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HuffPost - The Lagos Music Salon: Chat with Somi

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From Mike Ragogna's interview with Somi

MR: Somi, after speaking to your Uncle Hugh Masekela, you decided that you wanted to go to Lagos, Nigeria, that trip inspiring your new album The Lagos Music Salon. Did you have any idea of what was going to happen after that or were you just going to Lagos for discovery?

Somi: I was definitely just going to discover. I had always been interested in seeing what it might be like to live and work on the African continent. How it might impact my lyrical and musical inspiration. It was really Uncle Hugh who gave me the courage and reminded me of the global citizenship of musicians. We shouldn't overthink something in terms of a move, and then we start thinking of the logistics, the production, the finances. He said you can go and just decide to spend time with a part of your audience and a part of the world and then always come right back if and when you feel ready. I decided to stop talking about it and just go. I had this soft landing through the extension of a former graduate advisor of mine at New York University, a professor there by the name of Awam Ampka, who is also Nigerian and has been in the US for a number of years, now tenured at Tisch. He was starting an international artist residency program and I took him up on the offer to go for a minimum of 7 weeks. I used that time to kind of explore the city, the country and my heart to see if it seemed like the right place for me to be at that time. I decided once I got there that I would stay through the end of the following year. I moved there in September 2011 and the plan was to stay until December 2012. Once I was there, I stayed for 18 months until 2013.  READ THE FULL HuffPost INTERVIEW