To watch an artist’s journey into the center of their creative soul is a sublime gift of inspiration. Such is the case with my journey with the chanteuse, SOMI. I was directing the musical, Guys-N-Dolls and Somi came into the audition. Although we were friends, I was unaware of the beautiful voice she possessed until her audition began.
It was the kind of voice that you don’t keep secret. It was the kind of voice that reminded you there was a divine force at work in the universe. It was the kind of voice that you wanted to hear again and again. Thankfully, for me and all of us Somi has continued to sing taking her voice and music on a journey that has wrapped the world.
With “The Lagos Music Salon, Somi makes her major label debut with OKeh/Sony Music. It is so well done that it is clear that she has arrived after traveling the globe cultivating and perfecting a sound that is uniquely her own. It is a magical blend of jazz and soul tinged ever so sweetly with the roots of her African heritage. With a vocal ability that is limitless, Somi has crafted a sound that is pure and refined.
“It’s the first time ever that I put all other pursuits on hold to focus solely on the creative process,” says Somi, who moved to Lagos, Nigeria from her New York home with a focus to share what she had been growing along the way. The creativity of the album honors her surroundings, but also showcases how vast her experience has been over the years.
Somi clarifies her mission, “Some people see me as an African artist and not jazz, while others see me as a jazz artist influenced by Africa. But I’m not focused on genre. My intent is to be honest with the songs and where they take me.”
Mission accomplished as the album breathes honesty, beauty and truth. It is by far the best album from the American-born daughter of Ugandan and Rwandan immigrants. With guest spots by Angelique Kidjo and Common, each of the 18 songs and interludes tells the story of this wonderfully gifted artist’s journey through the world that landed her in “The Lagos Music Salon.”
Thus, it is no surprise that just minutes after its release – “The Lagos Music Salon” hit #1 on several charts (iTunes Jazz, Amazon’s Vocal Jazz & Amazon’s Vocal Pop).
“The Lagos Music Salon” is available NOW!