Patoranking Celebrate Me: Name hailing is a Nigeria musical culture
Some days back I was listening to the radio and a certain on air personality alleged that the key to making a hit song is: creating a song that hails rich and great men in one track. That is not far from the truth because name calling and hailing have always been part and parcel of music in Nigeria. Growing up in Delta state Nigeria and listening to Smart Williams and other heavy weights in High Life music like Osita Osadebe, Bright Chimezie and Oliver De Coque, gave me an idea of what name calling and hailing is to Igbo music. Also listening to Yinka Ayefele after I migrated to South West Nigeria for College education also added to that knowledge.
Some people might find it boring and unnecessary but the truth about this type of music is that it drawn from traditional folk music in Nigeria. Take it or leave it, Nigeria is made of great villages and cities judging from History. Name calling or hailing is a type of music that was generated from the way warriors are praised when they come back from a successful war or wrestling. As the ancient cities and villages evolved into modern times, this culture was also carried along. Hence you will find Afropop musicians like Duncan Mighty, Faze and Pathrnaking doing it in Port Harcourt boy, Originality and Celebrate me tracks respectively. With Patoranking doing it in in his new song “Celebrate me”, I just smile and vibe to the big names he called in the track.
The song is a plea to the world to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of people while they alive. In Nigeria there is a pop culture of throwing big parties when people die. Millions of Naira are spent in this parties that leaves people to wondering whether the people spending gave the person they are burying some of that money when he or she was alive.
It will be nice to note that this problem of large parties is not a today’s problem, it has been an age long issue. For people who are conversant the hits made by Bright Chimezie, he sang about same issue when he relseased his “Ube nwanne” single. Patoranking’s position on this same issue highlight how the culture has not evolved.
In the first verse, Patoranking opens the song reflection on the forces that guides his actions in life. According to him, if he fails, people will mock him and tag him a failure. Hence he works hard and pray to God to help him reach his goals- because those who criticize and mock him do not how hard he has worked to get to where he is. In a plea to the general public, he tells the world to celebrate and help him when he is alive instead of waiting for him to die before paying him respect and rendering help.
The Last verse has Patoranking adding to the plea he made in the first verse. He begs people who are in positions to push him and his business forward to give him what he deserves. Underlining that they should not wait till he has died before they start to pay fake condolence visits and help to his wife and family.
Working with veteran music producer Jay Stuntz, they created a contemporary Afrobeats sound. It has the regular shekere, and steady played drum line. The unique element of this beat is the use talking drum to give it that base kick feel. Also there is a very rich pad and string play in this song which if played with a head set will make someone feel like he or she is swimming in the sound. Although most of Jay Stuntz hits came in Afropop sound relating to High Life music, his work on this Afrobeats sound is totally applaud-able.
Pathoranking Celebrate Me: Name hailing is a Nigeria musical culture