"That's the nicest piece of rough trade I've ever seen on a record cover." -Scotty Bowers (on Paul Ybarra's debut record cover in 2014.)

Don’t be deceived by his tough guy looks and tattoos; Paul Ybarra is part punk and part poet.

Praised for the haunting hurt he can put into a lyric, there’s a certain musical alchemy that happens when Paul sings, something that meets in the middle of ghostly and groovy.

The late and highly respected vocal coach Pat Whiteman said of Paul’s voice: “It’s the most unusual voice I’ve ever worked with. He sounds like himself and no one else.”

Paul hit the music scene in 2014 with the independently released EP “In The Stillness of Remembering: The Words and Music of Stevie Nicks” which featured five of Nicks’ most famous work of words and music completely written by her alone. The pieces were completely rearranged and reimagined for a truly ethereal and atmospheric sonic journey by John Boswell. With Paul on vocals and John on all instruments, “In The Stillness of Remembering” remains a favorite in the Ambient/New Age genre and his version of “Gold Dust Woman” remains his definitive hit on “The Grey’s Anatomy” Spotify playlist.

With several solo shows at various cabaret rooms in L.A., Paul became a fixture for songs of what he calls “The New American Songbook” focusing on music made famous by the likes of Cher, Bobbie Gentry and Donna Summer.  That lead to him collaborating with John Ballinger on recording three classics by The Doors (“Hyacinth House”,”The Crystal Ship” and “Queen of The Highway”) in 2021 and 2022. Their version of “The Crystal Ship” quickly became a favorite on college radio and crossed over into many playlists to this day. 

Paul and John Ballinger collaborated again for the full length album “Uninhibited: The CHER Project” which once again had Paul on vocals, Ballinger as producer, arranger and playing every instrument (with Art Botti on drums.) It’s the first and only album ever dedicated to the most iconic woman in Pop Music history: Cher. 

 The response for “Uninhibited: The CHER Project”  has been tremendous in a very Queer, underground kind of way. Their version of “The Music’s No Good Without You” has become a cult favorite on stations and playlists in Finland and South America.  “This album was produced and created by just a few of us. No big budget, no mainstream affiliation or help from anywhere. It was just by word of mouth, college and public radio stations (that I emailed/called/mailed) and it was really public radio that really gave it wings.  And the LGBTQ+ community who supported it, by being Cher fans, or my fans, or just know me as the kinky guy who happens to sing Cher.”

Paul’s not joking when he refers himself to the later. “I have a huge straitjacket fetish that I’ve been out and proud with for over 25 years”,he admits. “I even created a Straitjacket Tarot deck that I was honored to have one of my heroes, Dan Savage, share in 2023 with his listening audience about my fetish and straitjacket tarot deck.”

Going forward into 2024 finds Paul returning with John Ballinger to their Cher roots with “Electric Feathers: The CHER Project, Volume Two.” The album features 11 more Cher songs, exploring her work from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. “She’s CHER, she needs a Volume II!” Paul shouted with excitement on Los Angeles' KPFK 90.7 FM interview for the legendary LGBTQ+ show “IMRU.” 

“Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” is the lead single from “Electric Feathers” and was released on Sonny Bono’s birthday (2/16.) It’s become the hottest track on Paul’s Spotify streaming profile. The full album once again gets released on Cher’s birthday this year (5/20/2024) and like “Uninhibited” will be available as a CD as well as digitally and all streaming platforms. 

Whether it’s Cher or straitjackets that brings you to discover and follow Paul Ybarra, you can bet it’s going to be fun and sexy. Just like Cher. And, just like Paul.