Somi was born in Illinois, the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda. Her American experience has always been infused with the African diaspora's richest political and artistic traditions. A longtime Harlem resident, Somi is also a true Africanist. She spent part of her youth in Africa with her parents and now, with her band, tours the continent extensively.
Famously, Somi's dazzling 2014 album, The Lagos Music Salon, which debuted at the top of US Jazz charts, was born from an 18-month "sabbatical" in Lagos, Nigeria.
Somi is founder of New Africa Live, a non-profit championing her fellow African artists. She manages to merge singing and activism in her work.
Her album, "Petite Afrique" deals with subjects close to her heart such as immigration, xenophobia and Blackness."