Portable’s Azaman, A Textbook of Industry Experience Underground Artistes Must Study

Portable released the best song this week: Portable, without any tint of doubts, has just released the best song in his discography. Though the hook of the song Azaman borrows from the tone of Asake’s Organise, the third track of the latter’s Mr Money With The Vibe album, Azaman is taken from a place of bitter experience in the industry.

Azaman is Portable’s reminiscences to the controversy that rose with his fame in December, 2021. The singer who felt cheated by Poco Lee and Kogbagidi, his then manager, had fought seriously for his rights. His fame attached to his hit Zazoo Zehh was also a cause of worry for him because of the way he felt he was cheated on his own song.

Poco Lee had claimed the ownership of the song with his name coming first and Portable’s own in the position of a guest artiste. This led to a series of controversies till he broke away from his manager and Poco Lee, his helper.

Portable seemed to have gotten over this frustrating experience in the industry until Berri Tiga reported the same situation on the internet. This time, Berri, who wrote the song Machala, had his song claimed by a comedian named Carter Efe who was supposed to just promote the song.

Berri Tiga became frustrated when Carter Efe started traveling outside Nigeria to perform the song. In his reports, Berri Tiga claimed Carter Efe offered him 5% of the royalties accruing from the song after he had outrightly rejected the offer to pay him off at just a sum of 100 000 Naira. The case of cheating between Carter and Berri became a deja vu relived by Portable, hence the need to address uprising artistes to be careful of “rippers” masquerading as helpers in the industry.

In his words on the song, “every other day it’s Azaman”. Based on the context of this statement, an Azaman is one with an ulterior motive of cheating behind his offer of rendering a help. Portable deems it necessary to warn the next uprising artistes so as to avoid another case of being given 5% or being cheated.

For those who recognize good music, Azaman will be remembered as Portable’s best musical outing yet: it shoots beyond the station where Zazoo Zehh lands last December and goes on to show that Portable can be very reasonable and inviting with his sound. One must praise 2T Boys, the duo producer who have dominated the whole of Agege, Lagos in the last one decade, for the job they did on Portable’s Azaman.

The expertise of 2T Boys is felt on the song: they minimize the loudness of Portable voice towards the end, make the artificial choir technique act on it, then introduce Fela Anikulapo Kuti with the horns: in the end, the song feels entirely Fela Anikulapo Kuti consequently: and in the end, Portable’s message is clear: TRUST NOBODY (including a perceived helper).

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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