The two musicians team up again on a new project, slated for an October 22 release.
Though they share an ancestral connection to Africa, the respective birthplaces of piano virtuoso Omar Sosa and kora Maestro Seckou Keita, Cuba and Senegal, are separated by the Atlantic Ocean. When the pair met in 2012, Seckou admired Omar for his musical spirituality, whilst Omar saw in Seckou a rare ability to collaborate while retaining his musical identity. Their debut album, Transparent Water, was released to acclaim in 2017. Recorded during lockdown, the pair’s second album, SUBA, is a hymn to hope, to a new dawn of compassion and real change in a post-pandemic world. Joining Omar and Seckou in the studio, and for live performances, is the inimitable Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles.
For Omar, the album marks a heartfelt reiteration of humanity’s oldest prayer: “The concept of the record is peace, hope and unity. In this moment we’re living, when everything’s falling apart little by little, the last thing we have inside ourselves is a sacred connection with our inner voice, with our spirit and light and with our ancestors. We try to give hope through music and tell people that we can be together.”
“Suba” means “sunrise” in Mandinka, Seckou’s native language, representing his favourite time of day and a moment of freshness and hope. “Even if you’re facing certain difficulties, you reset your brain back to normal. You see the sunrise as a new day, a new peace, a new something, good or bad – an exciting something. That was the feeling I had when I was writing with Omar.”