“In the world of music, there is no ‘all-powerful formula’ for ‘exploding’. It’s an industry where 1 + 1 will NEVER give you 2 “- Legendary Hustler, 2015.
With the above quote in mind, we all know that anything goes and anyone can take a breath anytime with any method.
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No one with a good understanding of how the Nigerian music industry works would have anticipated the “unprecedented” success of Ogun State-born singer Habeeb Okikiola, otherwise known as “Portable Olalomi” or “Dr Zeh “.
Portable was a completely unknown name in the music industry, Nigeria, Africa and the world until December 12, 2021 when a video went viral on Instagram showing Portable on her knees thanking rapper Olamide for having it. blessed with a verse on a song. which would take the world by storm even before its official release.
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But how exactly did this story come about? Who had the vision to release a song of this semblance of “rough diamond” without following the “legal procedure”?
No due process
To this day, there is no well-written biography of Portable Olalomi, no photoshoot, no EP, no record of him spending time with producers to work on his sound, no known stylist, no official photographer.
The singer has never granted an interview on radio, television or even live on Instagram, absolutely nothing, just vibrations and Insha Allah.
Despite all this, Portable within 10 days became the hottest viral sensation, got a number 1 song in the country, within days he was on stage with the biggest bands of the African continent – Wizkid, Davido , Burna Boy, Olamide and Tiwa Savage – a feat that hundreds before him, who spent years in the industry, cannot boast of.
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Laptop defies polishing
If Zazu’s crooner had followed the record label route, they surely wouldn’t have released a song for Portable Olalomi in its “rough” state. He would have been made presentable and attractive in any way he could.
For superstars like Rema, Ruger, and Ayra Starr, Mavin Records took them to a studio, groomed them, and had them spend time with different producers for around 6 months to prepare them for the journey ahead.
None of these applied to Portable Olalomi and if he had gone this route, he surely wouldn’t have “Blown”. His success was rooted in the raw, ugly, uncut version of his character, any attempt to refine and wrap him up would have ended in premium “tears” for the investor.
Now that Portable is here, a special shout must go to rapper Olamide for seizing the opportunity to be featured on his song and a bigger shout must go to his manager and promoter, Quadri Taoreed, also known as Kogbagidi who has saw the vision and went with his guts.
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As expected, intellectual industry experts are already predicting disaster and untimely demise for Portable Olalomi’s career, and rightly so.
But for someone who has defied all the odds and logic that got him to this point, his team is only now expected to take this as serious business and begin the process of refinement, plugging him into the right collaborations and strategies that will ensure longevity.
Vibrations and Insha Allah can only get you so far, maintaining momentum is not an easy task and if it is to be relevant for a long time then it takes serious soul-searching and proper structure.
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