“Life is an experience, life is research. The only real university is the University of Life.”
Omar Ka, Soruuna (2004)

The Fulani are the most widespread of all West African peoples. Traditionally cattle herding nomads, Fulani communities have settled in Cameroon, Niger, Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Nigeria. Wherever they went, they developed distinctive cultural practices and musical styles.
Omar Ka was born in 1973 in Senegal, though his family roots lie in Niger. His sensitive vocals and intricate guitar melodies tell instantly of his Nigerian ancestry, while mbalax, reggae and funk beats ground his music firmly in the bustling streets of Dakar.

The Fula Band – a group of friends and brothers- came together in 1991 to create their unique brand of Fula music. After four years of intense production and busy touring schedules around West Africa, Omar Ka headed for Europe in 1996 to prepare the road to international success.
It took another three years before the band embarked on their first European tour. Three years during which Omar collaborated with a variety of Dutch musicians and featured on various recordings. In 1997 Omar Ka released his first album, “H.O.W” together with Willem Cramer and Hanyo van Oosterom. Meanwhile, his band members continued their individual projects in Senegal.

Out of Africa
In 1999, Omar Ka & Fula Band finally reunited to set out on a highly acclaimed tour, which took them to the stages of Belgium and the Netherlands. Their overwhelming success encouraged them to record their debut album Mbaaranaabe/Nomad (2000). Nomad got very positive reviews. Since then, Omar Ka & Fula Band have played on various international festivals. “Desert blues meets Dakar beat...” wrote the London FRoots magazine about the music of the Fula Band. The lyrics, all written by Omar Ka, are about the nomad life as Omar knows it from his childhood. The nature and the quality of the life of the Fulani people is the main theme of his poetical lyrics. Omar Ka & Fula Band became the group of the month in June 2000 chosen by the Dutch Popunie. The album Nomad was voted the CD of the week on Radio Rijnmond and the CD of the day by the Dutch daily Rotterdams Dagblad. The individual tracks were selected for different compilations as DUTCH 2001 – the best world music made in the Netherlands in 2000. The national television (NPS) broadcast a documentary about Omar Ka in Sptember 2001. TV Rijnmond broadcast another documentary about Omar Ka in Vernis/Stem in 2002. Omar contributed to different important music projects such as Music Meeting in Nijmegen (2001) and Made in Holland – a tribute to diversity (2002) and (2003).
In May 2003, Omar Ka & Fula Band performed during the Night of Tiësto in Arnhem for 25 000 people.

2004 Soruuna
The last three years has Omar Ka spent mostly in Europe meeting plenty of musicians and preparing his new album SORUUNA (released 30th May 2004).

All lyrics on the album Soruuna have been written by Omar Ka. Even now he focuses on Africa. The lyrics are less poetic this time and more social, even political. He sings also about immigrants: “…Immigrants can bring good things because they plant their own culture within another culture. Immigration can mean the education of the whole world………So the world educates itself. Say welcome to each other! Immigration can be the wealth of our planet, our mission to understand each other.” He sings about African women, the children of Africa, about the aid organizations, about human fear. In the last song Laare: “It is better to see than to listen only….Sometimes you hear many things but wait until you get to see them for yourself!".

Omar Ka about Soruuna: “My people enjoy the wisdom of a life lived in balance with nature. With each change of season, they guide their flocks to new pastures, seeing new things and meeting new people along the way, trading exciting stories. At the end of a long day they gather around a fragrant fire to share music and conversation. This is a precious time, as they love to discuss the experiences of their lives just as any traveler does. Just as I do. This is the soruuna. It is a grounding point in everyone’s life journey – it’s the part we learn from and the part we feel compelled to share. The soruuna gives each of us understanding, strength and inspiration in life. I hope this album will become a soruuna for music lovers.”

Along with the steady members of the Fula Band, Omar invited more musicians to participate on the recording. Malick Pathé Sow plays the traditional instrument hoddu, Praful the flute. There are special African instruments to hear as shekere, udu, clay drum, calabas, sabar, percussion, tama, talking drums and of course the beautiful tunes of the kora. Sylvie Nahawa Sadio (Zap Mamma) visited the studio to add a wonderful chorus to some of the songs.
Dennis Winter was in the studio to produce the album with all his love.