|Born||1979 (age 35–36)
Saratoga Springs, New York
|Genres||Rock, alternative rock|
|Labels||Island Records, Universal Music Publishing|
|Vocals, Guitar, Piano|
Terra Naomi (born 1979) is an alternative, rock, and pop artist, who rose to fame through a performance of her song "Say It's Possible" on the video sharing site YouTube. Originally from New York State, but currently based in Los Angeles, she writes and performs her own songs, and plays the guitar and piano.
Naomi was born in Saratoga Springs, New York and raised on a farm for the first couple of years of her life. The family then moved to Cleveland, Ohio where they lived for six years before finally settling in upstate New York, from where her father, a plastic surgeon, originated. Her mother is a social worker. Naomi has one older brother and one younger brother.
Naomi studied classical piano and voice, attending Interlochen Performing Arts Camp in Michigan and Belvoir Terrace Summer Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts. Teachers convinced her to pursue a degree in opera from The University of Michigan. During this time, Naomi also participated in the Aspen Opera Theater Program.
Change in direction
Naomi moved to New York City after college and began writing songs. During this time she also started playing guitar. She played at various clubs in Manhattan, including The Bitter End, The Sidewalk Cafe and The Living Room. Following a tour of the US in 2003, which started in New York and ended at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, she moved to Los Angeles to work with the producer Paul Fox (XTC, 10,000 Maniacs, Sixpence None the Richer, Edwin McCain, Phish, The Sugarcubes).
Naomi has come to prominence in the international YouTube community where she broadcast her own "virtual" summer tour during 2006. The program included live performances from her apartment in Hollywood and question-answer sessions entitled "Ask a Wanna-be Rockstar". Her song, "Say It's Possible", filmed in Terra's Hollywood apartment, recorded on a Sony Handycam, appeared on YouTube in June 2006, causing an instant explosion of interest. "Say It's Possible" has inspired adoring fans to post hundreds of personal "YouTube covers" in a wide range of styles. This includes versions from countries in South America, North America and Europe. Fans have also translated and performed the song into Spanish, Italian and Mandarin Chinese and one used a sock puppet. In March 2007, she received one of the inaugural YouTube Video Awards in the music video category for "Say It's Possible", earning her appearances on NBC's The Today Show and CBS' The Early Show, as well as coverage on several international news programs.
In fall 2006, Naomi was signed to a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. This was followed in January 2007 by the announcement that she had been also signed to the major record label, Island Records.
After releasing Under the Influence, Naomi left Island Records. She released her new album, To Know I'm Ok, independently in June 2011. It was funded through fans via Pledgemusic, an "international Direct-to-Fan platform for raising funds".
Tours and notable performances
Naomi headlined national tours in the United States in 2003, 2004, and 2005, which included dates at the Chicago House of Blues, NYC's Irving Plaza, The Trocadero in Philadelphia, The Abbey in Chicago, The Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas and The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles and has also performed shows in Canada and the United Kingdom. Shows in the United Kingdom included an appearance at the In The City festival in Manchester . She has also opened for Tyler Hilton, Michael Bolton, Jay Brannan, The Fray, Martha Wainwright and Natasha Bedingfield.
In 2007, after being personally invited by Al Gore, Naomi performed "Say It's Possible" at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium in London. Later that year, YouTube Russia was launched and Naomi was invited to perform and help launch it.
In November 2009 Naomi began a two-week tour of India playing shows in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi culminating with a headlining performance at the Mercy Corps Say It's Possible Climate Change Concert in Srinagar, Kashmir. This tour was sponsored by American Center, Levi Strauss & Co. India, Fabindia and Mercy Corps. Naomi's Indian tour was immediately followed by two weeks in Italy playing shows in Fabriano, Perugia, Rome, Imola, Bologna, Rimini, Monte Castello Di Vibio and Montesilvano. During her stay in Italy she also recorded a duet with Italian superstar Elisa.
In early July 2010, Naomi performed at Lilith Fair's San Francisco show after winning a competition sponsored by OurStage.com. In August she toured Italy again, playing in Rimini, Milano, Padova, Montepulciano and Castiglione del Lago.
In June 2011 Naomi performed the inaugural show for the Haus of Hipstamatic Unplugged Summer Sessions in San Francisco. The event was the first in a series of unplugged sessions featuring other singer-songwriters such as Michelle Branch and was hosted by Hipstamatic at their office space in SoMa. The music video for "You For Me" was also debuted at the event, which is archived on Ustream. A video for "I'll Be Waiting"was also shot.
In January, February and March 2012 she toured Europe, doing more than 30 concerts. The European countries she toured include UK, Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland.