Gearing up for a prolific, passionate, and powerful new season, tastemaker-approved Seattle-born and Los Angeles-based R&B singer, songwriter, and phenomenon UMI returns with an uplifting new single and music video entitled “happy im.” It notably marks her first release of 2023 and paves the way for more to come. 

On the track, gentle acoustic guitar glides over a stripped-back drumbeat. Meanwhile, UMI’s emotionally charged delivery immediately enchants as her lyrics seamlessly flow between Japanese and English. The momentum builds towards a swooning refrain as she assures, “Happy I’m falling for you. Happy I love myself too, punctuated by bright and cheery whistling. Threading together warmly-grained home video footage, the accompanying visual follows UMI and the object of her affection on a day-in-the-life excursion. They ride the subway, visit picturesque gardens, and absorb the energy of the beach as endless smiles abound.

Credit: Eddie Mandell 

happy im’ was written at a time where I felt myself running from love—the type that can be felt in many ways; love for a dream, family, career, a place, or a person,” says UMI. “I wrote this song to remind myself, and those who listen, that it’s okay to be happy—it’s what we came here to experience. And oftentimes, when we allow ourselves to stop thinking so hard about it, we let it in.” 

With only a debut album under her belt, UMI has quietly risen to the forefront of R&B. Beyond tens of millions of streams, COMPLEX hailed her as one of the “20 R&B Artists to Watch in 2023,” noting, “Even if you aren’t familiar with the name yet, it’s highly probable you’ve heard her voice. UMI is just getting started and feels poised for greatness.” Beyond plugs from Rolling StoneVogue and more, Pitchfork praised, “Her growth is both exciting and compelling.”

Stay tuned for more from UMI soon.

8/12: Road to Sonic Bang – Bangkok
8/15: Samsung Hall – Manila
8/17: SUMMER SONIC EXTRA – Space Odd – Tokyo
8/19: SUMMER SONIC – Tokyo
8/20: SUMMER SONIC – Osaka
8/22: Musinsa Garage – Seoul
8/24: Music Zone – Hong Kong
8/26: Capitol Theatre – Singapore
8/27: The Bee – Kuala Lumpur
8/29: Tai Space Livehouse – Guangzhou
8/30: Full House – Chengdu
9/1: Modern Sky Lab – Shanghai
9/3: TFW (That Feeling When) – Santa Anita Racetrack – Arcadia, CA
9/10: 1MX Music Festival – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON 
9/17: H.E.R. Lights On Festival – Mountain View, CA


UMI is a 24-year-old Seattle native pioneering a new sound rooted in R&B and Folk – Her deepest intention is to use her music as a vessel for healing and human connection. UMI meaning ocean in Japanese is a beautiful reflection of her artistry – soothing like a day spent in nature. She flows across melodies and allows herself to dive into the human experience in a way that leaves listeners feeling deeply understood. Her Japanese roots as well as her life journeys as a Queer woman can be felt throughout the themes of her songs. The energy of her artistry is a reflection of her personality – deeply caring and inviting. Currently living in Los Angeles, UMI continues to create genre-bending music that captivates and inspires listeners.


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