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Somi

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Somi is a U.S. singer and songwriter of African extraction.

Born in Illinois to East African parents, Somi and her six siblings began to shuffle through the life of a diplomat scientist-cum-university professor’s family, thus exposing Somi to stories and music from all over the world. Having lived in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania, upon moving to New York City Somi was the featured vocalist in the African Globe Theatre production of Drums under the African Sky. This led to collaborations with Amel Larrieux, Tsidii Le Loka, Roy Hargrove, Lionel Loueke, and Lonnie Plaxico. She gained more attention after being featured in Source Magazine alongside Mos Def and other lyricists involved in a police anti-brutality project entitled Hip-Hop for Respect, and in 2005 she shared a stage with Cassandra Wilson at the Blue Note jazz club’s New Year’s Eve celebration. She has performed at Joe’s Pub, B.B.King’s, The Blue Note in New York City, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and Chicago’s famed South Shore Jazz Fest, among many other international venues.

Somi recently found time to complete a master’s degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has been profiled in numerous media including CNN International, BBC World, National Public Radio, TV 5 Monde, VH1, MTV, and BET. In 2006 she was invited by the International French Cultural Centre to tour fifteen African countries. Earlier in the year she helped the Rwanda Ministry of Culture and World Culture Open to organise the fifth Pan-African festival of Dance in Kigali, Rwanda, while consulting for the United Nations Development Programme’s International Conference on Creative Economies for Development.

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