SOCIAL STUDIES: Interview with Sy Smith

Special to Informer | 6/8/2012, 11:23 a.m.

Washington Informer: Yeah, that leads me to my next question. It seems, in my opinion, that those shows are more about the show and not the talent. How do you feel about that?

Sy Smith: I don't know, sometimes they'll say stuff like "so and so has grown so much..." but I don't really see growth in "so and so" and a person they didn't see "growth" in is a phenomenal singer. Is the show about growth or is it about who can sing the best? [laughs]. If it's about growth, they need to say that.

Washington Informer: Like you, I don't watch those shows. They seem more about the show and whatever drama they can create than the actual talent.

Sy Smith: You hit the nail on the head. At the end of the day, it's really just about the drama on the show, its entertainment, you know? As much as we call these shows reality shows, reality TV, competition TV or whatever; it's not really reality, its television. But for anybody who has been blessed by these shows I think that's a wonderful thing, and these shows put a lot of musicians to work, so good for them, that's always a good thing. I like the a cappella one, whatever that one is called (The Sing-Off). I mean, I don't watch it, but I've seen it. I saw Afro Blue on there a few times, that group from Howard (University), they're phenomenal. So I think it's good when people get to see some phenomenal talent.

Washington Informer: You've worked with a who's who in music. Who else do you want to work with? Who's left?

Sy Smith: [Laughs] Gosh, it's so many people. I would really like to work with Prince, I love him to death. I love Sting; I would love to work with Sting on something. I think those are two pretty lofty goals [laughs].

Washington Informer: Yeah. Those are two good names.

Sy Smith: It would be awesome to work with either of them.

Washington Informer: You seem to embrace your independence, controlling your music career. If the situation were ever right, would you ever sign with a major label again?

Sy Smith: If the situation was right, yeah. It's always about any situation being right for any decision I make. You know what I mean? I always try to make a decision that's gonna be the best for me, nobody else is gonna look out for you but you, you know?

Washington Informer: That's what my mother always told me.

Sy Smith: [Laughs]

Washington Informer: Your latest album, Fast and Curious, just came out. I know you're working that but what are you currently working on? What's coming up next for you?

Sy Smith: I'm really excited about the album, Fast and Curious; because it's a little bit of a departure from the things I've done previously. So I'm pushing that, I've got these upcoming shows with Zo! here at Blues Alley on June 13th. But just before that, I'll be back on the road with The Foreign Exchange, we're doing like six cities. After that I go back to Los Angeles, I'm opening up for Rahsaan Patterson at the Elway Theater in L.A., and then I have to run with Sheila E.