The ghetto actually shaped me and prepared me for who I am today – Patoranking: HuntrMania

In an interview with Okay Africa last week, Patoranking Fire a popular Nigerian dancehall artist and writer talked about his career and history from how is he called Patoranking, to his early music inspirations.

Photo: Guilllaume Laundry.

How did you come up with the name Patoranking?

My name is Patrick and my nickname used to be Pato. Then, wgeb I was playing football a certain Jamaican I met at the beach added “Ranking” to my name. I remember I used to be called “Pato Rico” cause I needed a name that sound nice, a football name, and the guy saw me and said “Are you from Puerto Rico” and he was just playing his guitar and we were vibing then he said “I like RANKING, I respect you and I’m gonna add Ranking to your name.” Ranking meaning highly respected, like people that are respected, there’s Shabba Ranks

One of your first hits was the socio-political “Alubarika.” Do you feel it’s important to speak out in music and always represent where you’re from, something Galala music was fond of doing as well.

Photo: Guilllaume Laundry.

“Alubarika” was that song that put me out there, it was me praying and hoping for things, it was me putting faith into music. I was at a point in my life when I needed that change and the only way I could get that change was to see that change and be that change. I needed things to be fine, I needed to be Patoranking, I needed to move from nothing to something and the only way it could have happened is me prophesying over it and that was what I did through that record and from when it dropped everything changed.

How much of an impact did your childhood have on how you see the world and music?

Patoranking: I was born in Lagos and grew up in a ghetto called Ilaje Ebute Metta. You know what the ghetto looks like over here and what it feels like, we’re used to what makes us happy, and the two biggest things that make us happy are music and football. I was doing both perfectly, I was playing football at that time when I was doing music. In terms of music, I started as a dancer, dancing in carnivals, street jams and stuff like that, before I started singing. The ghetto actually shaped me and prepared me for who I am today.

What were your musical inspirations when you were growing up, what type of music did you listen to?

Galala was big, it was a big part of the culture,. It’s like the stepchild of dancehall music and something that is part of our life there. The scene is huge, it’s literally the ghetto genre, coupled with reggae music.Bob Marley was an influence, as well as many Galala artists, Daddy Showkey.

Like you said you were both good at football and music, what steered you towards music?

I had a dilemma where I had to pick what I wanted to do, football or music. I prayed about it and I found myself doing music, so for me that’s been it. 

I read somewhere that you schooled in Ghana, which is a big influence on your love for reggae music. 

I went to school in Ghana but I didn’t school in Ghana, I got admitted into the University of Cape Coast but I couldn’t go because at that point things were not really good financially for my parents. It was then I decided I wanted to venture into music fully. Before I got to Ghana I was already listening to reggae music. Galala is like reggae, it’s like dancehall and reggae. So when I got to Ghana I fell in love with the scene there because the dancehall and reggae culture there is huge. It was a step further of how I see the scene back home, so there was lot of learning, listening to different sounds and attending different events just to get ready for what the future held.

Discover more from HuntrMania

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

ALERTS & Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.