Why I’m stuck in Port Harcourt – Harrysong



By Nehru Odeh

Popular Nigerian musician, Harrison Tare Okiri, aka Harrysong, is currently in a fix. He is stranded in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. And he is going to be like a fish out of water there until the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, lifts up the lockdown he had imposed on the oil-rich state. The Beta Pikin- crooner, who is neck-deep into his art is not only stuck in Port Harcourt, he is also in a fix concerning the recording of two EPs he intends releasing in June.

Harrysong made this disclosure on Friday, 10 April, 2020 in an interview with presenters of WakeUp Nigeris, a breakfast show on TVC.  “It is supposed to be very sad and painful for me. But I am okay.  I am stuck in Port Harcourt.  Because person don big and money dey my hand, if not I for really stuck well well.I went to see my grand mum in Warri. They closed the airport. So we couldn’t fly back to Lagos.  I said okay let me just drive to Port Harcourt. I drove to Port Harcourt, where my flight was delayed. So we couldn’t fly that day. The next day, Wike, the governor, closed the airport and blocked the borders. So nobody can go out. Nobody can come in. I have been here for the past two weeks and some days,” he lamented.

This is indeed troubling for the artiste who started his music career aged 11 as an instrumentalist in a church his mother was once music director. However, it is more troubling given that before his trip out of Lagos, where he is based, he had been working on recording some EPs.  So he is not just stuck in Port Harcourt he is also stuck with production.

Yet he waxed optimistic. “But I believe this is going to end as soon as possible. I am praying that it does not last longer than it is expected to last so that I can get back quickly to Lagos and get to my producers and continue my project . I am supposed to drop that EP in June.  And I have not started recording here,” he said.

However, in spite of the harrowing situation in which the artiste has found himself, he is doing everything he can to get of it; though it has not been easy.

”I am supposed to have dropped two EPs this year. So right about now I should have started recording but because of what is going on now we have got people to set up equipment. There is studio in the house now, in my room. And we have producers here who have been sampling beats for us to record.  So the work we are about to drop with my choir, The Selected Voices of Zion, is an EP. The last EP for the year is supposed to be entitled Zion. I have started writing and recording.  So far because the hands here are new hands, the collection is not that strong. We struggle to keep flow because my producers are in Lagos. But I am using new people, new boys here that can also make beats. I am struggling kind of, I will not lie. I am struggling to connect with them here,” he said.

Harrysong was born in Warri, Delta State. The only child of Ijaw parents, his mother died while he was very young. After the death of his mother, a strained relationship between him and his step-mother made him drop out of school. And his music career grew after he moved to Port Harcourt. He later learnt contemporary gospel music. He then relocated to Lagos as the lead singer of a live band that performed in night clubs, where he me Kcee, who introduced him to top music personalities, and that led to his signing for Five Star Music. His rise to fame came when he released the single “I’m In Love” and “Taiye & Kehinde” with the music video of the former  topping music video charts including Trace TV. He later went on to release his debut album Testify through QuestionMark Entertainment in 2012.That same year he won  the “Most Downloaded Callertune Award” at The Headies 2013, with a song he sang in honour of Nelson Mandela.