The Sunday Mail
NIGERIAN reggae-dancehall superstar, Patoranking, says he is looking forward to “a very anticipated reunion with (his) Zimbabwean fans as well as a memorable and fun experience” when he lands in Harare for his mammoth April gig featuring Jah Prayzah and Winky D.
The artiste, who on February 28 dropped another hit number “Confirm”, a collaboration with fellow countryman, Davido, also confirmed that an album is in the works and would be dropping “shortly”.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society from his base in Nigeria, the “Available” hit-maker said; “As always, music fans in Zimbabwe must expect the best music experience and a mind-blowing experience. We are dropping loads of music this year. Just dropped one — ‘Confirm’ featuring Davido.” said Patoranking.
While reggae-dancehall is dominated by Jamaican artistes — singers like Patoranking have carved their place in the elite circle and have made the genre their own.
Hailing from Nigeria, Patoranking, real name Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, is one of a handful of artistes from the continent to make a global impact on a reggae-dancehall tip. However, the artiste remains humble, noting just a few “life-changing” moments.
“There hasn’t been just one but many highlights. I am still living through some of them presently. Opening and touring the USA with Lauryn Hill was definitely one. Being the only African act on the Tidal X Brooklyn alongside Lil Wayne and a host of others was another. Getting play-listed in some new territories also and coming to Zimbabwe will be another one of course.
“I am just living my dream and I am so grateful and will never take these moments for granted. Every involvement is a highlight for me. For instance, I still regard ‘Alubarika’ my 2014 song as a highlight of my career because it brought me to the limelight and my fans love it and request for it each time I perform.”
Patoranking, who said his music is spiritual and would want it to be timeless, has collaborated with Jah Prayzah and boasts that he is quite familiar with Zimbabwean music.
“There are definitely artistes I have listened to and indeed I have worked with Jah Prayzah. I am open to work with others if the music is right,” he said.
While he has successfully penetrated the international market, his advice to local artistes is that they should work hard particularly to impress the domestic audience as it is “the gateway to heaven.”
“Oftentimes, it’s grace, even more than hard work. Smart work is also key as well as originality. Outside they see us all as African artistes with no identification. . Doing the most in your home country also gets you recognised and brings you to the attention of international bookings by your fellow citizens in the diaspora or by internationals that are interested in your music. The world is always watching, trust me,” he said, adding, “African music is on the international market and is very influential. I am so honoured it is happening in my lifetime and that my career is a part of it.”
Patoranking is signed with VP Records, the largest reggae label and publisher in the world. The record label boasts names like Bounty Killer, Bunji Garlin, Beres Hammond, Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Elephant Man, Etana, Freddie McGregor, Gyptian, Jah Cure, Capleton and Buju Banton. He has won numerous international awards including an MTV Base Award for best New Act in 2015.
The artiste has a strong catalogue, with a string of hits that include “My Woman, My Everything”, “Suh Different”, “Daniella Whine”, “No Kissing Baby”, “Love you Die”, “This Kind Love” and “Girlie ‘O’” to name just a few.
He has collaborated with many international heavyweights that include Major Lazer, Konshens, Elephant Man, Davido, Wizkid, Sauti Sol, Busy Signal, Wande Coal, Phyno, Gemini Major and Diamond Platinumz.
In January he performed at the Rebel Salute Music festival in Jamaica alongside Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco, Capleton, Luciano, Wayne Wonder, The Wailers and Queen Ifrica. This is one of the biggest annual music festivals in Jamaica.
When he performed at the TIDAL X Concert, he shared the stage with Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Kodak Black, Teyana Taylor, Lil Skies, Black Thought, Vic Mensa, The Lox and BlocBoy JB.