Portland North Prepares to Release New Project "A.L.O.N.E."
Written by: Julz Mancini
Some of the best artists in the business grew up with a lack of resources to develop their craft. So what did they do to stand apart from others? They found a way, no matter how difficult, to pursue their dreams. Whether it is growing up in poverty stricken areas or in a location where there are little to no musical avenues to take, many artists push their way into the scene by any means necessary.
During my interview with Portland North, he reflected on his earliest memory of music and how he came to be the artist he is today. “I was about 6 years old when my mom bought me an IBM computer. It had a program called sound recorder. With the sound recorder program, I would record little freestyles and work on developing my craft. Although his first introduction to music was at the young age of 6, Portland didn’t create original music until he was 10 years old. Prior to pursuing music full time, it was simply a way to express himself and have fun with family.
Once Portland revealed his music to the community, the amount of positive feedback he received was enormous. This was a turning point in his life as he soon realized that he could introduce his music to the world and bless the ears of individuals outside of his community. With inspirations such as Drake and J Cole, he was able to utilize their unique sounds to further develop his own.
Performing at a plethora of venues such as lounges, strip clubs, etc., allowed audiences far and wide to get to know Portland. His favorite performance was in Southampton at a camp for physically disabled individuals. This opportunity stands out in his memory due to his own experience as a camp member earlier in his life. Portland stated, “This was special to me because I felt like I was able to show the kids that anything is possible.”
Throughout the years the talented artist has collaborated with several independent artists. One collaboration that stand out to Portland was with Fivio Foreign who is also his biological cousin. Portland is adamant about working with other artists whose music he enjoys. This makes it apparent that Portland stays true to his artistry and love for music.
With Portland’s love for music, I was eager to learn about his creative process. Typically artists have a wide range of strategies behind the creation of their music. Portland explained, “My creative process really depends on which mood I’m in. I play a number of beats and whichever beat grabs my attention, I begin to harmonize to it. Once I get a feel for the music, I set it up in my program and the lyrics just flow.” It was intriguing to learn that Portland is not only a music artist but also a producer and engineer. He is literally a one stop shop for everything related to music. This allows him to stand apart from others as having the ability to rap, produce, and engineer widens his reach to others in the music scene.
Releasing 5 projects independently has surely portrays Portland’s abilities as a music artist. These projects were released prior to social media. Portland took to the streets selling his CDs which enhanced his fanbase and visibility within the community. Now he is in the process of developing his first solo project titled, “A.L.O.N.E.” which is an acronym which stands for Adjusted Life Of New Energy. There are no features planned for this project.
When asked what his future goals are, Portland answered, “My future goals and plans as an artist are to change the perception that people have of physically disabled individuals and become so successful that it forces venues that are not wheelchair accessible to make the appropriate accommodations. They need artists like me at their establishments.” Portland’s message to other artists trying to pursue a career in music is, “Love your craft and do not let the opinions of others change the way you create.” This gifted artist has refused to give up even during the hardest moments because “Without struggle there is no reward.” Be sure to follow Portland North and stream his music!