We talk to the Nigerian artist about his brand new album, Three, and the positive motivation behind it.
Patoranking is at the top of a very short list of Nigeria's dancehall exports. In a genre that doesn't enjoy as much recognition as it does in its counterpart nations like Ghana, Patoranking has carved his own lane within the Nigerian music space, creating music that toes the line between Afrobeats and dancehall. And whether he sticks to either side of the spectrum, creates blends of the two, or delves into other genres entirely, one thing we can agree on is that Patoranking simply makes good music.
It's not as told as often as it should be, but Patoranking is actually one of Nigerian music's greatest success stories. From "Daniella Whine" to "Girlie O" to "My Woman My Everything," Patoranking and his music has enjoyed great success across the nation, the continent, and even the world at large. He's deserving of all the recognition, not just for his commercial success, but for doing something the majority of Afrobeats artists shy away from: being conscious in his music. From addressing domestic violence in the music video to "This Kind Love," or making a heartfelt plea of peace and love in "Heal The World," it's refreshing to see an A-list Nigerian act who doesn't just tweet about it, but actually lives it in their music and still gives us bops too. This and more is why when an artist like Patoranking drops an album, we drop everything and listen, and you definitely should too.
Photo: Bolaji Odukoya.
On the August 28, the artist born Patrick Okorie dropped his new album Three. Following the lead single "Abule," which dropped in late July, his aptly named third studio album had been highly-anticipated. There's a whole lot to look forward to in the album. From collaborations with Sauti Sol (we haven't forgotten about the absolute magic that was "Melanin"), Tiwa Savage, Flavour, and King Promise, to productions by rising star Telz, DJ Coublon, and more, Three is definitely power-packed. According to Patoranking, Three is about love, happiness, and life, and if there's anything the singer wants you to take away from the album, it's those three things. Inspired by the pandemic currently plaguing the world, he set out to create a body of work that would help bring light in these dark times. After all, he's a musician, and if there's any way he can help it's by doing what he does best.
Wesat down with Patoranking to speak about Three and the ideas behind the album, his motivation for creating it, and also the scoop on his vision for turning his record label. Amari Musiq, into a music corporation. Check out the interview below.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
How do you feel about the new album? Are you excited?
I'm super excited, you know. Very, very excited. Like, I don't even know how to express myself, but I'm very very happy. I'm in a very happy mood, shape, sound mind.
What makes this album different from the other albums you've released so far?
You know they say "good things come in threes." And I'm not saying the other [albums] are not good, but for me this is much better. In terms of growth, in terms of delivery, in terms of the music, in terms of the mind around the music. So it's a more developed mind and a more understanding mind from the others. It's just a case of where my latter is better than the former. So yeah, that's just it. Wilmer was instrumental to God Over Everything, just like that. So It's just all about growth, moving on to the next one from the last one.
Patoranking - Abule (Official Video) www.youtube.com
What made you choose "Abule" as the lead single for the album?
[Laughs] That was a tug of war. I didn't choose "Abule," the team chose "Abule." My management did. So we were done recording the songs, and we were like okay we need to put one out there. And we said okay let's go with "Abule." "Abule" is just an intro to the album, trust me.
How long have you been working on the album?
I did the album during the lockdown period. Looking at how the world was looking and how the world was gonna be, I said why don't I just make people see the world from a different angle, you know. We can't just keep complaining about death, people and dying every day. Let's get something to cheer the people up, give them some hope you know, and an appearance of better days. And the only way I can do that is through my music, you understand. So I went into the studio to record. We had three major highlights while making the album, which is love, life, and happiness. This is what we want you to feel when you listen to every song on the album.
Who are the producers you worked with on the album?
DJ Coublon, Telz, Master Garzy from Ghana, CT from Ghana, Mr Kamera from Zimbabwe, Hysaint from Nigeria, Dëra from Nigeria, J Dot from Jamaica. And Culan from Jamaica, but based in London.
Photo: Bolaji Odukoya.
Tell us about Amari Musiq.
Amari is an outfit that was built with the hopes of making it a big corporation, a bigger company in the future. Not just music, but differentiating from Patoranking and the Patoranking music business. So it's like a body that was set up to handle music for Patoranking as well as take care of the business part of Patoranking, and other artists as well. Over the years we've also had opportunities to work with other artists and producers. We have the hope of doing bigger things in the future, you know. So it's something that we set up, and one day we'll be up there with the likes of Sony, Universal and the rest of them. I'm explaining all this because it's much bigger than a label. That's the vision of it. But right now they're just handling Patoranking's music and management.
But eventually you do plan to sign artists to the imprint?
Yeah, we have two artists. We've worked with two artists, like younger artists in the past. You know like two years ago, we put out some work for them. About four videos each from top directors in the country and the continent. So we've been working. We have other people coming, we have the band, my band. Which is like an entity under Amari as well.
What are your favorite songs on the album? If you could tell your fans to pay special attention to any of the songs on the album, which songs would they be?
I would think there's a personal attachment to every song, but I think you should look out for "Black Girl Magic." Look out for "Your Body," and look out for "Lion In The Jungle," look out for… In fact look out for every track on the album [laughs]
What's the one thing you want people to take away from this album?
I would say three things, you know. Love, happiness, and life. I want you to listen to the album and I want to be able to make people understand that listen, we just have to love each other. That's all we owe each other. We just have to be happy, because somebody that knows or understands what it means to be sad is going to tell you that "listen, there's no point being sad, let's just be happy, let's just love each other," and that will give us a better life, you know. That's just the whole idea and that's what I stand for as Patoranking, as a brand. Putting smiles on people's faces, making them happy. Trying to make the world a better place through my music. Same goal still. Maybe a different approach, but same goal.