One artiste who has successfully built his career from the bottom level to the top is Patoranking. From nothing to greatness, that’s how Pato, as he’s fondly called, loves to describe the story of his life. With more than 10 hit songs and major breakthroughs in music, Pato believes his best moments have just begun. Days back, he floated his new record label and unveiled two new acts, who according to him, will change the face of the music industry. He shares the story behind his glory with SEGUN ADEBAYO.
What does the success you have recorded so far in music mean to you now that you don’t seem to be on the struggling side anymore?
It means a lot me. It means so much to my career. When I considered where I am coming from and what it represents to those who look up to me, I know I have done well for myself. This success reminds me that God is with me on this journey and I won’t have it any other way.
At this point, your music is selling and your brand has come to stay. This is one big feat that would not have come easily. How would you describe the transformation of Patoranking over the years?
I always tell people that whatever we have become is nothing but God’s pure grace because the tears, and sweat that people allude their successes to would amount to nothing if the grace of God is not on one’s life. People put in the same level of hard work I put in, so if it was about hard work alone, I would not have been here. It amazes me that I am here and I am still moving fast. It has only been three years plus.
You have gone through a lot but what gave you the determination to keep going, despite the challenges?
For me, as I always say, what hat has kept me going are the thoughts of people who are depending on me and my music, to be motivated. My hardworking team also keeps me on my feet. Apart from that, and more importantly, I love what I do; I love music. So, I look forward to waking up each day to just do what I love.
Loving it, keeps me going at it. As long as I keep loving what I am doing, nothing is stopping me.
A few weeks back, you floated your record label; a development which many people thought ought to have happened a long time ago, how do you feel about your new investment?
I feel it’s only now my success is reflecting, and I am extremely happy. What is the point of attaining a height and not impacting? What makes me happy is that I am behind the growth and greatness of others. This marks the true essence of my true journey to greatness, which is being able to carry people along.
How long have you had the idea of having a label?
I have had it for as long as I can remember. While struggling, you note down what your dreams are and as you go along in life and start to reap, you start to make your dreams come true. This is only one of them.
Floating a record label is one thing, sustenance and acceptability of the acts are other things most CEOs failed to achieve. How are you sure you are ready to handle this new job in your hands?
I believe in structure and I have also invested in this for myself (not forgetting I am also an artiste like them) and what I have built. I am ready to play my part, and all is in motion already. We are taking it one step at a time. All I can say is that I am in a good place and I am grateful. However, change is constant, so we move. I Just have to make sure the direction is up and forward only.
Some people say you don’t have the capacity to contain and handle your rise and expansion as a music star?
I believe anything I have been blessed with was given because I could handle them. God won’t give me anything I cannot handle. So when I rise beyond here, I will be the upgraded version of my present self in order to fit the capacity to which I have risen. I am definitely not the same artiste I was two years ago. So as the circumstance grows, so does the maturity and capability to handle it.
If you are not going to stop doing music now, don’t you think may struggle to carry on with the new acts you just brought on board?
Leaving music? No! Where else would I go if I stop doing music? Music is my life and there is nowhere else to go.
How are you coping with the pressure that comes with being an artiste that fans across Africa are constantly demanding something new from?
It feels good to know I have come this far in such a short time. I am more humbled than just glad because it means without being politically appointed, I am deemed worthy to be an ambassador for not just my country by visiting and impacting other countries, but also my continent by taking my music outside the shores of Africa. It is surreal when a foreigner sings my songs or dances to them. It is good to know I am representing well.
To some people, your rise was too fast while some believe you have paid your dues to be where you are today. What’s the story behind the glory for Patoranking?
God is my story and He is over everything. If I am here, it means I was meant to be here. Time is nothing next to fate. Anything can happen to anybody anytime.
You are hardly in Nigeria these days; in fact some people believe that you have relocated to South Africa, as you are always out of the country. What’s keeping you out of the country?
The dream of every artiste is to make timeless music, money and take their music across borders. You can say I am generously sharing my music across borders. Nigeria is my home. Home is where my heart always belongs. Meanwhile, I owe my success to God only.
Let’s talk about your sold-out show in South Africa and other parts of Africa, how did you pull that through?
I love my fans and I show it through my music and how I present it to them. My fans show me love by coming out for me and accepting my music. It’s a relationship that is important to me. As regards ruling the world, I would prefer to say that I believe I can pick my spot in the sky to shine my brightest amongst others.
A few years back, news came to town that you signed a distribution deal with VP Records, home to Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Lady Saw and Mavado, among others. What has become of the deal?
All I will say concerning VP records is that they are family and they played their role in my story.
It all started for you in Ijegun Egba Satellite Town before you later moved to Ebute Metta, starting your entertainment career as a street jam and carnival dancer. What comes to your mind anytime you recall moments from these places?
It is simple. It has taught me to remain focused and to be persistent. The only thing I still recall till today is music; that’s what comes to mind always. When I was growing up, I was involved in the sound and I listened to Bob Marley, Shabba Ranks, to mention a few. They played a big role in influencing my style of music.
Will you be dropping an album this year?
I am dropping a new album in 2019, God willing.