The Story of Lachi: A Blind Influencer Forging A National Platform

Who is Lachi

If you look up Lachi, you can tell what type of person she is in less than five seconds: she’s fierce, fun, talented and knows how to pose for the ‘Gram. Lachi – seen above  squatting in central park with a folded white cane painted blue-and-black and wearing a couture blue-jean jacket created by designer Barbara Beccio – is an award nominated recording artist, award winning film director, motivational speaker who’s been in the New York Times, NPR, and now YouTuber. Many would consider this powerhouse blind woman inspirational, but to that Lachi says in a column, “I’m not an inspiration. I’m a badass.”

But Lachi was not always in the spotlight. Growing up in North Carolina, with West African immigrant parents, Lachi started off shy because of her vision loss. Though passionate about music and entertainment, she got a desk job.

From Desk Jobber to Touring Artist

According to Lachi she had to follow her passions and more importantly embrace her blindness. So she quit and chose to focus her full energy on becoming the role-model she wished she had. “I wanted to become that ‘me’ I didn’t see on screen. A black, blind woman, doing big things in music.”

Lachi eventually signed with an imprint of EMI Records, where she toured and scored national press. She later found a place as a dance music songwriter and vocalist, and released records with SONY and Warner imprints. Through the career growth, Lachi kept quiet about her sight loss. “Since I could get away with hiding it, I did. But people could tell something was off. I wasn’t being my full self.”

After several performances and panels at Disability Pride events across the North East, Lachi dove head-first into advocacy. “Real pride, real confidence. That’s what people flock to. So I stood in front of my adversity, and branded myself as…me.

Lachi now speaks on major panels and consults Fortune 500 companies on how to be more inclusive. She also coaches growing influencers on how to find their authenticity and use it to supercharge their personal message.

What Makes Her Strong Personal Brand?

Once a shy person, Lachi now has over a hundred thousand followers on social media, where she speaks openly about her blindness, her journey to confidence, and of course shares her music (having made her way onto a Grammy committee to advocate for musicians with disabilities). Lachi recently sat with Judith Heumann, a top leader in disability rights.

“Instead of running from my adversity, I use it as fuel and strength. I’m super proud I get to stand out, and motivate folks to push like I have. And the best part is, anyone can do it, because everyone’s uniques and has adversity they’ve had to overcome…and there is a population of people who want to listen to you, buy from you…or just rock with you, because they can relate.” 

The Offbeat YouTube Series with Lachi

A recent diagnosis put Lachi on a path from low vision to total blindness within a matter of years which Lachi has also publicly embraced. She’s got a YouTube series documenting the journey! Learning things and fulfilling her bucket list before losing her vision completely. Brands and notable figures like The Blind Boys of Alabama and blind youtuber Molly Burke are early guests.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lachi, you can find her on all social media sites including Clubhouse, at @lachimusic  She’ll be moderating a talk on inclusion with the Recording Academy, along with a few other special performances throughout April and May. Find out more on her website.

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