Nigerian afro-dancehall superstar PATORANKING announces his third album, Three, arriving Aug. 28 via his own Amari Musiq imprint and US-based indie powerhouse, EMPIRE. The project’s lead single “Abule” — a celebration of his Lagos neighborhood, Ebute Metta, and of hoods worldwide — premiered today on Beats1 with Ebro, and is out now via all DSPs.
One of contemporary 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 hip-hop/soul icon Lauryn Hill. All told, his tracks have generated more than 250 million views on YouTube and over 130 million streams across major DSPs.
From “Odo Bra” with Ghanaian highlife star KING PROMISE to “Whine It” with Kenya’s SAUTI SOL, there’s no shortage of musical diversity on Three. The project delivers a heavyweight slice of conscious reggae on “Lion in the Jungle” while the tender “Matter” sees PATORANKING reconnect with TIWA SAVAGE, with whom he previously teamed on breakout track, “Girlie O.”
“Three is a strong number,“ PATORANKING says of the album title’s significance. “It stands for how I see language. In making the album, we tried to look at love, life and happiness. If you are listening to any of the tracks, even if it is a dance track, I want you to feel love.”
The release of “Abule” will be supported by several digital initiatives, and a music video dropping Aug. 5, all with the theme of representing and protecting your hood.
PATORANKING is encouraging fans to rep their respective hood/area/zanga/zone/endz by creating custom graphics at repyourabule.com, launching today. Site visitors enter the name of their community, and upload or choose an existing background image on the site, which they can then instantly download and/or share to social media with the hashtag #repyourabule.
On July 31, PATORANKING joins TikTok’s #SpiritsUp campaign, an initiative by the video-sharing social media platform to support its recent launch in Africa. At 1pm EST/6pm WAT, he will host a TikTok livestream, including a Q+A and live performance, to launch the #AbuleDanceChallenge, encouraging users to upload videos of themselves dancing to the track. As part of the partnership, TikTok SA is donating funds for communities across Africa in need of Coronavirus relief.
“I’m proud to be from my abule, Ebute Metta, because to have made it coming from there it’s only by God’s grace,” PATORANKING says. ”It’s made me who I am today and it’s part of my story. So I waste no opportunity to let people know about my ghetto. I feel it’s important through this new song to give my fans a chance to celebrate their own abules. And to protect their abules, too. Back in May, my team and I partnered with Ebele & Anyichuks Foundation to go to many ghettos across Lagos to give away masks and relief items. It’s important we stay safe and do our part to protect.”
In addition to the new project, PATORANKING can also be heard on the new version of Bob Marley’s “One Love” alongside Stephen Marley, Skip Marley and other members of the international music community, with all 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 the prestigious African Leadership University, and was featured in Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 class for 2020.