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Somi - The Lagos Music Salon / Jazz Weekly interview

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So, what IS the root of America's classical music, aka "jazz"? We may say it is ultimately from Africa, but so little of today's jazz actually hints at any reference to the Mother Continent. Vocalist and songwriter Somi, with blood lines directly linked to Africa, has taken the step of returning to Africa to get musical inspiration to mix modern jazz with modern African sounds. Her latest release, The Lagos Music Salon, shows influences ranging from the modern inner city to the African Bush.

We tend to think of "jazz" as something that has to have either a) blues b) "Rhythm" changes and c) "swing." Somi turns these presuppositions on their collective heads. Yes, there is "jazz" in her music, but her reference point is not 42nd Street, but more likely Lagos Island. She is currently on tour fascinating fans with her melding of sounds that both capture the essence of jazz and the tap root of Africa's heart. Jazz Weekly recently caught up with Somi before her show at LA's 'Blue Whale' with a vibrant band that is still travelling worldwide. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW