Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

East African vocalist & songwriter Somi has enchanted the music world with a new album: The Lagos Music Salon, released summer 2014. Born to Ugandan and Rwandan parents, she was born in Illinois.

Extending across African Jazz and soul, with a strong hint of African rhythm, the album is elegantly packaged with a stunningly rich collection of poetic layers of intimate and reflective lyrics. With Story full songs, it’s light-hearted but meaningfully serious. Stretching her wings from the US shores to East and West Africa, the album is inspired by an 18-months stay in Lagos, Nigeria, and is said to have received major support by Nigerian musician Cobhams Asuquo and New York’s Keith Witty.

Enter The Lagos Music Salon and you’ll be enraptured without a doubt. The first time I heard Ginger Me Slowly, a single off the album, I was immediately captivated by the powerfulness of her lustrously sultry voice. Bundled up with elegance is this East African’s attractive form of story-telling artistry. Bearing her soul in stories of valuable messages wrapped in sweet melodies.

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Celebrating the African women by way of narrating their stories while mediating on critical social issues, seem to be at the heart of Somi’s work. Most telling, Four African Women, a heartfelt track, holding its own is impressively reminiscent of Nina Simone’s Four Women. The song takes on four characters and narratives of African women who have endured, in varying but yet similar ways, hardship and fracture. In a sweet jazzy melody she sings compelling images of the women subjected to genocide, skin bleaching, circumcision and prostitution. She allures her audience to go on a foray into unvoiced places.


A voice and lyrical profundity to reckon with, The Lagos Music Salon is more than magnetic artistry. It’s of no wonder she has been called “The New Nina Simone.”

You can purchase the album via itunes here.

Photo credits: Glynis Carpenter

  1. Nestaqueen

    I love Somi’s smooth, soulful vibes. She’s is a credit to the vibrant Nigerian music scene. At some point also, I hope you feature Asa! She’s amazing.

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