As a kid growing up in Inglewood, California, daughter of a Salvadoran mother and African American father, Sabi was raised in a bilingual Spanish and English language household and spent every other weekend watching MTV at her father’s house after her parents divorced. Her father had cable television and her mother didn’t, so she and her sisters were glued to the screen watching music videos all day – she especially loved watching Michael Jackson, Prince, and Sade. That’s when she gained her immense passion for singing and song writing and made the decision that she wanted to be a performer. "I remember watching the Michael Jackson: Moonwalker video over and over and trying to pick up Michael’s moves," she once said in an interview. Sabi would also choreograph dance routines and marshal her younger sisters into performing them for the family.
She got involved in theater in middle school and graduated from Westchester Senior High School in 2005. In 2008, she appeared in an independent short film called The Smallest River in Almirante, which was executive produced by actor Shia LaBeouf. She was cast in commercials for ABC Family, Universal Studios, and Pepsi while majoring in communications at California State University, Long Beach in 2009.
All the while, Sabi continued to work on her vocal technique trying to imitate other singers. "No matter who it was, Justin Timberlake, Brandy, or Alicia Keys, I could mimic exactly how they sounded. That’s how I got comfortable with my voice." She began to write her own songs and record them on a voice recorder, but says that she really learned about the craft of songwriting after working with several producers that she had been introduced to through her then-manager.
In the summer of 2009, Sabi was approached by The Co-Stars, a production team who were looking to launch a female duo. Urban/pop group The Bangz, featuring Sabi and Korttney Ann Elliott (a.k.a. Ella Ann) got signed to the indie recording label VNR, Asylum Records and Warner Bros. Records. With a video that hit almost a million views on YouTube and two singles ("Boys With Tattoos (We Jerkin')" and "Found My Swag" (featuring the New Boyz)) released, the group was starting to get national radio play and MTV exposure. Shortly after, Ella Ann got seriously injured in a drive by a stray bullet and unable to continue, leaving Sabi to go on alone. She tried to continue without her; Sabi even shot a video and did some performances on her own with back-up dancers, but no one felt the Bangz could continue without Ella, not even Sabi herself. The whole experience was an emotional rollercoaster to her. However, executives at Warner Bros. Records loved Sabi’s talent and energy and wanted to continue the label’s relationship with her as a solo artist.
On April 4, 2011, Sabi released her song "Goodnight" on the internet as a buzz single from her debut album. Shortly after, Sabi teased fans with her just-released track "Wild Heart." The Cirkut-produced track is a club banger produced in a dubstep style, also being remixed by dubstep artist Zeds Dead. It was used on Kourtney and Kim Take New York season 2 promos, and later released on iTunes. A music video for the song is in the works. Directed by Mike Mahil, the Inglewood native filmed scenes at a house in downtown Los Angeles last month. "I feel like I was on top of the world. It’s pretty awesome," said Sabi.
She's in the studio with Benny Blanco, Klas (from the Teddybears), Diplo, Ammo, Cirkut, The Cataracs and The Co-Stars working on her debut album, due out 2012, which she says will incorporate her love for pop, alternative rock, and urban music, inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill, Bat For Lashes, Florence + the Machine and Lykke Li.
She was readying her Warner Bros. Records debut for release in 2012.
Sabi is also featured on Wale's new music video for the song "Sabotage." She's featured on Britney Spears' song "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" and the Cobra Starship single "You Make Me Feel...," which peaked at #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in New Zealand. She is also featured on the New Boyz' song "Tough Kids", from their album Too Cool to Care. Sabi has been featured on a few dates of the Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour and is featured on the DVD.
A video for "Wild Heart"' debuted on March 19, 2012. A brand new Dr. Luke, Cirkut-produced track "Where They Do That At?" featuring Wale premiered unexpectedly on April 17, 2012 on Spotify. The video for the song, directed by Tim Cruz, debuted on April 19, 2012, along with a behind-the-scenes video.
Sabi was also announced to be host of her own web-series about fashion titled Found My Swag after The Bangz's single. The series will premiered on The Warner Sound, the YouTube channel belonging to Sabi's record label Warner Brothers on November 1, 2012.
In November 2012, Sabi released the Jakob Owens-directed video for lead single from her upcoming mixtape, titled "Champagne". The song was produced by Crack For Kids.
In August 2013, she released the Tyga-assisted "Cali Love" which will also be included on "0 to 6: Love Sounds". Sabi released "Love Sounds", produced by Ryan McDermott in November 2013 and announced that the long-awaited mixtape "0 to 60: Love Sounds" would be released on November 13, 2013. On the eve of 0 to 60: Love Sounds’s release, Sabi premiered a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 No. 1 single, "Dreams," a track included on her mixtape. The entire 11-song mixtape was released for free download via the site HotNewHipHop.com.Goodnight (2011)