charles Myers (guitar), background vocals: Niya Norwood, Schadrack Pierre, and Brandon Pain, and strings: Marta Bagratuni, Francesca Dardani, Sulamit Gorski, and Nicole Wright.
Her album title Dawn has dual meaning — Dawn is the name of Yebba’s mother who she lost to suicide. Dawn also refers to the first glimpse of light in the sky after the darkness of night, offering a radiant sense of possibility with her debut album.
Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning musician and producer Mark Ronson produced the album, and other key collaborators include Questlove, the Roots, A$AP Rocky, KAYTRANADA, Pino Palladino, Smino, James Francies, Smokey Hormel and many more all-stars. The album was recorded at New York City’s Electric Lady Studios.
Her album’s lead single “Distance,” released last summer was nominated at the 2021 Grammys for “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” and was included on Barak Obama’s annual playlist to extraordinary critical raves. Clash writes: ‘Distance’ is a phenomenal exhibition of Yebba’s dramatic vocal ability.” Rolling Stone notes her “characteristically stunning vocal performance,” and NPR calls the song “the ultimate exercise in restraint. Fully aware of her ability to vocally run circles around any production, she matches the tenderness of the orchestration and lyrics.”
Follow up “October Sky” was released alongside a stunning acoustic performance video and was declared “a master class in conveying complex emotions” (NPR) along with love from H.E.R., Justin Timberlake, Brandi Carlile, Zane Lowe, and the album’s producer Mark Ronson.
Her latest “Boomerang” was written by Yebba with Tommy Brenneck (Sharon Jones &The Dap-Kings, Mark Ronson, Panic! At The Disco) and Ilsey Juber (Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, Lykke Li) and produced by Brenneck and Ronson.
Previously released track “Louie Bag” featuring rapper Smino was co-written by Yebba, Smino, Q-Tip, and James Francies and produced by Yebba and Mark Ronson-Billboard praised “her untouchable vocal skills…punchy verse from Smino balances out the Arkansas native’s smooth melodies, the duo forming a musical yin and yang.”
Watch her NPR Tiny Desk Concert and find more details below about Yebba.
Dawn Track Listing:
- How Many Years
- All I Ever Wanted
- Far Away feat. A$AP Rocky
- October Sky
- Louie Bag feat. Smino
- One More Smile
- Love Came Down
- Paranoia Purple
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