Nigerian Star Patoranking Talks Kanye West Influence, Ludacris Collab & ‘World Best’ Album
Patoranking is here to spread nothing but good vibrations from Africa to the rest of the world. Boasting 8.7 million followers on Instagram alone, the Nigerian recording artist is best known for his feel-good blend of dancehall and Afrobeats and songs that will have you undoubtedly moving and grooving on the dance floor.
First getting his start as a dancer, Patoranking is a walking testimony of someone who made it out the ghetto and now lives out his dreams on the daily.
In describing himself, Patoranking states, “Patoranking is easy-going. Patoranking, aka World Best. Patoranking, the people’s champion. Patoranking, Wilmer and Welda’s dad.”
Over the summer, Patoranking unveiled new music, including “Tonight” featuring Popcaan,” raking in over 2.5 million Youtube views for its video, and more recently the celebratory anthem “Higher.” He also shared an accompanying visual for “Higher” on his IG debuting his two beautiful daughters for the first time ever.
Both songs are from Patoranking’s brand new studio album titled World Best, with features from Ludacris, Kizz Daniel, and Beenie Man.
The Source spoke with Patoranking during his two days in Los Angeles, taking a break from his time in the studio after putting his finishing touches on World Best. Read below as we discuss his name, love for Hip-Hop, touring with Lauryn Hill, “Higher,” his latest album, fatherhood, and more!
How’d you get your name?
I remember I met a guy at the beach who was playing his guitar. I was vibing to what he was playing. He said, “My youth what dem call you?” I said, “Patrick.” He said “Pato a who? Are you from Puerto Rico?” And we would laugh. He said he has respect for my music and he sees a future for me. He’s going to attach “Ranking” to “Pato,” since my name is Patrick. I’m like “yeah, Patoranking. I love it for me.” The first time I heard it, the sound: “Bam bam, Patoranking. Can’t leave music for banking” [he sings]. It was easy to rhyme with.
Hip-Hop celebrates 50 years this year. Talk about your love for Hip-Hop.
I love Hip-Hop. For me, I want to take it back: the whole revolution of Hip-Hop, because it’s gone through phases. There was a time Hip-Hop was the only platform for people speak their minds. You got conscious rappers as well, that speak for the people. For me, I learned my writing skills from a rapper.
I learned quite a lot. My rhyming skills, I learned a couple of things from Kanye. So many rappers that I listen to that I like: Drake, Kendrick Lamar. All of them.
Did you work with Kanye? Or just listening?
I listened to Kanye. I haven’t worked with Kanye. I’ll work with him soon, and Drake.
What’d it mean to tour with Lauryn Hill?
Talking about Hip-Hop, that’s someone else you can’t miss out of that list. She’s the GOAT. perform. Have you seen her perform? Touring with her was a learning process. I needed that time in my life because I wanted to learn quite a few things, and it really helped me. She’s a wonderful woman, and I’m thankful for that opportunity.
How did that happen?
At first, she was working with someone that’s a friend to us, that suggested us. I don’t even know how it happened, to be honest with you. I just know I got a call from a friend: “Lauryn Hill wants you on the tour.”
How excited were you?
Super excited. Super.
Were you nervous?
No, not at all.
Love your new song, “Higher.” Talk about recording this song.
“Higher,” a thanks giving song. I live the life of a thanks giver. Everyday of my life is a blessing. Every day above ground is a blessing, so you have to give thanks. A song like “Higher” is an expression of how I feel, my everyday life. Which is giving thanks.
Love seeing your kids on your instagram, they’re so cute!
Thank you. I have two daughters, Wilmer and Welda. Just vibing. I just posted Welda online for the first time, because I try to put them around something iconic. Wilmer had an album around that [titled after her & released in 2019]. She inspired me to do so many, many great things around the album.
What can we expect from your album, World Best? Are you saying you’re the world best?
I am, all the people say I am. My friends call me World Best. If they say that’s who I am, then I am. Musically, I’m going to prove that. Just brace yourself for great music. Eargasm, that’s the feeling.
How was it hanging out with Ludacris in Ghana?
It was good. Shout out to Luda, I had a great time. Great energy, he’s a good guy. Family guy, family-oriented. Spent some time with him, it was good. The vibe we did, madness!
How did you end up linking with him?
You know what, I was just chillin’ and someone called me. Two people called me. Somebody tried to reach us through my manager. The same friend that connected us to Lauryn Hill, was the same person who called me.
How often do you eat jollof rice?
Always. It’s part of the culture.
Best memory from doing “Tonight” with Popcaan?
The best memory was the video. We shot a video somewhere in London. Popcaan and I have been friends for a while, so we talk more often. After the video, we went somewhere. He had jollof rice, and I had eba and egusi soup, so that was one moment that I can take from that. It’s good.
What do you need in the studio at all times?
First of all, I need God’s presence, to make sure the environment is good and no evil spirit. I need my producer. Whenever I’ll be there, I just want the energy to be right. That’s all.
How did fatherhood change your life?
If I was a good man, it has made me a better person. If I was good before, now I’m better.
How old are your kids?
Wilmer will turn five on Sunday, on the 20th of August. Welda will be three in November.
How are you going to celebrate her birthday?
How she wants it. She already told me what she wants. Definitely make it up to her.
One thing you want people to get from World Best?
If there’s one thing I want you to get from the album, just enjoy it. Enjoy it, because I enjoyed myself creating it. To be honest, just enjoy it. That’s all.
Would you like to do on your day off, when you’re not working?
Play football [soccer].
Are you good?
Super good. I thought I was going to be a football player.
How was it performing at FIFA?
It was good. Been waiting for such moments. When the opportunity came, smashed it.
Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Yeah, just touching lives. Nothing more. Service to humanity, being a blessing to people.
Anything else you want to let the people know?
Big shout out to The Source. We give thanks to God for the profit and the loss. It could have been worse, but right now we’re chillin’ on The Source. We’re blessed.
Patoranking’s fourth studio album World Best is available now on all platforms.