I’m not sure where I first heard Abuja based producer Sazzy’s (Osaze Omonbude) music. I imagine it was when Korex of Intersection Media posted a link on Facebook to his music video “Doubt,” an addictive angst-filled track, with the cry of “I no go doubt myself again, oh” in the chorus. His techno track “Anymore” is equally angst-filled and danceable. I was hooked.
On his Facebook page, he described his sounds as
‘’indie-afro-hop done by aliens trying to be human’’. He also has no limitations on genres. “If it sounds good, I’ll do it”. [...] “I just want everybody to grow with me day by day as I take over the world”.
So, when not long after, Sazzy sent me a friend request on facebook, maybe because I had been posting the video all over my wall, I responded:
July 17 at 2:31amthanks for the friend invite. i’ve had your song “doubt” on a constant replay loop for the last 2 hours. you’ve got mad talent. take care.
He responded with gracious words (and a little advertisement):
Thanks for accepting. Wow! thanks a lot, really great to hear that. Really appreciated.
I got a new international dance single. Will love to give you the link, so here it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH_yYH-JmhoAnd pls dont be a stranger.
The track he sent was perhaps not quite as contemplative as the others, but it was definitely danceable.
So this past Saturday morning when I signed into facebook and started seeing status updates from Abuja-based friends, saying “Sazzy, rest in peace,” it shook me. It was shattering news. I didn’t know him. We exchanged those messages and may have exchanged a couple of lines of Facebook chat, I can’t remember now. But I had gone to his page only a few days before to wish him a cheery “Happy Birthday.” I had listened to his tracks again. I hadn’t known him in person but I had known his friends, I had known his music. What does one do, what does one feel, when a facebook friend dies, someone at this level of acquaintance, new to history, whom you may have never met but whose updates you regularly see and who may have also seen your updates?
On his myspace page, he looked forward to the future:
”I really do believe with GOD, Hard work, Patience and Persistence you can achieve anything in life and I do hope all my aspirations and dreams shall come to pass. This is just the beginning for me, loads more is yet to come, music is about to change”.
And as a young talent gone too soon, his death is reminiscent of the death of rising star Dagrin only half a year ago. Now, Sazzy’s last update on Facebook seems a sad foreshadowing:
Sazzy Omonbude Hey thanx for all d birthday wishes….bin a bit ill bt thanx all d same
He had just turned 26. He had sickle cell. And he made mad good music.
Yet, his “beginning” has become his legacy. The internet is chock full of his traces. He left behind a dance track list on his myspace page and reverbnation page (he’s currently listed as #5 on the Abuja charts), a youtube page with two videos, a twitter page full of banter, a facebook fan page that is slowly filling up with tributes, and one mix album “The Take Over,” for sale online, with some of the most promising new Nigerian artists, including Sazzy’s “Mr Chairman.”
A whole flurry of other blogs and new have written obituaries and tributes to him. Olamilde Entertainment gives a short biography taken from his myspace page:
Sazzy born Osaze Omonbude in Nigeria, Oct. 15 1984; he had a good client and fan base in his country. His intention was to his wings internationally. As a child, he grew up listening to mostly international acts like The fugees, Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Nas, Madonna, Shade, Fela and loads more. Since then he has always had a dream to sing and produce internationally, “let everybody here what I have to say’’. With a strong love for Good Music in any genre and a free mind in creativity, Sazzy was the type of act music needed. ”I really do believe with GOD, Hard work, Patience and Persistence you can achieve anything in life and I do hope all my aspirations and dreams shall come to pass. This is just the beginning for me, loads more is yet to come, music is about to change”.
Among the other sites to cover his untimely passing are modernghana.com,nigerianfilms.com, Linda Ikeji’s blog, Campus Heat, Nigerian Entertainment Today, Abujacity.com, Last Plane to Lagos, Bella Naija, and 360 Nobs. Not Just Ok, posted a tribute song by his Sazzy’s friends Uche the African Rockstar, Yoye, Lindsey, 5 Mics, Bugzy, Snappy. [UPDATE 5 November 2010: You can read the article about Sazzy I published in last week's Weekly Trust here]
[Update 30 October 2010. Yesterday, Sazzy's friend Korex Calibur, whom he worked with on music videos, posted Sazzy's final music video, a brilliant piece, which makes you realize just how much we are going to miss him....
On his myspace page, Sazzy writes,
”Every time I write or produce a song, I think outside the box and do not get caught up in music of the day or time. I make music straight from the heart. Music is who you are, I can’t be somebody else.”
And if music is who Sazzy was, he’s left a large part of himself behind in this world to comfort those who loved him.
Respect, Mr. Chairman. We will miss you!