Photos: Ryusei Sabi

(New York, NY) January 19, 2024: Today, R&B singer-songwriter UMI releases her new EP “Talking To The Wind” (stream HERE). To complement the project, she also unveils a music video for “SHOW ME OUT” (watch HERE).

The Talking To The Wind EP follows UMI’s critically acclaimed debut album Forest in the City (2022), which Rolling Stone praised for its expansive “sun-soaked electro R&B” and “moody slow jams.” The new 4-track project sees UMI in a confident new light as she fully embraces love, life, but above all, feeling okay with being lost in the world. Her first independent release, Talking To The Wind EP was written during a transitional period. Ultimately, UMI found wisdom and the creative motivation to write the EP through meditation and getting in touch with the elements by literally speaking with the wind.

The project features two previously released singles: the emotionally-charged “Happy Im” followed by “Why Don’t We Go,” an upbeat celebration of youth and beauty. Both songs were praised by outlets including Numéro which raved that she’s “gearing up for a prolific, passionate, and powerful new season.” Vibe echoed, “the new project is about her confidence in newness—a new sense of being okay while finding her footing in the world, new love, and a restored outlook on life.”

Meanwhile, new tracks “SHOW ME OUT” and “Not Necessarily” carry on the EP’s theme of romance and authenticity. The accompanying video for “SHOW ME OUT” finds UMI in a charming and colorful loft adorned with nostalgic trinkets, including stuffed animals and retro gear. Self-directed by UMI herself, her charisma is thoroughly authentic and magnetic through every camera angle and movement.

“Talking To The Wind’ is an EP that has felt like a leaf in the wind,” says UMI of the EP. “Each of the songs were created at a time where I didn’t know exactly where I was going or what I was creating for. The only thing I knew for certain was that in the moment of creating it all I was happy. It’s okay to create without a map and to live without one, too; to breathe out and let the wind of life take you where you’re always meant to be.”

Ahead of talking to the wind, UMI released the single “Wherever U R” featuring V of BTS, in time for the Kpop star’s birthday. Comforting and vibrant, “Wherever U R” is a heartfelt song where the two musical heavyweights trade verses about loving someone from a distance. The collaboration, which speaks to separation of all kinds, came about organically after the two exchanged messages on social media about working together on a song. Released on December 29 in celebration of V’s birthday, the single debuted at #1 on Billboard’s R&B Digital Songs Sales chart. It also went #1 across 100+ countries’ iTunes charts for five consecutives days and made a strong breakthrough across Billboard’s Global 200, Hot R&B Songs, Digital Song Sales, R&B / Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales and Canadian Digital Song Sales.

See full talking to the wind tracklist and upcoming tour routing below. More to come from UMI in 2024.

‘Talking To The Wind’ EP tracklist:

  1. Why Don’t We Go
  2. Happy I’m
  3. Not Necessarily


Tuesday, March 26 – Sydney, NSW – Oxford Art Factory

Wednesday, March 27 – Melbourne, VIC – Night Cat



Known for her warmth and deep honesty that flows freely through her music, Los Angeles-based UMI uses her art as a vessel for healing. Her name “umi,” meaning ocean in Japanese, is a beautiful reflection of her artistry—soothing like a day spent in nature. She flows through melodies and allows herself to dive into the human experience in a way that leaves listeners feeling deeply understood. Born in Seattle to a Japanese mother and Black American father, the multi-dimensional artist fostered her sacred connection to music and nature as a child, beginning to write songs at age five to make sense of the world. “The ocean can take many shapes and forms, it can be calm or rebellious, but its pure essence will never change,” UMI says. “Same with my music, it doesn’t matter what’s trending or what others say, I’m staying true to my sense of self.

With her 2022 debut studio album, Forest in the City, UMI revealed a mastery of soul-searching lyricism and genre-expansive fluidity. The LP’s breakout single “wish that i could be” and its music video garnered praise for its blissful representation of queer relationships, which is integral to UMI both as a person and within her artistry. The album also ushered in UMI’s first headlining tour in North America and the UK/EU, followed by an ongoing series of meditation workshops. After breaking out as an openhearted prodigy with her lush songs of self-discovery, she’s since expanded into social justice advocacy, wellness, and fashion—using all these creative endeavors to connect with herself, with others, and our natural world. To foster a truly communal environment in her live shows, she guides each audience through somatic exercises—from meditation to cathartic sing-alongs, leading to personal transformation. “You see people shed layers at the shows,” UMI explains. “Every time I perform, I see it as an opportunity to heal people and hopefully touch their souls.” Recently, she’s been recognized as a style icon, snapped at various New York Fashion Week shows (Helmut Lang, Bevza, Private Policy) in her eclectic style that prioritizes environmentally conscious techniques. Plus, in celebration of his birthday and a holiday gift to fans, UMI released single “wherever u r” featuring V of 21st century icons BTS. The track debuted at #1 on Billboard’s R&B Digital Songs Sales chart, went #1 across 100+ countries’ iTunes charts for five consecutive days and made a strong breakthrough across Billboard’s Global 200, Hot R&B Songs, Digital Song Sales, R&B / Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales and Canadian Digital Song Sales.

UMI now enters a new era with her new EP, talking to the wind, arriving January 19, 2024. The four-track project is a glowing showcase of UMI at her most courageous and exploratory, as she meditates on a transformative love that emboldens her to be open to all of life’s possibilities. “Climb into me / Into my waterfalls / Up in the cloud,” she sings on the opening track “why don’t we go.” The dreamlike song is about “living for the sake of living, rather than to be right or have it all figured out,” UMI explains. Made during a time in which she was unsure of her path ahead, talking to the wind taught UMI that “it’s OK to create without a map and to live without one too,” she reflects. “To let the wind of life take you where you were always meant to be.”

Talking to the wind also sees UMI surrendering to the infinite unknown of love. Unable to fully express the range of her emotions in just one language, she pledges her devotion in both Japanese and English on the lilting “happy im.” On “SHOW ME OUT,” she expresses self-doubt that she might be feeling too much, but then immediately embraces her “ocean for a heart” by singing “Maybe I love too much / What’s the wrong in that.” The final track “not necessarily,” is a slow-burning ode to finding someone who could make you down for anything.

UMI’s sense of playfulness carries through to talking to the wind’s production, which sees her signature tender vocals float over light and groovy bass lines, glittery acoustic guitar strums, and sultry synths. The project was written entirely by UMI alongside producer V-Ron, whose trusting collaborative relationship led to a sense of openness and ease in the music. “This EP was me rediscovering what makes me happy, what sounds I’m drawn to, and what I naturally want to talk about,” UMI explains. “This period of experimentation is setting the foundation for everything that comes next.”

Influenced by her musician parents, UMI first began writing songs and dancing to make sense of the world around her. As a teenager overcoming her shyness, she began uploading covers and songs online, eventually finding her breakthrough with her 2017 self-released Interlude EP, as well as the viral 2018 lo-fi tracks “Butterfly” and “Remember Me.” As she steadily matured with her 2020 major label debut Introspection EP and expanded into a variety of artistic forms, compassion and spirituality has remained the deep roots of all her work.




Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | YouTube