Sy Smith began her career fronting an all-female Washington, DC go go band. Sy served as sometime lead singer for British funk outfit Brand New Heavies on their album We Won't Stop. Smith duetted with soul legend Al Green on the theme song to the Showtime series Soul Food. She also made an appearance on the solo debut of Ali Shaheed Muhammad's Shaheedullah and Stereotypes album in 2000.
Smith emerged with her independent debut The Syberspace Social in 2005, which featured contributions from gravelly-voiced vocalist Anthony Hamilton and famed neo-soul stalwart producers such as James Poyser (of Jill Scott fame) and Victor Duplaix. The album has since been reissued as an expanded special edition.
Most recently, Sy Smith, along with Sharlotte Gibson and Kenya Hathaway (daughter of Donny Hathaway), have been highly visible as featured background singers on American Idol. Smith also appeared on The Article 3, a 2006 EP release from bass guitar impresario Me'Shell NdegeOcello in addition to opening for the artist. Sy Smith released her first live DVD Sy Smith Live: Worship At The Temple, recorded live at Temple Bar in Santa Monica, CA.