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Somi Shares The Silky Music Video For 'Ginger Me Slowly'

New York-based Ugandan/Rwandan singer Somi releases the music video for "Ginger Me Slowly," a song off her 2014 'The Lagos Music Salon' LP.


New York-based Ugandan/Rwandan singer Somi recently released the silky music video for "Ginger Me Slowly," her latest single off last year's The Lagos Music Salon LP. Shot by South African director Kyle Lewis in Cape Town, the black-and-white visuals feature profile shots of Somi asking her lover for romance and warmth while showing the couple united in a hug, soft keys and drums supporting them. Speaking via e-mail with Okayafrica, Somi explains:

"I heard the expression "to ginger someone" when I first got to Lagos, Nigeria a few years ago.  It means to spice someone up in order to make them feel good. Being a love song, I wanted the video for "Ginger Me Slowly" to feel both intimate and artful. I also wanted to do it in a non-literal way that made one think about how nuance hides in minimalism. The song "Ginger Me Slowly" is about dreaming of a big and expressive kind of love, but it's also about learning to appreciate the simple yet meaningful declarations of that love.  I decided to go with South African director Kyle Lewis' black & white treatment, [which] seemed to evoke all of those things... I love that each shot feels like it could be a photograph as well. The romantic in me also wanted to have a "love interest" in the video. Thankfully, South African actor & model Ezra Mabengeza (who is also New York-based) happened to be in Cape Town at the time and was able to lend his good looks to the cause."

Watch the video for "Ginger Me Slowly," which debuted on South African TV channel Msanzi Magic last week and featured on BET's show Being Mary Jane last night, below. Somi's currently on a North American tour, see her full dates over at her website. The singer will also be playing in Zimbabwe soon as part of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (April 28 - May 3). The Lagos Music Salon is out now on OKeh Records.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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