This Bay Area native of Puerto-Rican ancestry has established her musical presence with powerfully sweet vocals, passionately poetic song writing and sultry production. Her music has been defined as neo-funk & soul but its roots go much deeper with an infusion of afro-latin/carribean rhythms, jazz, hip-hop, salsa and rock, blending perfectly to create a unique sound all her own.
FEMI began formally studying music and dance at the age of 5 years old, following in the footsteps of her parents; Her mother attended and graduated from the prestigious Julliard School of Art in New York and later became a principal dancer with the Ruth Beckford African-Haitian Dance Company in Oakland.
FEMI’s passion for music came directly from her father, who raised her as a single parent; salsa music was always apart of her life, influenced, in part, by Tito Puente, Willie Colon, Johnny Pacheco and the Queen of salsa: Celia Cruz. Singing, dancing and playing congas was not uncommon at home for FEMI growing up as a child. However, it wasn’t until the early 1990’s that she fell fully in love with the performing arts.
After attending and graduating with honors from Castlemont High school in Oakland, FEMI attended Texas Southern University in Houston, TX and joined the TSU Jazz ensemble. She auditioned and got a principal role as a dancer for the 1992 Ms. TSU pageant and was bitten again by the performance bug. After returning home from Texas, FEMI continued developing her musical craft. She studied piano, voice and guitar for several years before discovering music production as a tool. Although it was a hobby, more and more people became interested in the work she was creating; at that time her sounds were coined “neo-soul” by the music industry.
As one of the pioneers of the Oakland spoken word/open mic scene, FEMI began to lay the groundwork as an emerging artist, captivating the heart, soul and ears of others in the scene, unaware that she was painting vivid collages of sound and texture that were considered “experimental” for the time. FEMI has since taken her magnetic sound and toured throughout the US in venues from Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and her hometown of the Bay Area. Her most recent accomplishments have been working with and/or opening for international recording artists like the Black Eye Peas, Ledisi, Mystic, Goapele & Les Nubians.
FEMI’s debut album, “Sweet Water Soul,” is scheduled for release fall 2008. Over the past couple of years, she has put together a live band, procured bookings and has built a national/international fan base that stretches well beyond the Bay Area market where she started, all without management. With a solid core of musicians backing her, FEMI is ready to hit the road in 2008 and share her depth as a musician, singer, songwriter and producer with the world. She is beauty, strength, vulnerability blossoming right before your eyes. A radiating, fiery talent that should not be contained by categories or definitions, she has enough energy in her to power a 747 aircraft, and it is this fuel that burns bright through her music.