NPR calls Somi, “The quintessential artist citizen of the world,” while the Huffington Post dubbed the young singer "the New Nina Simone." Singing in English and a wide range of African languages, her artistic evolution is indisputable. Born in Illinois, the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi has worked for the last decade carving out a career as a renowned jazz vocalist, songwriter, and activist. Known for her supple jazz voice, graceful fusion of African grooves, and a sharp pop sense, Somi’s talents have been called upon by Mos Def, John Legend, Billy Childs, Paul Simon, Danilo Perez, Idan Raichel, Jennifer Hudson and many more.
Petite Afrique, Somi’s newest album, is a song cycle inspired by the vibrant African immigrant community that has become a vital part of Harlem’s cultural dimension. Blending modern jazz, African music, and the singer-songwriter tradition, Petite Afrique is an amalgamation of the musical and cultural worlds that resonate with Somi as an African AND American woman and a proud Harlemite. Somi’s effortless clarity and delivery has the power to cut through the room while transfixing you with her smooth tones. Her voice will transform you to the vibrant streets of Harlem, the African markets of her youth, and back.