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You Probably Didn’t Know this, But Somi is the First African Woman with a Grammy Nom in Jazz Category



US-based Rwandan-Ugandan jazz vocalist and songwriter Laura Kabasomi Kakoma known by her stage name Somi recently made history at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards as the first African woman ever nominated in any of the jazz categories and the first-ever African artist to get nominated in the Best Jazz vocal category.

Somi was nominated for her album “Holy room“.

Reacting to her grammy nomination, the singer took to Social media to share a message on what this moment means to her and she wrote,

♥️♥️♥️ Today I was nominated for my very first #GRAMMY Award in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. I am so overwhelmed with GRATITUDE (and can’t stop crying!) Thank you to the @RecordingAcademy for this honor. ♥️ Thank you to @johnbeasleyofficial @hervesamb @torudodopiano @libertyellman @pris_zim @elsalovesyou @mboydart @visionquestnyc @fcatproductions @mariamccloy @fullyaltered and the glorious #FrankfurtRadioBigBand for making this project a reality. Thank you to my family and all who have supported, cheered, inspired, and loved me through my journey. Congratulations to my fellow nominees! ♥️ I am so, so, so grateful! 😭♥️🙏🏿 Indeed, the JOURNEY is a #HolyRoom (oh, and I cut off my locs! 💜)

I’m deeply humbled…. I can’t help but think of my parents and all that they sacrificed to make a life for us in this country, the villages and clans we come from in Uganda and Rwanda, and the guiding hands of my late father (Dr. I. Kakoma), my mentor (Hugh Masekela), my army of ancestors and angels, and the Great Divine Universe conspiring on my behalf. The journey is a #HolyRoom and I’m so, so grateful.

In her chat with CNBC Africa, the singer spoke about her first Grammy nomination and how she hopes to “bring visibility to both the gaps and opportunities in Africa’s creative economy.” She said:

I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with emotion, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Especially in this time of so much suffering with COVID-19… But really globally, we’ve all had a difficulf year so it’s really humbling to have a work acknowledged in this way.

Watch the full conversation below:

The album “Holy Room” was recorded in an 18th-century German opera house with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band in May 2019 with arrangements/conduction by John Beasley.

Listen to “Holy Room” below

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