Hear the entire session and interview: bit.ly/1AUCffe
After her father died, Somi decided to spend 18 months in Nigeria, seeking out the cultural vibrancy of Lagos, which she has said reminded her of the creative energy of New York. While there, she maintained a journal, recorded sounds, and collected musical ideas on a pocket digital voice recorder. Once she returned home to New York, those sketches became the backbone for her latest album, The Lagos Music Salon.
Throughout Lagos, Somi's songs touch on American jazz, African rhythms and R&B, especially as she updates songs from Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti ("Lady Revisited") and soul singer Nina Simone ("Four African Women") with themes of global politics and social activism, and the struggles and strength of women in Africa. And when coupled with ambient street sounds and snippets of random conversations, Somi not only adds extra texture to the music, but infuses her songs with a true sense of place. Even as she proudly displays her influences, Somi delivers a unique and personal musical statement.
Watch Somi perform "Ginger Me Slowly" with her band live in the Soundcheck studio.
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