Nigeria, the Giant Of Africa is currently under critical decision making and the tension of its forthcoming election is weighing in on its citizens. Last week we did a throwback on a song that spoke of the ills of the country at the time.
Today’s throwback is with mixed feelings, we would be looking at one of our favourite songs from the late legendary singer, Sound Sultan. His real name was Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi. He died of cancer in America on July 11, aged 44.
He had played the game as a schoolboy and became co-owner of Lagos City Stars, a Lagos-based basketball club and 2017 champions. He was an impactful promoter of the sport, which earned him the notable pre-Olympics posthumous tribute.
His music communicated not only melody but deep meaning and reflection. He used his music to fight for social good against poverty, corruption, bad governance and social ills in Nigeria.
After his secondary education, he learnt to play the guitar and was in a band by 1999. He studied Geography and Regional Planning and graduated from Lagos State University in 1999. His first single, Jagbajantis, released in 2000, launched him to stardom. He released four albums under Kennis Music.
On the 20th anniversary of his hit single Mathematics in 2020, he said in an interview: “I feel sad. I don’t want to be making money from the ills of society. I am not like that. The song was meant to raise awareness and correct some things; that those things are still happening 20 years after makes me sad. That song should have gone extinct by now, but some people have made sure that the song will be evergreen.”
His dynamism led to a partnership with his elder brother who had influenced him artistically. They founded Naija Ninjas, an organisation that included a record label, production outfit and clothing line. He released Back From The Future (2010) under the new label.
Sound Sultan collaborated with local and international stars. He was involved in Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean’s Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101, with fellow Nigerian artists, 2face Idibia and Faze. He worked with Jean on two other projects: King of My Country (2009) and People Bad (2012).
He was made a UN Ambassador for Peace, in 2012, for his exemplary lifestyle and career. He was not a showy star and was known for his modesty. He lived above scandals in an entertainment sphere corrupted by scandals. In 2014, he produced and acted in the comedy movie Head Gone, which featured well-known Nigerian comedians, including Akpororo, Basketmouth and Pappy Luwe. After a break, he released the rap single Remember in 2015. His eighth and last album was launched on YouTube in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
He made a name for himself as a singer, songwriter and recording artist. Regarded as one of the pioneers of hip-hop music in Nigeria, he started as a rapper but worked in various music genres including R&B, Afrobeat, soul and Fuji music. We would like to remind you of his hit track which was basically a street anthem upon its release in 2000.
We present to you Sound Sultan’s evergreen “Mathematics” (Jagbajantis).
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