I’VE LEARNT TO KEEP LADIES AT ARM’S LENGTH
Sound Sultan (real name Lanre Fasasi) hardly needs an introduction. Since he released his “Jangbajantis” album, he has been on a roller coaster. When he came out with his second album, he finally stamped his authority on the music scene.
His latest single, 'ile' confirms that Sound Sultan doesn't just sing, he uses his songs to fight perceived negative trends. His songs wage war on corruption, poverty and the craze by the youth of the country to run to Europe and America.
He however would not like to be seen as an activist. “To say I'm an activist is an extreme term. I'm somebody with something on my mind that I just want to express through music; I am just doing my thing. Maybe the activist can now take it from there.”
He said his decision to sing against negative trends had to do with his determination to be truthful and realistic.
“You cannot be singing, singing and singing fiction all the time, you need to say the truth because it is the truth that endures. So, it could be said that someone was there who spoke of what was happening, and didn't just tell people to dance and shake yansh. I look at how things could get better.”
And if you thought it is a matter of time before Sound Sultan would change gear and join the bandwagon, he said he would remain steadfast with message-oriented music .
“Evidently, if I want to go a bit soft in my music, I will still have tracks that will talk about situations in the country, definitely,” he added.
Fasasi, who holds a BSc in Geography and Regional Planning from the Lagos State University, comes from a family that respects the decisions of its members, especially in the choice of career. His brother, Baba Dee, sings too. Although he influenced him, Sound Sultan said it was due more to his own talent than Baba Dee's influence.
“I guess the talent is inborn while the influence, I think, is evident,” he added.
He said he never at any point felt intimidated by his brother's profile, “I was just thinking of the advantages. And my family would let you take your destiny in your hands. It was more like, 'You guys, make sure you attend school, do your youth service and the world is yours.' They equipped us with the basic institutional knowledge.”
Sound Sultan said he had been able to handle the attention he gets from ladies without controversy and without stepping on their toes. “The secret is that it is the appreciation that you take from them, you don't take more than that. If you go beyond that, you might destroy your career at an early stage. If you check it out, it is not all the ladies who appreciate you would want to take you to bed. If you now go and get it to your head, you would even appear myopic to a lot of people. So, you have to learn to keep them at arms length.”
His policy of keeping ladies at arms length did not stop him from getting attached to one of them though. He told Appetiser that wedding bells might soon toll for him. “I'm not married yet, but it is because I'm planning ahead. I have someone, whose name I will not disclose because she is 'shyer' than me.”
But would he get married this year? “No. Although God owns all man's plan, I don't think I will marry this year.”
When will it be, then? “Soon.” How soon is soon?
“ I will definitely get married before the next two years,” he said.
Sound Sultan said the entertainment industry was fast growing as a result of more money coming into it. “The best thing we can do is to channel the growth into something formidable and make it useful for us as it is done in the western world. Let people pay royalties, let things be done by distinction and merit.”
He advised people who embraced music, believing that it was easy, to know that there are challenges so that they might not be easily discouraged. “There will always be challenges, just keep on and believe in what you do. Above all, don't stop because if you stop, it could be the day before the hit.”
While Sound Sultan welcomed various awards being created everyday, he believed monetary inducement should be added to the plaques. “Abroad, when you get a Grammy, the money attached to it gives it more worth.”
On why he does not go into collaboration with other artistes, he said, “I don't want anything to affect my belief, what I stand for and my fan base. If the song gets too vulgar, I wouldn't want to do it. But I've done a lot of 'collabo' in my own album. Tu Face, Black Face, Sasha, different people. Na people no dey call me too much, but I've featured in a number of songs. People who feature in every song need to get their priority right.”
For him, life is not all about songs, which was why he has ventured into other things. Indeed, he did not start as a musician, “I was at first doing comedy rhymes, then the music, but the influx of comedians made me put the rhymes into my music. I will also soon have my own TV programme on Sound City.
“But later, I want to be an international, I want to write music, I want to sell music to people. Just get recognition worldwide.”
By Sesan Olufowobi