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Somi

Vocalist, Composer and Culturist

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 Somi Biography

In late 2011, acclaimed East African vocalist & songwriter Somi decided to move from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: a new album she calls The Lagos Music Salon released in August 2014 as her major label debut on Sony Music/Okeh - landing at #1 on US Jazz charts. The album, which features special guests Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire, draws it material from the tropical city's boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration, and giant spirit - straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul, and pop with a newfound ease and a voice that Vogue Magazine simply calls “Superb!”

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, the African and Jazz legacies are always crucial to her sound. Often referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her live performance as “the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves,” while Billboard exclaims that she’s “all elegance and awe…utterly captivating.”

The Lagos Music Salon is a highly anticipated follow up to the young singer’s last studio album, If The Rains Come First (ObliqSound) – a stunning collection of self penned story-based songs which debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Chart, and featured her long-time mentor & legendary trumpet player Hugh Masekela. The Boston Globe proclaims the album “is a sustained triumph displaying rich musicality, a sharp pop sense, and rare sophistication" 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.

As her career has taken off, Somi’s talents have been called upon for collaborations and live performances alongside a diverse cast of artists including Mos Def, Baaba Maal, John Legend, Billy Childs, Paul Simon, Danilo Perez, Idan Raichel, Jennifer Hudson and many more. In 2011, Somi released her first live album of performances at the venerable Jazz Standard in New York City. The result of which JazzTimes hailed as “stunning…natural fervor and naked magnificence.” A two-time recipient of The Doris Duke Foundation's French-American Jazz Exchange Composers’ Grant, Somi began an exploration of African & Arab jazz traditions alongside acclaimed French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf while investigating the role of the female voice during the Arab Spring protests. That body of work recently premiered at The Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. She is currently working on a jazz opera about the life and legacy of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

Widely acknowledged as both artist and scholar, Somi is a TED Senior Fellow, an inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, a 2013 Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence, and the founder of New Africa Live, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the very best of contemporary African artists working in the performance, visual, and literary arts. Last year, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon invited Somi to perform at the United Nations’ General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Somi and her band continue to perform at international venues and stages around the world. Somi is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In her heart of hearts, she is an East African girl who loves family, poetry, and freedom.

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Somi?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Somi for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Somi, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Somi or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Somi?

    Booking fees for Somi, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Somi, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Somi?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Somi for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Somi for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Somi or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Somi or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Somi

Vocalist, Composer and Culturist

Speaking Fee:
Categories:

Somi Biography

In late 2011, acclaimed East African vocalist & songwriter Somi decided to move from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: a new album she calls The Lagos Music Salon released in August 2014 as her major label debut on Sony Music/Okeh - landing at #1 on US Jazz charts. The album, which features special guests Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire, draws it material from the tropical city's boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration, and giant spirit - straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul, and pop with a newfound ease and a voice that Vogue Magazine simply calls “Superb!”

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, the African and Jazz legacies are always crucial to her sound. Often referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her live performance as “the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves,” while Billboard exclaims that she’s “all elegance and awe…utterly captivating.”

The Lagos Music Salon is a highly anticipated follow up to the young singer’s last studio album, If The Rains Come First (ObliqSound) – a stunning collection of self penned story-based songs which debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Chart, and featured her long-time mentor & legendary trumpet player Hugh Masekela. The Boston Globe proclaims the album “is a sustained triumph displaying rich musicality, a sharp pop sense, and rare sophistication" 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.

As her career has taken off, Somi’s talents have been called upon for collaborations and live performances alongside a diverse cast of artists including Mos Def, Baaba Maal, John Legend, Billy Childs, Paul Simon, Danilo Perez, Idan Raichel, Jennifer Hudson and many more. In 2011, Somi released her first live album of performances at the venerable Jazz Standard in New York City. The result of which JazzTimes hailed as “stunning…natural fervor and naked magnificence.” A two-time recipient of The Doris Duke Foundation's French-American Jazz Exchange Composers’ Grant, Somi began an exploration of African & Arab jazz traditions alongside acclaimed French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf while investigating the role of the female voice during the Arab Spring protests. That body of work recently premiered at The Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. She is currently working on a jazz opera about the life and legacy of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

Widely acknowledged as both artist and scholar, Somi is a TED Senior Fellow, an inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, a 2013 Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence, and the founder of New Africa Live, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the very best of contemporary African artists working in the performance, visual, and literary arts. Last year, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon invited Somi to perform at the United Nations’ General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Somi and her band continue to perform at international venues and stages around the world. Somi is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In her heart of hearts, she is an East African girl who loves family, poetry, and freedom.

Somi Videos

  • Somi - The Lagos Music Salon - Album Teaser - YouTube
  • Somi - Last Song - YouTube
  • Somi - Ginger Me Slowly - YouTube

Speaker Lists Featuring Somi

FAQs on booking Somi

  • How to book Somi?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Somi for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Somi, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Somi or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Somi?

    Booking fees for Somi, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Somi, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Somi?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Somi for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Somi for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Somi or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Somi or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Somi is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Somi for your event is available upon request. Somi generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Sara Stevens, Bruno Mars, Béla Fleck, Tess Henley and Salt-n-Pepa. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Somi for an upcoming event.

Somi Speaker Videos

  • Somi - The Lagos Music Salon - Album Teaser - YouTube
    Somi - Last Song - YouTube
  • Somi - Ginger Me Slowly - YouTube

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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Somi

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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