Two decades down the line, veteran Nigerian singer Sound Sultan is arguably one of the few musicians that started out with social conscious songs and he continues to stick to his songs message.
The Naija Ninja fondly called by his fans in recent interview with Punch’s Saturday Beat, revealed how he manages to stay relevant in the industry despite changing sounds and message.
He said that he could have been richer and popular than what he’s today, if he changed his tune but he did not. He further revealed that politicians have offered him millions of Naira to sing a new tune but he has always declined their offer.
In his words:
“I sacrificed a lot in my career because I didn’t want to contradict my message. Do you think I don’t want money from politicians? They offered me millions but then, I cannot eat my own words. I have to stand for what I believe in. The most important thing to me is the people. I don’t regret refusing the money they offered me because it is not who I am. With due respect to those that collect money from politicians, I am a very contented person. If it is not in line with my principles, no one can tempt me. It is just the way I live my life. I am into the message I preach.
“The problem is that the people that we are trying to reach with these messages are divided already. They are divided by money, tribe, political parties and other factors. I am trying to represent one Nigeria but they would not let me be. Sadly, the same people you are trying to represent would accuse you of collecting money from a political party. The most important thing is to sustain the message and those who want to listen would do so.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to lend your voice, please do. It is not until something happens to you that you have to lend your voice to a cause. If you find yourself in a position where you can use your voice and people can reach out to you for a cause because you have a lot of following on social media and your word is your bond; if you are called to support a cause, you need to selflessly support it. Once you realise that it is a well- meaning cause, support it.
”Explaining why he didn’t partake in the recent protest staged by Charly Boy, Sultan said, “Charly boy called out celebrities quite alright and I respect Charly Boy a great deal but I was not around in the country. I told him to watch out for me because I always use my social media account to talk to youths. It is very important for us to know it is not about protesting for a week, it is an on-going discussion. I have been speaking about social ill since the beginning of my career even as an up and coming artiste. I have always been singing about the hardship in the country, so nobody can point fingers at me and I will keep doing that. So if I am not around at a certain time that a protest was held, it does not really matter. Tuface was well meaning but the same people he tried to fight for took it against him. That is Nigeria for you. It is not about Charly Boy. Who were the people throwing stones at Charly Boy during the protest? Were they Togolese?”