EntertainmentNGNigeria Entertainment

Reality Chq: How Friends, Fans and Family Are Keeping Sound Sultan’s Legacy Alive

On Sunday, July 10, 2022, fans, friends, family and colleagues of Olanrewaju ‘Sound Sultan’ Fasasi converged in Lagos, Nigeria; New York in the United States and London in the United Kingdom for the late icon’s posthumous project listening party ‘Reality Chq’.

The listening party, which was held simultaneously in three cities – Lagos, London and New York, was to commemorate the one-year remembrance of the entertainer, his contributions to the development of Africa’s creative industry and to launch his new album, which is now out on all streaming platforms and distributed by Empire Music.

The album was described as ‘special’ by Sound Sultan’s brother, Baba Dee, who spoke from the listening party in New York in a video posted on the official Instagram page of the late musician.

He said, “we are having the one-year remembrance of Sound Sultan, the great iconic Nigerian singer, and we are having his official listening party for the album, ‘Reality Chq’. This was the album Sound Sultan was working on before he answered the call of the Almighty. This is a very special project.”

Netng, attending the Nigerian edition of the event held at Victoria Island in Lagos, attests to the project as a special endeavour and the event as one that truly celebrated a man who made great music while alive.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Lagos tribute/listening party.

Convergence of Friends, Family and Fans

We all thought the sky would let down a kind of beat down that would trash the roof of our minds as much as it trashed the roofs of houses, but, dim as the sky turned, the rains were held in – call it cosmic service to an icon.

This ensured that even though people turned up a little late, they still found their way to the event held in the Victoria Island neighbourhood in numbers.

The event, therefore, was well-graced. It was attended by Sound Sultan’s longtime fans, friends as well as colleagues, including the producer of the “Reality Chq” album, ID Cabasa, rappers Kel and IllBliss, comedian Efe Warri Boy, GT Da Guitarman, Radio veteran Olisa Adibua and a host of others.

The family members who attended the show included Sultan’s wife Farida Fasasi, his sister, who couldn’t hide her emotions as a video featuring pictures of the late artiste rolled by on the screen, and other extended members.

Illbliss and ID Cabasa

Dead But Not Forgotten

Sound Sultan appears to be a seer whose words from ‘Gengen’ his breakout single in 1999 to ‘Jagbajantis’ (Mathematics), that shot him to stardom in 2000, are still relevant in today’s society.

ID Cabasa, visibly trying to hold back the gloom in his voice, revealed that Sound Sultan should not be spoken about in the past tense because his legacy is still with us in the present.

According to him, “Sound Sultan only had a transition. The man, the essence is definitely here. People don’t build legacies by just doing well, but they build legacies by leaving memories and leaving truths”.

“Sound Sultan is a prophet in our time. Everything he has been saying since the middle 90s till now is still our current realities,” he surmised.

This brings to mind the take of the CEO of ID Africa, Femi Falodun, on Sultan during preparations for the Nite of tributes organised by NECLive on July 24, 2021.

To him, “Sound Sultan’s physical form might have departed the world, but his unique voice, his conscious lyrics, his acts of kindness, his positive message and most of all, the wonderful memories he left us with will live forever in our hearts”.

One year on, these words remain true as Sultan’s positive impacts and messages ensure that he is with us; that he may be gone physically, but he’s never forgotten.

ID Cabasa and Fareedah Fasasi

‘Reality Chq’ and Your Support

As a posthumous project, it is easy to be relegated to a background hum. Thus, fans, promoters, media houses and music executives must ensure that ‘Reality Chq’ gets the kind of recognition it deserves.

Sound Sultan had begun this project before his tragic death, as ID Cabasa revealed. Therefore, we must award the work even more attention and reverence, considering that the artist paid his dues while he was with us in music, film, sports and society and that the proceeds from the album would go to the family he left behind.

‘Reality Chq’ deserves nothing less than our utmost support. It is the least we can do for a legend who, when no one else would, drew the government’s attention to corruption, abuse of power and other harsh socio-political realities in Nigeria.

An Album Great in Themes and Sound

The 5-tracked EP, ‘Reality Chq’, is a great album.

From the preview of songs such as ‘Siren’ (feat. 2Baba), which talks about October 20, 2020 Lekki tollgate incident and functions as a civic call; ‘Friends’, which is a double-edged reveal about the pros and cons of friendship; ‘Reality Cheque’ (feat Bella Schmurda), which jolts the people from their reverie; ‘Naija Na Wa’, which describes the cosmetic nature of social media life in the digital age, Sultan’s preoccupation with intentional lyrics again comes to the fore.

Beyond that, the sounds are alluring, a melting pot of the past and the present, with Fela’s Afrobeat – blaring horns and a psychedelic vibe – appearing to be scaffoldings for and backdrops to Sultan’s usual acoustic soul and modern bounce. What you get is an album that does not only entertain but also speaks truth to power.


From Butterfly of Time to Immortal Name

Everyone had great words for Sound Sultan at this listening party.

According to Illbliss, “we could stay here till tomorrow morning explaining the man Sultan…we lost such a huge, huge gem”.

Spoken Word artist Sage Hassan said, “Sultan is the sultan of sounds…he’s the only one who spoke to the people of power without being rude”.

Kel revealed that “Sultan was more than a friend and colleague, he was a brother to all of us”.

From the tributes, it was obvious that Sultan wore his heart on his sleeve and gave his creativity freely to anyone who cared to listen. And they got their fix. They got their fix from his acts of kindness and word-flicked art, basking in waves of artistic intoxication.

Indeed, the multitalented artist will not only be remembered for his art but also his convivial demeanour.

Meanwhile, the event ended with a moving vote of thanks from Sound Sultan’s sister, who represented the Fasasi family.

Unable to find the right words to shelter her appreciation for the crew, the attendees and the organisers, “thank you, thank you, thank you”, she quieted as a promising evening finally slipped into a memorable night.

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