After graduating from backup-singing school under the tuition of Erykah Badu, Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder, Yahzarah began eliciting buzz in her own right with the 2002 indie release "Hear Me" (Keo M

After graduating from backup-singing school under the tuition of Erykah Badu, Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder, Yahzarah began eliciting buzz in her own right with the 2002 indie release "Hear Me" (Keo Music). Half of that set's songs appear on her "second" coming, "Blackstar." Her brand of organic R&B/soul definitely owes a nod to Badu and other neo-soul sisters. Yahzarah takes control on such cuts as the lilting "So Amazing" and the sassy "Feel Me." But she loses her footing when she drifts into hip-hop territory ("One Day"). Regardless, her distinctive girl-woman voice commands attention, whether it is soaring à la Minnie Riperton or rocking out Chaka Khan-style. Racked by ADA.—GM