On the 11th of july 2021, the Nigerian entertainment industry was thrown into mourning after news of the passing of one of its most talented and loved members was announced. News of the death of Olanrewaju Ganiu Fasasi popularly known by his stage name Sound Sultan shocked the entire nation.
Reports of Sound Sultan’s long term battle with cancer leaked a couple of months ago but the musician never personally confirmed the story. However, twenty-four hours ago the singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, comedian and film producer died from Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (Throat cancer) in America where he was receiving cancer treatment.
Sound Sultan’s career
Sound sultan came to prominence in the Nigerian entertainment scene in the year 2000 with his hit single “Jangbajantis”. The song which addressed the level of corruption in the Nigerian political sector was an instant radio hit. His comical music video was also a favorite amongst TV stations. He was then signed to Kennis music, which was Nigeria’s topmost record label at that time. He released his debut album “kpseeeew!” to much critical acclaim.
Until his exit from Kennis music in 2008, Sound sultan continued to release critically acclaimed albums and hit songs that addressed corruption and heavily criticised Nigerian politicians. In 2008 he started his own record label with his older brother Baba Dee which they named Naija Ninjas. He released his first album under his label titled “Back from the future”.
The album, a blend of R&B, afrobeats, afropop and hip hop was a commercially successful and critically acclaimed project. The album had several hits songs like “Omo” an R&B ballad featuring then industry newcomer Lami. Other hit songs included the club hit “Very good bad guy” featuring Banky W, “Orobo” featuring Excel, and “Light up”. A song that addressed the poor electricity situation of the country.
Nomination and award
The album received a nomination and won the award for Album of the year at the 2011 headies music awards.
He released his second independent album titled “me, my mouth & eye” in 2012, the album featured commercially successful hits like “Kokose” featuring Wizkid and “Natural something”.
His third independent album “Out of the Box” released in 2016 had hits like “Monsura” featuring rapper Olamide and “African Baby” featuring Flavour and Phyno. After the release of his third project, Sound sultan took a brief hiatus from music to work on his first film production project. The project was done with his brother Dare Fasasi popularly called Baba Dee. Together they conceptualized, wrote and produced the comedy satire titled “Head Gone”. The movie was a commercial and critical success.
Apart from the entertainment scene, Sound Sultan was also a serious basketball lover and always publicly showed support for the sport. He co-owned a Lagos basketball team called Lagos city stars. In 2017, they were crowned champions of the Continental Basketball League. In 2011 he was named ambassador for peace by the United Nations for his contribution to music and his lifestyle.
The Legacy left behind by Sound Sultan
Sound Sultan does not only leave behind a history of hit songs. He leaves behind a legacy of peace, friendship, family and activism. He at every turn spoke against corruption, bad governance and injustice in Nigeria and the world with his music. Loved by all his colleagues for his simple and peaceful approach to life. He was always available to work with both established and upcoming musicians. He paved the way for singers like Seyi shey and Yung greyc.
At the age of 44, he leaves behind wife Farida Fasasi and three beautiful kids. He leaves behind a legacy of love, beautiful music and humanitarianism that will never be forgotten.