SUMI is a Japanese singer-songwriter based in NY/CA.
Born and raised in Japan, Sumi was immersed in music since she was a child as she learned to play the piano and flute. Her mother was an opera singer and piano teacher. She thought she was going to attend the conservatory of music in Japan but in 2002, when she graduated from a high school where she made friends from overseas and got to experience different cultures, she decided to come to the US instead.
In her senior year at the University of Buffalo, twice a month she was spending her weekend nights on the bus to NYC to give her resume and do an internship in a PR firm. A couple of months after her graduation in 2008, she got a job in the fashion industry and began to work with NY collection designers. Closely working with accomplished and globally recognized designers made her realize that she wanted to pursue her own dream of music. She asked a jazz singer to teach her singing after she saw a live in Greenwich Village and learned to sing songs written by other artists. After a year of voice training, her friend asked her to write and sing vocals on his tracks. Though she never thought she could write songs, she realized she enjoyed writing them. Yet they were never released after years of work on the project.
In 2014, she finally began to release her music which got featured in Japan Times, and to perform in NYC at Pianos, Cameo Gallery, Rockwood Music Hall, and Studio at Webster Hall. Later in the year, she wanted to dedicate herself entirely to music so she left her full time fashion job in order to pursue her dream to be a full time singer-songwriter. It was a perfect storm of losing her relationship, her job, her place, breaking her foot, becoming homeless as she dragged her suitcase for a while. She stayed at her friends, not knowing where she would be the next week, walking over the Williamsburg bridge, riding a bike everywhere to save in subway fees. She was helped by friends and strangers on the street.
After managing to get her life back together, she was introduced to a songwriting coach, Billy Seidman at BMI who was teaching songwriting to artists like Bebe Rexha and Rachel Platten. Immediately after, she started to take songwriting lessons with him and they co-wrote some of her songs together. During the summer of 2018, she released her new pop/synth pop songs: SPACEY LOVE, BULLSHIT DETECTOR, and NOMADIC LIFE which got featured in Hype Magazine, Happy Mag, Vents, and SheBOPS etc.
Currently she is working on her next project in SF/LA and her tour in the US.