Sound Sultan, an avatar of Nigerian pop’s rapidly urbanizing face at the turn of the millennium, was instrumental in the evolution of Nigerian music to become a leading force in the global pop landscape.
Sound Sultan, a commercially successful and critically acclaimed singer, died four months ago, leaving Nigerian music in a state of mourning. Sound Sultan, an avatar of the rapidly urbanizing face of Nigerian pop at the turn of the millennium, was instrumental in the evolution of Nigerian music to become a leading force in the global pop landscape, taking influence from local oral tradition and fusing it with the forward-thinking propulsion of hip-hop and R&B.
Sultan, who was as prolific as he was inventive, left a stellar oeuvre that included classics like Naija 007, SS4, and the retro-futurist Back To The Future, in which he tackled poverty, corruption, and socio-political degradation in his enthusiastic but empathic manner.
To commemorate the legendary singer’s legacy, respected A&R, songwriter, and singer Bankulli has collaborated with Canadian-Nigerian afro-fusion singer Töme to release a single that pays homage to his personality and far-reaching impact on the growth of Nigerian and African music. The song, titled “Motherland” after one of Sultan’s most iconic singles, is a succinct acknowledgement that Sound Sultan has ascended to be with the elders and is now in a better place, free of earthly concerns.
Töme rides the minimalist wave of the instrumental to situate her own path in the journey narrated by Sound Sultan all those years ago, while Bankulli provides a sturdy base to balance her wanderlust against. “Motherland” is produced by the celebrated production duo, Legendury Beatz, and is spiced by harmonious horns that pay tribute to afrobeat, a major influence on Sound Sultan. All proceeds from the song are being donated to the Sound Sultan family and estate in the spirit of the song being a tribute to Sound Sultan.