Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeMusicMore artists like Portable are needed.

More artists like Portable are needed.

Portable is not the first underground band to burst into the mainstream. However, the ZaZoo Zehh vocalist may be the first to achieve what vulgar street performers have yet to do.

We have seen musicians from a variety of genres come and leave throughout the years. There is opportunity for longevity for new performers in the Afro-pop, R&B, and Alternative genres. However, for street-hop musicians, the reverse is true. Portable, for some reason, does not last.

This standard is influenced by a number of events. One is a cynical Nigerian audience, and the other is record label management scandals. Lamba is popular among Nigerians. We want a song that will have our heads bobbing, feet pounding, and hips swinging regardless of where it comes from, especially during celebratory seasons. However, we discard them and return to our polished grammy-worthy recordings by great musicians.

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This is not to disparage Nigerians, who have a righteous desire for perfection [which some of our Ghanaian siblings fail to recognize], and this quality is not restricted to music alone. Marketability, fashion appeal, and overall eloquence are all factors. However, given the backgrounds of the majority of these street artists, they perceive the standards to be too high, too strict, and as a result, they either do not strive to achieve them or, if they do, a significant portion of Nigerians who are social media critics keep them in a box of their first hit. As a result, attempts at creative progression are seldom recognized, despite the fact that the artist(s) may have a spectacularly successful run.

However, times are changing. Nigerians are growing more open-minded. However, authenticity in afro-beat and its sound, which even international musicians try with, is maintained.

Fans look up to musicians they see themselves in or aspire to be like. Despite the fact that ZaZoo Zehh is a national anthem, only a few people can relate to the Portable on any level; and is that truly fair? We want his voice, not the tale that goes with it.

“But it is only music, it does not have to be so profound,” others may argue, but this is problematic since it exposes shallow elitism and snobbery. We are basically stating that we want a sound, but it has to be free of certain mindsets that do not fit into our narrow confines. It is comparable to how affluent white people take black culture whenever they want and discard it when they are bored.

Yes, portable and similar street performers should develop their look and sound to achieve international acclaim. But where is the empathy and compassion to see this through? Where is there space for error? Where is the room for expansion? If these are not present among the factions that choose whether musicians receive airtime and PR credibility, then the standards of the esteemed factions must be reviewed. Except that these groups have replaced Excellence with Perfection. Which, as I have said before, is difficult to achieve and maintain.

Portable made several observations about the realities of his burgeoning career in a recent podcast conversation with legendary rapper Jahbless. However, one statement stuck out, and I quote, “That he was prepared to drop three albums because hunger can drive him to.” That says so much! First and foremost, it reveals how little he and the majority of street musicians understand the music industry. Most of these artists want to perform what they do best and earn a decent living from it, but many lack a thorough grasp of how the market works. As a result, they wind themselves in bad record agreements with managers who do not have their best interests in mind.

Portable had a contentious outburst on December 21, 2021, over a beneficiary money divide. The commotion, however, was quickly quieted thanks to fan appeals, a brief moment of self-reflection, and maturity on the part of all parties involved. The artist and his crew will make more blunders, whether in public or behind the scenes. However, these blunders must be justified and learned from, because Portable’s undeniable success will pave the way for other up-and-coming musicians from Nigeria’s lowest echelons, who also deserve a fair share of Afro-fame. beat’s

Rema, Fireboy DML, Joeboy, Tems, Fave, and BujuTYE are just a handful of the new school musicians who have emerged since 2019. The majority of them had gone through rigorous preparation, from media training to performance. As a result, when they are awakened, they are well prepared to deal with any incident or environment they find themselves in. With a breakthrough hit, Portable and similar musicians who have not had the opportunity to obtain suitable schooling are thrust into the limelight and flung into the wilderness with no guidebook or knowledge to manage it.

True afro-beat fans must support Portable’s career, not only because his music is deserved of all the attention it is now receiving, but also because his success will demonstrate that there is place for brilliant musicians to enter the music industry even if they still have a lot to learn.

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Olafare Oluwabukola
Olafare Oluwabukola
Olafare Oluwabukola, a student of the Computer Science Department of Federal Polytechnic Offa, has come up with another dimensional way of keeping you updated with the entertainment industry in Nigeria as a whole!


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