Somi: A Familiar and Exotic 'Rain'

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Wednesday December 12, 2012

From NPR

Somi: A Familiar And Exotic ‘Rain’
By: Derek Rath

The great thing about coffee — or, in my case, a nice cup of tea — is the first sip and, just for a moment, the accompanying sense of well-being. Its a snugness, a familiarity imparted by ingredients from places of which you likely have no knowledge. And so it is with If the Rains Come First, the new album from an artist called Somi.

It’s an apt metaphor, because although she has lived most of her life in Illinois and New York, Somi spent her early childhood with her Ugandan and Rwandan parents in Africa. It’s this merger of cultures and experiences that shapes her awareness and gives a distinct flavor to her music.

Somi’s style may well span territory mapped out by Sade, Sarah Vaughan and even perhaps Steely Dan, but there’s much more to it than that. For one thing, Somi sings not only in English but also three African languages. And, at the core of her music, there’s a top-notch African rhythm section.

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