By Ferdinand Ekechukwu
For music star Patoranking, real name Patrick Okorie, it’s been a project long on his mind. So prior to its release on May 24, he had his fans, friends and fellow stars in the music industry turn out to celebrate with him at his album listening party two nights earlier. The likes of Oba Saheed Elegushi, Wizkid, Sound Sultan, 2Baba, Annie Idibia, Seyi Shay, Tiwa Savage, DBanj, Olisa Adibua, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Larry Gaga, Chris Ubosi were among many others that graced the star studded party.
The album which is his second studio album titled ‘Wilmer’, is named after his daughter. The 12- track album comprises a mixture of sounds of afro-beats and afro-fusion.
Of all the singles the singer has released since 2017, only ‘Confirm’ and the Fela inspired ‘Lenge Lenge’ made the album which is a follow-up to his polarising debut album, God Over Everything (GOE), released in 2016.
Just fresh from headlining the 2019 edition of Gidifest, to releasing his second body of work, the Nigerian artiste had hopes to be exemplary with his music and stay true to its calling having bridged the gap between Nigerian and international music.
Unlike Patoranking’s first studio album that enjoyed Nigerian collaborations, ‘Wilmer’ album features six different artistes across the world with Davido as the only Nigerian on the album.
In a post accompanying the announcement of the album, the singer wrote, “I’ve put my heart and soul into this Album. Wilmer has purely been a blessing and I hope this project encourages you, motivates you and blesses u.
The journey hasn’t been easy but we are thankful for where we are headed.
God bless every single one of you and everyone who has been a part of this masterpiece.”
On the themes, the songwriting and topics of the new album, a music critic had noted that the reggae-dancehall artiste is one of the few Nigerian dance music makers who never dumb down on substance, and cogent topics. On ‘Wilmer’, one can still not criticise his (Patoranking’s) huge focus on themes of love, identity, fatherhood, success, money, and living well.
Equally, placing a premium on songwriting in dance music might be unfair, but even if reverse was the case, Patoranking again aced it. The singer, songwriter and dancer started his music career associating with artistes such as XProject, Konga, Slam and Reggie Rockstone.