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Meet Aizehi Nomo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aizehi Nomo.

Aizehi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My name is Aizehinomo stage name Aizehi Nomo and I’m an LA-based Nigerian-American singer/songwriter, cultural visionary and creator. I studied at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology, and trained under the tutelage of world-renowned Jazz musicians and ethnomusicologists such as Kenny Burrell, Barbara Morrison and Prof. Cheryl Keyes. Years of classical, dance and theatrical training, culminated in the study of World Music with an emphasis in African-American cultural music, Jazz Vocal Performance and a minor in Music Industry. Music has always been a vehicle through which I would say many opportunities and life/cultural experiences have been defined.

I’ve been singing since I was three years old, and it’s been a great blessing to me. Through music I’ve been able to have incredible opportunities personally and professionally. By age 14 I sang early and classical music at Disney Concert Hall under Grant Gershon. I’ve performed with Stevie Wonder and India Arie and even Justin Bieber.

In addition to music, it’s is important that I create opportunities for inclusion and visibility for marginalized communities through advocacy and innovation. Because of my background in entertainment, I have a lot of naturally formed relationships. As social media began to blossom, I started working with various brands to create social campaigns and creative content that highlights Africa and the Diaspora, I became head of marketing for an LA-based media and events company called Amplify Africa. While I was in college, I co-founded Jazz Hands for Autism. This non-profit creates a performance platform and accessibility to vocational opportunities for musicians on the spectrum to know the joy, the power and the privilege to explore self-expression and socialization through musical performance and creativity.

In 2020 Aizehi Nomo officially launched VAMP Collective for Vanguard Artists & Musical Progressives. This community-based platform fosters artistic exchange while providing resources + a platform to artists who are outside thinkers across multiple art disciplines, not limited to performance, visual and literary arts.

Aizehi Nomo’s mantra “Choose Love” is founded in the belief that all that we do, if done in love, can create the small changes and connections we need to shift mindsets and grow closer to one another.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was not a straight and smooth road, and I’m very much still on the journey. However, I’ve been extremely blessed and privileged to have the opportunities I’ve had given my background as a 1st generation immigrant child, with no connections, no extended family or vast wealth. My parents are both well educated, and they put focus on that for me, so it was difficult convincing them that I was going to go off the beaten path. The expectation for a child like me was to be a lawyer, doctor or something lucrative with minimal risk. My name means “You Can’t Choose A Child’s Destiny,” so I understand that my steps are already ordered. My creative mind and the things I’m drawn to have already been predetermined. What is for me is for me no matter what obstacles and challenges I’ve had to face and have yet to come.

Please tell us about your work.
So I don’t have a traditional “business” I guess I’m what folks call the “plug.” Haha! I love connecting people. I’ve been able to move about many different spaces, and have accrued knowledge in a lot of different subjects as well as friends and professional companions across many different industries. I’ve created award winning marketing campaigns as well as activations during major cultural events such as Essence Festival, Grammy Weekend, BET Awards and have consulted and executed on projects from NY to London to Lagos, Nigeria. My mantra is “Choose Love” I think that if that is the root and base of everything I chose to do, professionally, privately, romantically, I do it from a place of love. I have to love what I do for it to flourish and for me to give it my best self. The work that I do positively must benefit the communities of which I stand in the intersection. Whether that is music, arts, Black and African culture, social justice, feminism, disability advocacy, I am most fulfilled if I am creating something useful, educational or entertaining.

I recently founded a collective for artists of all disciplines called The VAMP Collective, which stands for Vanguard Artists and Musical Progressives. This is a space for artists to share resources, collaborate, to connect with a community and support system, which isn’t so common for artists. A lot of times, we are very understandably guarded. Sure historically, there have been artist collectives and co-ops who work together with a common goal in mind. Still, I feel that we have moved away from these ideologies in recent years, and being in Los Angeles especially can feel quite isolating if you don’t know where to look. Being creative is a very unique and nontraditional path which oftentimes does not get the support and resources necessary for success, as evidenced by what took place with the cancellations and quarantine due to COVID 19. I want to make sure that in good times and hard times, there is a place of refuge and support for artists to turn to so that we can pour into one another and thrive.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My parents. They’ve sacrificed so much for me to do things they never had the opportunity to do. The previous generation was looking to survive. You leave your home country, you come to a foreign land and put down roots, but you don’t know if your tree will grow. Everything that you do is to solidify that foundation. Now I’m the fruit of their labor and the responsibility is intense. Still, I know that I have a purpose and that is why I have been given space to find my voice and become a positive contributor to my community and representation of my background.

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