In this episode of Africa State of Mind, Lee Kasumba has an in-depth conversation with singer-songwriter Somi (born Laura Kabasomi) about her upbringing as a Rwandan-Ugandan descent living in America.
Somi's music is known to capture the hearts of people globally.
She has been compared as a young Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba by some people, and she's shared the stage with some of the world's greatest artists (Bra Hugh Masekela, Common and Jennifer Hudson).
Somi says that she was born in the United States, but she grew up in an African household.
We were always told that home is somewhere else... We always had this bicontinental awareness.— Somi, singer-songwriter
We grew up in a household honoring our heritage but there were moments when we wanted to act out some American traditions says Somi.
She adds that it's always really hard to answer what type of music she produces.
I try to lean towards all my influences socially and culturally says Somi.
She adds that her mom listened to a lot of Western classical music.
Somi says that her mom was a great keeper of traditional folk songs from Western Uganda.
My father would listen to a variety of music across the African continent she adds.
I accidentally found myself in this room of jazz.— Somi, singer-songwriter
Click on the link below to hear more of the interview...