Nigerian afro-dancehall king PATORANKING today shares his third album, Three, via his Amari Musiq imprint and US-based indie powerhouse, EMPIRE. Complex today premiered the video for the project’s hit lead single, “Abule.”
The wide-ranging Three features collaborations with some of contemporary Africa’s essential acts, including fellow Nigerians Tiwa Savage (on “Matter”) and Flavour (“Mon Bébé”), Kenya’s Sauti Sol (“Whine It”) and Ghana’s King Promise (“Odo Bra”), spanning genres from reggae to afropop and highlife. “Yo Body” delivers a heavyweight slice of dancehall energy, while “Black Girl Magic” is a slinky funk anthem that lives up to its title. Nigeria’s fast-rising Telz (Burna Boy, Olamide) and Zimbabwe/South Africa’s Mr Kamera (Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade, Netflix’s Blood and Water) head up the project’s international production team.
One of Africa’s most multifaceted artists, PATORANKING is an international reggae star whose dancehall anthems (“Daniella Whine,” “Suh Different”) have resonated from Nigeria to Jamaica. At the same time, his afropop collaborations with Tiwa Savage (“Girlie O”), Wande Coal (“My Woman, My Everything”) and Diamond Platinumz (“Love You Die”) have made him a continental icon.
He’s extended his influence into North America through partnerships with U.S. labels EMPIRE and VP Records, and touring with music great Lauryn Hill. His tracks have generated more than 260 million views on YouTube, and over 190 million streams across major DSPs
“Abule” is the word for village or hood in the Yoruba dialect, and the track, a celebration of hoods worldwide, is shaping into one of PATORANKING’s biggest releases to date. It was the most played afrobeats song on Audiomack during its first week of release, reaching 1 million plays on that platform alone in under 5 days.
The video, shot in the artist’s own hood, Ebute Metta, and Lagos’ Surulere community, recreates a typical ghetto party vibe in Lagos. PATORANKING’s local and foreign influences are on display in the video which revives galala, a Nigerian dance style inspired by Jamaican dancehall. “It was important to show everything that happens when we party in the ghetto,” PATORANKING says. “It gets wild.”
PATORANKING has launched several digital initiatives to follow the track’s theme of protecting your hood. He recently joined TikTok’s #SpiritsUp campaign, an initiative by the video-sharing social media platform to support its launch in Africa, with the #AbuleDanceChallenge. Through the partnership, TikTok SA is donating funds for communities across Africa in need of Coronavirus relief.
He is also encouraging fans to rep their respective hood/area/zanga/zone/endz by creating custom graphics at repyourabule.com. Site visitors enter the name of their community, and upload or choose an existing background image on the site, which they can download and/or share to social media with the hashtag #repyourabule.
Beyond Three, PATORANKING appears on the new version of Bob Marley’s “One Love” alongside Stephen Marley, Skip Marley and other members of the international music community, with proceeds going to support Unicef’s Covid-19 relief efforts. He recently created the ALU Patoranking Scholarship, offering 10 fully-paid scholarships for promising students from across Africa to attend African Leadership University, and was featured in Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 class for 2020.
TRACK LISTING FOR THREE
1. Mon Bébé feat Flavour
2. Yo Body
3. Whine It feat Sauti Sol
6. Black Girl Magic
7. Matter feat Tiwa Savage
9. Do Me
10. Odo Bra feat King Promise
11. Lion in the Jungle
12. Love is the Answer
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