RIC HASSANI – THE #HEARTBEAT OF AFRICAN POP
By Stephanie Nwannukwu.
I thought I had seen the last breed of gentlemen so far. I thought I had seen them become novelties, like familiar characters in beloved old movies but there came along a man whose name was Ric Hassani. His musical progression is just like a unicorn – a strong African unicorn that has renewed the hope of women, most especially me.
Ikechukwu Eric Ahiauzu was raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, but currently resides in Lagos. He attended Covenant University, Ota where he studied at the undergraduate level and then in the United Kingdom where he obtained a Post Graduate certification (MSc. Energy Economics) at the University of Surrey. It’s no surprise he claims he would have become a lecturer when asked him during an interview what other career path he would have chosen if not music. Ric Hassani has been pursuing music full time since his emergence in the Nigerian Music Industry in 2012.
In 2015, he successfully released two projects – A compilation album called African Tour Select Singles and an EP tagged The Acoustic EP. In 2017, he released an album titled The African Gentleman which has now become his most successful project so far. It would interest you to know that this soulful gentleman was once a line spitting rapper called Rico Slim (I am sure you’re picturing Ric dropping bars in your head right now, but really, he was a rapper). However, as the heavens would have it, he gave up the “bar-spitting” life which he was forced to learn as a teenager under pressure and being shy of his light and high pitched voice and decided to embrace his real love – African Pop.
“…If I wasn’t doing music, i would probably be a lecturer.”
Through his music, Ric has raised the bar higher by getting involved in the emancipation of victims of Domestic Violence This he depicted through the visuals of Gentleman urging any woman in an abusive relationship, specifically a physical one to leave because they deserve better. Domestic violence isn’t an easy subject to sing about because of its grievous consequences, but Ric Hassani gives women in Nigeria and diaspora an anthem (A Song titled “Gentleman”)to remind them of what they really deserve and for this reason and more, makes him a shining example of what being a gentleman is.