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When Somi was growing up, her mother told her that the rain, ever unpredictable, could be as much a blessing as a challenge. The blessings might come before the rain, or they could come after—it's all in the timing, she said. That notion has stayed with the charismatic singer and songwriter all her life and now provides a metaphorical focus for her third album, If The Rains Come First. The album, which releases October 13 on ObliqSound, is a stunning collection of self-penned story-based songs, a meditation on opening ourselves up to life's blessings and challenges much in the way that we accept the rain and all that it brings.

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All elegance and awe...utterly captivating! —All Music Guide

Somi really took me by surprise. Here’s an African woman with the sultry sensuous voice of a great soul singer, and she’s true to her roots too. As if that weren’t enough, she gets great arrangements and musicians. She’s really a great new voice! —TOM SCHNABEL, CAFÉ LA, KCRW FM

Imagine the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves. Such is Somi. —JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE of the most distinctive voices of New York’s progressive Soul Movement. —VILLAGE VOICE

East African singer Somi’s voice is full-bodied and sure. —TIME OUT NEW YORK

...this enchanting vocalist proves that we must drop the term “world music” once and for all and stop lumping African cultures and music together

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26 Photos


The Lagos Music Salon
The Lagos Music Salon
If The Rains Come First
If The Rains Come...



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