Bankulli & TÖME pay tribute to Sound Sultan with “Journey Back Home”

Heartfelt homage to one of Nigerian music's greatest

Sound Sultan left an indelible mark on Nigerian music and Afropop as a whole. The multi-disciplinary artist passed away in July, from throat cancer complications at the age of 44. His heart-breaking death emboldened his legacy as one of the best singer-songwriters in Nigerian music, with a catalogue filled with socially observant anthems, resonant and introspective hymns, and the occasional party-ready anthem. Sound Sultan made his mark by creating music in tune with the realities of everyday Nigerians, and he will be remembered fondly.

The latest act in the memorial of Sound Sultan is “Journey Back Home,” a new song dedicated to his memory by Nigerian singers Bankulli and TÖME. Helmed by the super-producer duo, Legendury Beatz, the Afrobeat-inspired song finds both singers ruminating on the transience of life. Taking on chorus duties, Bankulli invokes the infamous line and melody from Sound Sultan’s seminal folk song, “Motherland,” setting up the song’s premise with his folksy baritone. Delivering two emotionally charged verses, TÖME sings of finding her path through life, searching for clarity and reaching a higher calling to maximise her time on earth.

In its own way, “Journey Back Home” embodies the resonant ethos of what made Sound Sultan endearing. The song is also embedded in a titular pack comprising varying versions of the song with different instrumental embellishments. There’s also an intro that features Sound Sultan summarising his upbringing and initial forays into music. All proceeds from ‘Journey Back Home’ will be passed down to Sound Sultan’s family, a noble gesture from Bankulli, TÖME, Legendury Beatz, and all the other musicians involved in the making of “Journey Back Home” and its other versions.

Listen to ‘Journey Back Home’ here.