Socorra, Producer and Original Music Composer at Posh Corps, just completed this submission for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Contest.

When I first moved to the Bay Area, I made an effort to get to know as many RPCV’s as possible. Every recently returned volunteer is a bit ragged. I was certainly no exception. We all struggle those first few months, trying to prove ourselves to our country once again. Of all the RPCV’s I met, Socorra was the most impressive. Despite her own readjustment struggles, she has a certain calm assurance. When you talk with Socorra you get the distinct impression that she knows she’s good, and she’s waiting for the rest of us to figure it out too.

Her first album, “Little by Little” was inspired by her Peace Corps service in Morocco. The title comes from the Arabic phrase “shweea b shweea,” a saying Peace Corps volunteers must hear often, as a gentle encouragement to go slow. She recorded and released the album during her Peace Corps service, and the album proceeds went to a girls’ shelter in Morocco. Her song “Nine Hours to Nowhere” inspires memories of long hours in a crowded African taxi, fighting with fifteen other travelers over whether or not it is safe to open a window.

Socorra recently performed in front of an audience of 1,600 for Lena Dunham’s book tour in San Francisco. She is keeping quiet about how much Dunham ended up paying her for the performance. In addition to the Dunham book tour, Socorra is working as a music teacher at the School of Rock, inspiring the next generation of confident, no-nonsense female performers. Her second album is expected to be released in 2015.

Socorra describes her music as “bluesy-percussive with a pop of folk.” Her sound is unique, but it’s her stage presence which really demands attention. She doesn’t adopt any kind of affect, she won’t change her personality in the hopes of meeting standard expectations about female performers. Socorra is talented and has a powerful voice, but she freely admits to suffering from severe stage fright. She routinely stands up alone in front of huge audiences, and faces her fear. This is true courage, the most important component in great success.

- Alan Toth