What does it feel like to stand on the brink of a total, all-encompassing change? Abbey Smith, who releases music as Yebba, would be a good person to ask. After collaborating with Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Sam Smith, and Drake – and being touted as a 'once in a generation' voice – she is now releasing her long-awaited debut album, and it's poised to make her a superstar. That's about as dramatic a change as life can throw at you, but Yebba is used to upheaval. Five years ago, just as her singing career was really beginning to take off, she lost her mother to suicide, and she has spent much of the time since wrapping her head around the grief and trauma that followed – often in the form of the songs that comprise the album. When the album was finished, she called it Dawn, after her mother. In this conversation, Abbey is open and honest about the impact of her grief, and the ways it still plays out in her day-to-day, but she is also defiant, strong, and powerfully inspirational – ready to finally release the album that took so much out of her, and to face whatever comes next.
If you have been affected by the themes of this episode, there is help on hand.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be reached from any phone on 116 123
In the USA, the Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-8255
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