Nodding back to the versatility of classic entertainers, Algee Smith simultaneously thrives on the big and small screens, on stage, and on tape. Starring in Detroit and The New Edition Story in between releasing his 2017 EP Listen, the actor, singer, and songwriter shines in any arena. However, that became his goal a long time ago… “In my mind, I needed to be respected in both art forms—acting and music,” he exclaims. “It was all or nothing for both. I went as hard as I could to live those dreams.”
Born in Saginaw, MI before relocating to the South Side of Atlanta in middle school, the budding talent hit the road for the first time at just 12-years-old. As part of the World Changers church choir, he performed in front of a sold-out audience at Madison Square Garden. Inspired on his path by 2Pac, R. Kelly, and Michael Jackson, mom homeschooled Algee so he could focus on his art, while dad produced countless songs for him to sing over. 2011 saw him begin releasing originals on YouTube as part of a regular “Music Mondays” feature before landing roles in films such as Earth To Echo and Let It Shine. After grinding for nearly a decade, BET chose him to star in the acclaimed 2017 series The New Edition Story as lead singer Ralph Tresvant. “It was dope because we spoke to three generations: the people who grew up with New Edition, my generation the Millennials, and little kids discovering them for the first time,” he says. “For me, it was amazing to be part of something that placed black culture at the forefront.”
As the series took off, he unveiled his independent Listen EP. Driven by his powerhouse voice, he brings fresh flavor to old school R&B with a twist. Without any traditional promotion, the six-song set soared to #11 on iTunes Overall R&B chart and earned praise from BET and more. Over a nineties bounce, his falsetto takes flight on the first single “Girl,” which became a sensation straight out of the gate and racked up 275K YouTube/VEVO views in under a month. The track figures into an overarching theme.
Checkout new & exclusive interview with Algee Smith below: