Gulled Simba aka SIMBA is a Somali pop musician who has been based in Finland since 2014. Simba was born in 1995 in the Somali city Kismaayo, where he nurtured a passion for music from a young age. Impressively, he started his career as a professional musician only two years ago and already has a following in the millions for every new release on YouTube. The lyrics for Simba’s songs are written in collaboration with his brother, Nabiil Bulle.
Simba uses his music and voice to empower fellow young newcomers to Europe who identify with him and his situation. He is an inspirational force for immigrant communities in Finland and around the world.
Released in 2016, Asal Dhalad was Simba’s first major hit. The song has received over six million views on YouTube.
Song: Asal Dhalad, Gulled Simba, 2016
Following a break from making music, Simba made a comeback in 2020 with his song Janna Dunia, which reached a million views on YouTube in just six days. Janna Dunia, which means heaven on earth, is the first song on his new album, set to be released later this year.
Song: Janna Dunia, Gulled Simba, 2020
The harsh life of an immigré artist
Simba arrived in Finland after a harrowing journey over many years, through Syria and many other countries. Simba applied for political asylum as required on arrival in Finland in 2014. Despite overwhelming evidence of his need, his application was rejected. This means he faces deportation back to Somalia. He has been given temporary leave to stay, until the situation in Somalia changes, only because Somalia is not on the Finnish Immigration Service’s list of “safe countries”.
Simba appealed the rejection of his asylum claim, but a decision from the Finnish Immigration Service has been postponed for over a year. After years of waiting only to be denied at every turn, Simba is stuck in an impossible position. He cannot go back to Somalia, so he continues to live in Finland, without a residency permit and with the threat of possible deportation hanging over him.
Related on AR:
Simba a.k.a. Simba is an IA-Resident of Perpetuum Mobile (PM)’s Immigré Artists (IA) & Artists at Risk (AR) Nordic Network, hosted in cooperation with Bado ry, the Finnish Musicians’ Union / Finnish Music Council and HIAP-Helsinki International Artist Programme on the island of Suomenlinnaat AR-Safe Haven Helsinki. The AR-Network is curated by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, co-funded by Kone Foundation. This residency is co-funded by Nordic Culture Point and the City of Helsinki-funded Artists at Risk (AR) Safe Haven Helsinki.