Patoranking (Real Name: Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, Born 27 May 1990) is a Nigerian singer and songwriter from the Igbo tribe. Primarily regarded as the pioneer of mainstream reggae-dancehall music, He rose to fame through collaborations with artists such as Konga, Slam, Reggie Rockstone, and XProject.
He has, since then, achieved great success following his breakthrough song, “Alubarika,” which featured Timaya. The award-winning singer has a humble beginning and worked his way up to where he is today. He started his career dancing in street jams and later entered fully into the music industry.
All the way from the streets of Lagos is the celebrity Patoranking. His background did not limit his success. It was a motivation to him, and that motivation drove him to success. This piece will explore his rise to fame from rags to riches.
Patoranking is From Onicha, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie was born in Ijegun-Egba, Alimosho, Lagos State, on May 27, 1990. His family is originally from Ebonyi State, and that makes it his state of origin. He grew up with his family in Ijegun-Egba Satellite Town before later relocating to Ebute Metta. From there, he moved to Ghana and came back to Nigeria, a musician.
His stage name, Patoranking, was coined from his first name Patrick. It was given to him by a Jamaican artist whom he met at Alpha Beach in Lagos. He got the name when he was still working as a street jam and carnival dancer. Patoranking is a combination of “Pato,” a short form of his first name Patrick and “ranking,” which is Jamaican slang for a highly respected one. The name is undoubtedly affecting his career positively, going by the success he has attained so far.
Also, his signature is an interesting and unique one. Many people think his signature is YSL, but he came out to clear the air on this. He said it is “WhaYaSay,” which is a contraction of the words “What Do You Say.” This is indeed a funny one, though he is notable for misheard lyrics and words.
The Singer is the First Child in His Family
Being the first child and coming from a poor home, Patoranking had to do all sorts of things for survival. While in Ghana, he discomforted himself to save up money and help his family. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Okorie, tried their best to give their children quality education, but a lack of funds couldn’t allow them. Their first son took it upon himself to provide a good life for his family.
Patoranking has not revealed much about his family. The much we know is that he is the first child of the family, and he has a brother, Raphael Okorie, and a sister, Sharon Okorie. His sister, Sharon, got married on Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. Patoranking gifted her a brand new car as a wedding gift. This is part of the good life he promised his family members. During the wedding, the award-winning singer sang for the father during the father and daughter dance.
His younger brother, Raphael, is mistaken to be his son because of the age difference. Rapharanking is also in the music world, and very soon, he will be well known. He shares the same dream as his older brother, maybe because he is close to a singer. With good coaching and the opportunity to express himself, the young Rapharanking will be a great singer in the future.
Before Singing, Patoranking Was a Dancer
In an interview, the singer revealed that he was born into music. He loved music from his childhood and grew up listening to dancehall music. He started dancing immediately after he finished his secondary school education. As we mentioned earlier, he performed as a dancer at street jams and carnivals. He continued on this path until he left home for Ghana.
Aside from dancing, he did all sorts of menial jobs, including brick-laying, to survive. He hawked several goods, like rat poison, in the streets of Lagos to provide for himself and his family. He got the opportunity to leave Nigeria for Ghana, and he jumped to it. In Ghana, he joined music fully while he worked hard to earn more money.
He Dropped Out of the University Due to Financial Constraints
The celeb attended Citizen Comprehensive College Epe, and later, Jibril Martin Memorial Grammar School in Iponri, Lagos State, Nigeria. Upon completing his secondary school education, Patoranking started performing as a dancer at street jams and carnivals.
In 2007, Patoranking moved to Ghana following his admission to Cape Coast University. Due to financial constraints, he had to defer his course at the university. However, after one year, he dropped out of the university and pursued other things to make ends meet and save his family from poverty.
His Music Career Began While He was in Ghana
While in Ghana, the reggae artist partnered with Lanky, a Ghanaian entrepreneur he met on the streets of Osu. Lanky started Black Rhythms Entertainment, a production company that made few tracks with Patoranking. His songs were aired, but it was difficult for him to pull through in Ghana. So, he returned to Nigeria to pursue his musical career further. Meanwhile, in Ghana, he released his first single, So Nice (2009).
In Nigeria, he was signed to a record label and started singing. In May 2012, he released his first song, a fusion of dancehall and Fuji music, “Iya Bisi,” and featured Qdot and Kbaj. He later released another song titled “Up in D Club” after signing with K’Solo Igberaga Records.
Patoranking’s Song “Alubarika” Ushered Him Into the Limelight
His work got the attention of Dem Mama Records CEO, Timaya, who helped him with vocals on the song widely regarded as his breakthrough track. “Alubarika,” which translates to “God’s Blessings” in the Hausa language, was released simultaneously with a video to rave reviews. The artist himself describes the song as a summary of his life as a musician. It inadvertently opened doors for him in terms of building a fanbase and collaborating with other industry-heavy hitters.
Another record deal followed after the success of the song. The fast-rising superstar put pen to paper with Foston Musik, and he released “Girlie O,” a chart-topping, critically acclaimed single. The song’s music video was shot in London and featured Patoranking as a hero after he rescues his neighbor from domestic violence from her partner and professes his love for her. A “Girlie O Remix” followed a few months later, featuring Tiwa Savage. Tiwa revealed during an interview that she was in love with the original song and reached out to Patoranking to do the remix. Their collaboration was a massive success as it got heavy airplay and was listed on several countdowns across Africa.
