The Local 913: Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution
The Pittsburgh R&B vocalist Lyndsey Smith (of Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution) grew up encouraged by her saxophone playing grandfather:
“I’ve gotten a chance to perform with him in church once and he was like “GIRL! You have SO MUCH POWER! I don’t know! I don’t know, girl!” (laughs) He was very excited. He’s awesome. The best.”
Smith found inspiration from role models like Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston. Born and raised in New Jersey, she found herself moving to Pittsburgh about a decade ago.
“My eldest son Jacob has autism. At the time, in New Jersey, autism benefits weren’t that great. We had to pay out of pocket for the things we needed done for him. It was between Philladelphia and Pittsburgh. I was already a Steelers fan, so it was a given (laughs) that Pittsburgh was it. I’ve been in love ever since.”
Her “power-house voice” is the center of who she is as a performer.
“Not too many people these days, sing from a place of pain. They don’t sing from a place that’s gonna hit you in your heart and in your toes and make your hair stand up on your arm and the back of your neck. It’s important to me to sing from the deepest, truest part of myself. I don’t wanna be quiet. I’ve gotten a lot of people who’ve requested me to be dinner time music. I can do that, absolutely. But that’s not truly who I am. I wanna sing from that place of pain. From that place of feeling good from the depth of my soul.”