Sunday, August 01, 2004

A Conversation With Somi, New York Based East African-American Chanteuse

Somi in Performance

On Thursday, July 29th, 2004, Onyango Oloo sat down for an extended chat with the Illinois born singer-songwriter Somi, born of Ugandan parents and currently residing in New York.

Somi has been composing music since she was in Grade 3

It was a wide-ranging conversation that covered history, geography, anthropology, music theory; life in America, life in East Africa; politics, corruption, gender dynamics, meditation; the business of music and many other stories and anecdotes.

Somi is refreshing, down to earth, intelligent and humourous.

She takes her work very seriously while having all the fun in the world sharing it with the world.

She has been invited to jazz festivals all over the United States; is about to perform in Southern France and will be making her East African debut when she visits Uganda and Rwanda later in August 2004.

Her first CD release "Eternal Motive" got rave reviews in the New Amsterdam News, a New York publication with a signficant African-American readership. She is working on her second recording, "Red Soil in My Eyes."

Kampala's New Vision newspaper did a profile of her on May 16, 2003 where the Ugandan paper cited her seminal role as one of the music pioneers among the new generation of Africans living abroad who are helping to expand the genre of new African soul beyond Seal and Sade(two UK based artists of Nigerian heritage).

Click Here to Visit a Ugandan Site Showcasing Somi

Here is Somi's Website

Somi is performing at Montreal's House of Jazz between Friday, July 30th to Sunday, August 1, 2004. The House of Jazz is the new name of the legendary "Biddle's Club" founded by the late famous Montreal jazz musician Charlie Biddle. It is located on Aylmer St. just south of Sherbrooke in the heart of downtown.

Click Here to Listen to the Conversation between Onyango Oloo and Somi

Somi is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.Here she is together with Kenny Grohowski, Chris Rob, ASCAP's Toni Cheeseman, Damien West and Sunny Simms when she attended a three day event that brought together over a thousand top industry executives, visionaries, filmmakers, producers, directors, A&R, managers, casting directors, talent directors, agents and performing artists who gathered for three days of panels, workshops and showcases dedicated to help both artists and industry secure the promotion, access and contacts they truly need to succeed. The event took place at Le Bar Bat in New York City on February 28, March 1 and 2nd.