American singer Somi, born in Illinois into a family with both Rwandese and Ugandan origins, went on a journey in 2011 that other artists looking for success would do the other way around. She left New York in order to work and live in the Nigerian city of Lagos. In search of her own voice and inspiration she worked on the album The Lagos Music Salon, a recording filled with jazz, pop and African influences that was released in the summer of 2014, and on which artists like Angelique Kidjo and Common were invited to play. The album soon became a hit; and since then Somi’s star has been rising fast. She has worked with Paul Simon, Baaba Maal and John Legend and was dubbed ‘the new Nina Simone’ by trendsetting website The Huffington Post. In 2015, Somi was named Artist-in-Residence at University of California at Los Angeles. She still lives primarily in New York City and is currently working on a jazz opera based on the life of South African singer Miriam Makeba.