Uganda-born international artiste Somi has been awarded the 2018 United States Artist Fellowship and Wins NAACP Image Award for ‘Outstanding Jazz Album’ for her recently released album title ‘Petite Afrique’. She is.
Born Laura Kabasomi Kakoma, Somi is one of the few African artistes signed to Sony Music. She was awarded during last weekend’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).
The ceremony was held its 49th Annual Image Awards in Los Angeles, California. The fellowship comes with $50,000 USD as part of honour that also recognises her creative accomplishments, and thus supports her ongoing artistic and professional development.
Somi’s latest album “Petite Afrique” (Sony/OKeh Records), a timely song cycle about the dignity of African immigrants in the United States, won the category for ‘Outstanding Jazz Album’.
Since 1967, the historic civil rights organization’s NAACP Image Awards has been the preeminent multicultural awards show celebrating the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and has also honored individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.
The awardees were selected from over 500 nominated applicants across all creative disciplines.
Other musicians in Somi’s 2018 USA Fellows cohort include international jazz luminaries Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, Tyshawn Sorey, Danilo Perez, Toshi Reagon, Amir ElSaffir, Ruthie Foster, and Tania León.
Other winners at this year’s ceremony included Kendrick Lamar, Ava Duvernay, Tracy Ellis Ross, Joe Morton, Mary J. Blige, and Bruno Mars.
At the ceremony, Somi dedicated the award to her parents, immigrants from East Africa, and the many sacrifices they made on her behalf.
Past music recipients of the fellowship include Dianne Reeves, Meshell NdegeOcello, Randy Weston, Jason Moran, and Shara Worden. More information about the USA Fellowship is available here: www.unitedstatesartists.org/award.
Her American experience has always been infused with the African diaspora’s richest political and artistic traditions. ‘Petite Afrique’ combines the two facets of her life magically.
Somi was also recently featured on a CNN segment about “Celebrating Otherness in Trump’s America” and her politically engaged album.