When you think about musicians who are indelibly intertwined with the eternal lifeblood of rock music, renowned bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Kasim Sulton is right at the top of the list. No matter who you ask in the music business about the New York born-and-bred artist who’s spent 46-plus years as a well-respected, first-call professional musician, they all respond in the same way: “Everybody Loves Kasim.” And it’s easy to see why, considering how Sulton has played and sung on albums that have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. Not only that, Sulton has also regularly performed and toured with artists who have sold well over 400 million albums worldwide to date.
Fact is, Sulton is often found performing alongside a veritable who’s who of rock royalty. In addition to having been Todd Rundgren’s go-to righthand bassman in Utopia and his various solo projects for over 45 years and counting (including every show on Todd’s recently wrapped 25-date “Clearly Human” multi-city virtual tour), Sulton has also been a valued bandmember for artists like Meat Loaf (for whom he also served as music director for 10 years), Mick Jagger, Hall & Oates, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Cheap Trick, Patty Smyth, Don Felder, Blue Öyster Cult, and Ringo’s All-Starr Band, to name but a few. (See? He really does know everybody.)
Currently, Sulton pours his deep well of firsthand rock knowledge directly into “It’s My World & Welcome To It,” a weekly radio show he hosts on Radio Woodstock 101.1 WDST that both celebrates its first anniversary in May 2021 and is poised for national syndication. (Each episode is also available on demand via Mixcloud.) Sulton brings rock history to life on “It’s My World” by sharing insightful stories about the music he spins, and he delves into the finer points of how songs are written and recorded as well. “I understand what makes a good song, and why one particular melody stands out against another one,” Sulton observes. “In my opinion, the most difficult thing to do in the music business is write a brilliant three-minute pop song. It is just really, really, really hard.”
Sulton has long-conquered that hit-song hurdle by gracing the Top 40 quite a few times himself over the years. Besides playing and singing on big hit singles by the likes of Meat Loaf (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light”) and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (“I Hate Myself for Loving You”), Sulton’s own rock & roll dreams came through as the lead singer on Utopia’s lone Top 40 single, “Set Me Free,” which made it all the way to No. 27 in 1980. Sulton also garnered a solo hit under his own name in 1982, when the horn- driven “Don’t Break My Heart” made its way into the Canadian Top 40 singles chart.
A top-shelf bandleader and songwriter in his own right, Sulton also keeps his recorded legacy alive whenever he goes on tour as a solo artist or by fronting Kasim Sulton’s Utopia. “I’m a very, very lucky guy,” he concludes. “I’ve gotten to record and perform with some of the biggest names in rock. The secret in my book is, if people appreciate your talent and you’re good enough at what you do, then they will want to work with you. It’s not so much how well you play — it’s how well you play with others.”
Whether he’s coming up with more episodes of “It’s My World & Welcome To It” or ensuring his next completed solo album is ready for release, Kasim Sulton’s future looks to be positively hooked on the up — to borrow a line from one of his favorite Utopia songs to perform live. As things stand, it’s Kasim’s world, and he’d like nothing more than to have everyone join in the show and partake in all its harmonic wonders. (Source: Mike Mettler, mediaplace.us)