Leah Smith is a neo-soul singer and former member of Grammy-winning Israel and New Breed.


What happens when you blend soul, pop, gospel, and folk together? How do you contain

the youthfulness of today's generation and the legitimacy of yesterday's legacy in one

place? How do you describe the ability to combine feel good music with thought

provoking, culture-challenging lyrics? When does the authenticity of Philly's streets meet

the tranquil sounds of a careless waterfront haven? It all occurs when you take one listen

to Leah Smith. Her sound is one that transcends genres, race, and time, reaching music

lovers of all ages. Leah Smith brings back the charismatic charm that good music once



20-year-old singer/songwriter/musician Leah Smith has a message to get across and does

so via various musical stylings. From acoustic melodies, to heavy hitting beats, orchestral

compositions to the stripped down, unplugged sound of a sole piano and vocalist, Leah

delivers it all. Her voice effortlessly transitions in and out of high octaves, and her music

moves from ballads to hip-hop inspired, upbeat tempos with ease.


Leah Smith has always been musically inclined. Hailing from the streets of North

Philadelphia she has had a collection of experiences that many do not experience in a

lifetime let alone within the first twenty years of their lives. Smith gave her first vocal

solo at the age of 4 and at the age of 9, began singing with the Temple University

Program for Gifted Young Musicians. She began recording with the Baltimore based

group Sandtown before she was even in a double digit age category, began writing songs

at age 11, and attended Philadelphia's own prestigious Creative and Performing Arts

High School. Leah has already toured the United States, Asia, Europe, and Australia and

has shared the stage with Grammy Award winning artists such as Aretha Franklin, Alicia

Keys, and Israel Houghton. At the age of 18, Smith joined Houghton's group, New Breed

and worked with them for a year and a half. While touring with the group she began

performing the title track to her new EP entitled "Beautifully Made" which she wrote

while still in high school. Audiences from all over the nation and the world were

immediately drawn to the song. In the words of Israel Houghton, "Leah is already a

legend at the age of 18 years old."


The eclectic songstress has a long and varied list of favorite singers, songwriters, and

producers ranging from Tommy Sims, Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, and Shane and

Shane to artists like Joni Mitchell, Amel Larrieux, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Alicia

Keys, Donnie, Brooke Fraser, Chris Rice, The Police, Lisa McClendon, Kirk Franklin,

DC Talk, India Arie, Musiq Soulchild, and the list goes on. Leah finds her inspiration not

only from these artistic greats but also from a compelling desire she has within to

counteract the negative messages that today's popular music portrays. In her own words

Leah says, "I want a life-giving message of truth to be presented to people. I see deficit

and degradation and want to respond! Having a lot of money, or having fame,

possessions, the right friends, a great lover, a high level of achievement or success has

never made one single person in all of history truly satisfied. No one has ever had

continuous and prolonged joy and satisfaction in any of these things. It's not reality. Yet

we turn on our radios, our TVs, and the Internet, and this nonsense is what is pumped

forever into our hearts. Artists bragging about their stuff, artists flaunting their bodies,

and more-than-subtly encouraging the audience to buy into parading their sexuality to

experience true joy and freedom. It's all lies and emptiness. Artists taking pride in what

they assume to be their success but what is in God's eyes foolishness. This is what

inspires me to do my music and to spread the message of truth to all people."


But don't mistake her commitment to changing the status quo as a disconnect from

reality. Leah Smith has the ability to bring together people from all walks of life and sees

her music as a uniting tool. Her lyrics express God's love for all people. She feels a

strong connection to young women and desires to address issues of self-image in her

songs. Additionally, Leah has a passion for spreading the message of her music to global

audiences. Leah is currently working on the Beautifully Made EP, which will be released

September 8. The greatest message that Smith hopes to convey through her music to all

audiences is that "real, living hope is accessible to all."


Leah Smith has been compared to artists such as Mariah Carey, India Arie, Beyonce, and

Alicia Keys, but Leah has a sound all her own. So what do you get when you blend soul,

pop, gospel, and folk music together? In the words of Leah Smith you get "SoGoPopFo

Fusion." What exactly is that you may ask? Well you have to listen to Leah's music to

find out, because right now it's a genre of music that is all her own.


Leah Smith was featured on our True Love Waits program which aired on December 20, 2009.