In celebration of the highly anticipated Wilmer album, Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer Patoranking covers the May edition of Uk/Nigerian based black inspired publication, BlackNBold magazine. The edition focuses on his journey, his career and more emphasis on Wilmer, his upcoming album.
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie better known by his stage name Patoranking started his career doing underground collaborations with artists like Konga, Slam and X project. In 2010 he signed a record deal with K-Solo’s Igberaga Records, releasing “Up in D Club” under the outfit. Patoranking became a protégé of Dem Mama Records after collaborating with Timaya on his song “Alubarika”. In February 2014, he signed a record deal with Foston Musik and released “Girlie O”, a single that gave him the spotlight and in February he signed a distribution deal with VP Records. Since then Patoranking has gone on to release multiple singles and Top hits, including his most recent hit song “confirm” with Davido.
- How did you come up with your stage name?‘
My name is Patrick so Pato was coined from it and Ranking came as the word implies. When you are ranked, it holds relevance. Hence Pato-Ranking
- What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?
Definitely love the creation of the music, how i feel, the freedom, that spiritual saturation of sounds that you might call inspiration. Hate is a strong word, i think its more of discomfort. I feel slightly uncomfortable with the lack of privacy but i guess it comes with the job.
- What has kept you going over the past years?
My hunger to learn, my anticipation to win and my drive to impact. I represent a whole race, a whole generation and music has given me a voice, there is a responsibility on my shoulders, it is an honour! Also what has kept me going is the Love for what I do and those I do it for.
- If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?’
The mindset that talent is everything and solely needed to be an artist or musician
- Tell us about the Wilmer album and why did you choose to name this one after your daughter?
Apart from my daughter’s name being Wilmer, Wilmer means “Famous” in German and that is a great follow up to my 1st Album – God over Everything. It summarizes my journey (which isn’t over). I prophesied in Alubarika, put out a body of work by putting God over Everything and now I’m famous (Wilmer).
- How was it like working with Alexander Julian on the Lenge Lenge photo shoot?
It was humbling, as you know he is an amazing creative and i love the outcome of our work together.
- Which is your most favourite track off the Album and what makes it dear to you?
It’s difficult to choose as they are all my faves and they tell different tales that are super dear to me. My inspiration on this album is far fetched…deeply felt.
- In the Lenge Lenge video what inspired the afrobeat theme?
Afrobeat is ours and the Late Great Fela inspired it. However with the visuals, it was important to portray that he was (we also are) Afrocentric yet fashionable. Our fabrics and designs are globally embraced and this song and video was a union of both our sound and style which was part of the uniqueness of Ba ami.
- Mention that one international collaboration you are still looking forward to and why?
There’s quite a number of them lol. Play my part with securing the bridge that takes Africa to the world.
- Any music tour to Europe and North America anytime soon?
Definitely! I will be taking the music to the fans across Europe, Canada and the US very soon.
- What is style to you?
Style is a way of life. It’s what makes me unique fashionably and otherwise. Sometimes it can be paid for but true style cannot be bought. You can be taught and thereby adapt or you’re born with it.
- There has been a change in your fashion style over the time, what has inspired your change in style
Change is the only constant thing in life…i like to call it growth. My growth in style is inspired by time and trends, change in taste and a bit of influence from my adventures along with some acquired tastes and habits. I am loving every bit of it.
- What is the one accessory that you cannot leave the house without?
My Shades… I also love sunglasses in different designs.
- What item in your closet do you wear the most?
Face caps. I have a lot of them.
- On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes, underwear or anything else?
I spend the most on my craft. Almost all of my earnings are reinvested into my music. I am presently an Indi artist and i fund my music.
- Do you have any plans of diversifying into the fashion industry, maybe start your own fashion line or work on collaborations with major fashion brands?
Already in the works. Watch out for it!
- What do you do when not working?
I love to play soccer.
- What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t believe the hype. It depends on how you decide to see it.