Sony Music signs Ugandan Somi

Partnering with Sony: Somi

Partnering with Sony: Somi

The beauty about Ugandan music is that even artistes without a regional hit get the audacity to call themselves the best.

And those that go places don’t yap at all. In fact, they are so quiet that the public almost knows nothing about them. We usually get to know them after a surprise performance at a Manchester City game, when they get recognized by an international award show or when they land a lucrative deal with an international music label.

And I am not talking about KON Live Africa or those African labels affiliated to American labels; this is real international. Somi, aka Laura Kabasomi Kakoma, is an internationally-acclaimed jazz vocalist and song writer.

According to Wikipedia, Somi, 32, is an American singer and songwriter of Rwandan and Ugandan descent born in the US while her father was completing his post-doctoral studies there. Then, her only African experience was when her family moved to Ndola, Zambia, where her father worked for World Vision.

Somi was last month signed to Sony Music’s newly relaunched historic jazz imprint, Okeh Records, becoming East Africa’s first jazz and general artiste to join a major label roster. By the way, P Square and Keko are signed to Sony Africa.

This follows Somi’s recent visit to Nigeria, where she had gone on a creative hiatus.

Somi was raised in Illinois, USA and currently lives in New York. She is a daughter of the late Dr Ibulaimu Kakoma and Elizabeth Nyarubona Kakoma. Inspired by the high spirit of West Africans, Somi’s first record on the Sony label is aptly called The Lagos Music Salon – a collection of profound songs inspired by her time in Nigeria.

Sony will release the album early 2014 as the follow-up to her 2009 studio album, If Rain Comes First, which had an amazing appearance by Hugh Masekela. The album did well on the Billboard world music charts, where it peaked at number 2 and later landed in the RnB and Soul Top 20 albums on Amazon.

Her music has got many music editors around the world talking, most notably Essence magazine, The Boston Globe, Vogue magazine, New York Daily News and Billboard magazine among others.

“At the forefront of a new roster of African artists… .effortlessly blends her global and sonic experiences,” said Essence magazine.

Besides music, Somi is an arts scholar and a cultural activist who holds a master’s degree from the New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. She’s also the founder of the New Africa Live, an award-winning organization that reinforces African culture through the arts.

Source: ANDREW KAGGWA|TheObserver.UG

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