For fast rising Nigerian music artiste, Okonji Patrick better known as Pato Jaz, his latest music project, Pere is inspired by his multiple award winning senior colleagues; Burna Boy and Wizkid.
In this interesting interview with Sunday Sun, Pato Jaz opens up on his music journey, challenges and his musical aspirations.
With his wealth of experience, Pato Jaz, a Delta State Indigene also clearly stated what he thinks should be done to take the Nigerian music industry to the next level.
Can tell us more about yourself? State of origin and professional background?
My name is Okonji Patrick, I am the first son of my Father (Mr Patrick Okonji). Well, since I am the first son, my dad decided to give me his name. I have a junior sister. We are just two. My state of origin is Delta state but I was born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria.
Give us insight into you educational achievements and work experiences?
For my Educational achievement and work experience, it really hasn’t been easy. my primary school I attended Sundah-Christ nursery and primary school, for the secondary school I attended Excel College, on the long run my parents couldn’t keep up with the school fees so I had to move to another school, Hybrid College where I finished my secondary school. After I finished from secondary school, I got admission into Lagos state Polytechnic. And as for my work experience, it hasn’t been easy. My country is always against the youth so we try to do what we can to survive. I have worked in a factory before where they produce perfumes and I have also worked in a factory as an Engineer but that was during my IT.
Many regarded 2020 a lost year. What are the gains and losses for you and for your showbiz business?
Well, 2020 blessed most people. I can’t say 2020 did not bless me but it was very tough. I dropped my first EP as a musician in 2020 but the heartbreaking part was we couldn’t even do a promo for it due to the things happening in Nigeria and the world at that time. Corona taking over the country, people dying, our government putting fear on the people. Social media was down and shows were cancelled. I was sad but even without a promo we still had 100,000 Plays on Audiomack. Big achievement!
In terms of growth, what areas are you planning to improve in your music business?
The areas I plan to improve in my music business is not yet unleashed. I haven’t met with the big men in the Industry so I don’t have an idea for now. My plan is to meet the likes of Olamide, Don jazzy, Wizkid, Davido, Burna boy, Femi Kuti and a lot of them. I want to meet this people and actually gain knowledgeable experience from them so I am able to stand on my own and know the music business very well.
How long have you being doing music?
I have been doing music since secondary school. Music wasn’t even my thing. I had this friend who does music back then in secondary school too we were best friends. His name is “Juvick Magic” he put me on and told me how easy it was. My school did a talent show then so he put me on with many days of practice. Trust me the talent show day wasn’t funny. I was so shy but when I climbed the stage with a lot of crowd cheering for us it was amazing and I did my thing and it turned out successful. We actually came out on top as 1st position and won the competition.
Which is your favourite genre and why?
My favorite music genre is Rap, cause rap expresses how you feel. It brings out the words for you and all you have to do is arrange the lines in the perfect way you wish to use it.
Who are those top stars you’re hoping to produce their songs in future?
I have a lot of top stars I wish to produce their songs in the future. I can’t list them now but it will come.
What were the early challenges of your career and how did you scale the hurdles?
The only challenge I had was my Dad and Mum. They always wanted me focus on school. They felt any other thing aside school is a waste of time but I had to make them see the bigger picture. I tried my best to make sure I showed them signs of winning in my music career so they could support me. To the Glory of God they later accepted it but still wanted me to focus on school.
What motivated you to go into music as full time business?
The believe that it’s possible to be who you want to be no matter the circumstance. It’s a dream so I have to make my dreams come true.
The big lessons is you don’t have to put money into anything because people say it will work out. Music business is not just for the talented but also for the intelligent ones. You have to think and observe well before putting your hands in any music business.
What are the big lessons of life you learned so far?
Big lessons of life I learned so far is keep going, keep pushing and never give up on what you aim for.
If you ain’t doing music, what would you be doing?
You and I know the system is messed up. If I wasn’t doing music I would probably be doing something else to survive.
What inspired your new release, Kere?
My new music titled “Kere” was inspired by Burna boy and Wizkid. They proved to we the upcoming musicians and everyone out there that nothing is impossible. When I watched Burna on the grammy award’s night making his speech it inspired me. It was something very great so I took the word Kere from his speech and made a song out if it for everyone to vibe to.
Can you mention some of your other songs released?
My other songs released are Jara’e, Kadija, Ire, Bobo featuring Sosa-E, NGNG featuring Bella shmurda, Owanle, blow bi burna featuring Jay rhymes, dollar pounds and many more.
Who are your favorite Nigerian music stars and why?
My favorite music stars are Olamide and Wizkid cause they have such a pure talent. It’s not easy to be able to switch vibes and own your own vibe at the same time. It’s incredible how those two create music.
How has it been working with Nigerian music stars?
Working with Nigerian music stars has been great.
What do you think should be done to take the Nigerian music industry to the next level?
Taking Nigeria music to the next level is when we begin to support each other. Many today are greedy and want all of it for themselves. When we begin to support each other give credit to the right people who work so hard and do their jobs right then we can take the competition to anywhere in the world.
Tell us your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is “Don’t just fear failure but rather fear not trying”
What should fans expect from you for the rest part of 2021?
My fans should expect greatness cause who God has blessed let no man condemn.