A collaboration with fellow upcoming artist Seyi Shay on her song titled “Murda” followed next. The song, produced by Dokta Frabz, was released on Fools Day, April 1, 2014. There was huge speculation that looked to have been fueled by both artists’ management that the pair were a couple. That, however, was just a prank or a promotional tactic, as has been widely speculated. That did not stop the two of them from nailing the visuals to the track, which was released a month later, on May 11, 2014.
2015 was an even better year for the artist. He first announced via Instagram that he signed on to VP Records. The label is a successful reggae and dancehall music label and distributor based in the United States, founded in 1979. He marked the deal by releasing two singles, “Daniella Whine” and “My Woman, My Everything,” which were absolute chart-toppers across the African continent.
Patoranking’s musical development was clear for everyone to see. International show promoters recognized this, and he was soon performing on stages in Jamaica, the United States, and the U.K. His first full body of work titled “God over Everything” (G.O.E) was released in August 2016 and debuted at 4th place on Billboard’s Reggae albums chart. In addition to his career, Patoranking was a judge on the singing competition, The Voice Nigeria, seasons 1 and 2, alongside other singers like Waje, Tuface, Timi Dakolo, and Yemi Alade.
List of His Most Famous Songs
Since his debut in the Nigerian music industry, Patrick’s singing career has been on the rise. As time goes, he becomes more popular and releases more songs. Here’s a list of some of his albums and songs.
- God Over Everything – 2016
- Wilmer – 2019
- Three – 2020
- Patoranking – 2016
- Killing Me – 2016
- This Kind Luv Ft. Wizkid – 2016
- Love Town – 2016
- Beautiful – 2016
- Daniella Whine Ft. Elephant Man and Konshens – 2016
- Temperature – 2019
- Lenge Lenge – 2019
- Go Crazy – 2019
- Confirm Ft. Davido – 2019
- Champion – 2019
- Whine It – 2020
- Mon Bebe – 2020
- Lion in the Jungle – 2020
- Black Girl Magic – 2020
- Matter Ft. Tiwa Savage – 2020
- Love is the Answer – 2020
- So Nice – 2009
- Up in D Club – 2010
- Tonite – 2013
- Sex Tape – 2014
- My Woman – 2015
- Another Level – 2016
- Available – 2017
- Heal D World – 2018
- Everyday – 2018
Patoranking Won Some Awards
Like other celebrities, Patoranking’s contribution to the music industry and society at large brought him some nominations and awards. Some of these include the following.
- Most Played Street Hop Song in the 2021 Net Honours
- Best Dancehall Artist in the 2015 AFRIMA
- Best Pop Song in 2015 The Headies Awards.
- Best Reggae Dancehall Single in 2015 The Headies Awards.
- Girlie O Remix ft Tiwa Savage was nominated for the Best Collabo in 2014 The Headies Awards.
- Most Gifted Newcomer in the 2014 Channel O Music Awards
- Most Popular Songs of the Year in the 2014 City People Entertainment Awards
- Male Artist of the Year in the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards
- Best Collaboration “Emergency” in the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards
- Best Reggae/Dancehall Video in the 2013 Nigeria Music Video Awards
- Best Dancehall Artist in the 2016 AFRIMA
- African Artiste of the Year award in the 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
- Best New Act in the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards
- Best Afropop Song in the 2015 TooXclusive Online Music Awards
- Best New Act in the 2014 Ben TV Awards
- Best Collaboration in the 2014 Ben TV Awards
- Best Reggae/Dancehall in the 2014 Ben TV Awards
- Next Rated in 2014 The Headies
- Best Collabo “Emergency” in 2014 The Headies
- Dancehall Reggae Act of the Year in the 2014 City People Entertainment Awards
- Best New Act of the Year in the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards
The Singer Motivates Youth to Succeed
Patoranking motivates and inspires youths to put in their best in what they do, that success will be theirs. Coming from one who came from the streets, we can see what determination has brought him. He is not the type that leaves the street never to go back; instead, he is proud of the streets and does not deny them anytime.
On his Instagram page, he created Patoranking Challenge. This challenge is to get people to make a better cover for his song “Mon Bebe.” The prize for the challenge is $1,000. This triggered much youth, including artist and singer Ayshani, to flood his page with many covers. By this challenge, Patoranking reaches out to some hidden talents and allows them to showcase their talents.
Beyond His Career, Patoranking is a Proud Father of One
Patoranking is currently said to be in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, who is just known as Leila. It has been suggested that the couple has a child together following several pictures posted online in 2015. The Alubarika singer posted pictures of what was later confirmed to be his younger brother but had already sent the internet into a spiral, with many suggesting it was his son. In 2017, however, he posted more pictures, although without adequate captions or clarifications, of his girlfriend pregnant.
Later, in 2017, Patoranking welcomed a child with his girlfriend. He was seen carrying the baby in the hospital with his baby mama on the hospital bed on August 27, 2017. The child’s name is Wilmer Okorie. Patoranking dedicated a song to his daughter and titled it after her. He flaunts her picture on his Instagram page and never hesitates to call her his daughter or show how happy he is as a father.