European reggae singer-songwriter Patrice believes that the influence wielded by Caribbean music on the international scene could well lead to a resurgence in the overall popularity on reggae in Europe.
"Caribbean music, especially live, is very popular in Europe. The influence of Caribbean music in the mainstream music market is quite obvious I would say. Myself and others are working hard to make sure reggae makes it back to its rightful place in Europe and beyond, but the focus has shifted to electro over there," the artiste whose real name is Patrice Babatunde Bart-Williams, said.
He endorsed the recent trend that has triggered a top 20 Billboard hit for rapper Torrey Lanez who sampled Tanto Metro and Devonte's 'Everyone Falls in Love', and led to a remake of 'Who Am I' by England-based rappers, Krept & Konan's which received over 40 million views on YouTube and also featured American singer Jeremih.
"I think that hip-hop music has always been based on sampling other people's songs and twisting them differently. It's what has been done since its beginnings. Many of hip-hop's founding fathers were Jamaican's living in the Bronx so it was a natural thing for them to sample and rmx their musical heritage. I don't think it's a new trend. Probably it's had a revival. And since the two styles go well together it's an obvious choice to do that," he said.
Patrice comes from an eclectic musical and political background. He is a Sierra Leonean-German singer-songwriter, music producer and film-maker. Raised by a Sierra Leonean father and a German mother, Patrice Bart-Williams grew up listening to Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Champion Jack Dupree, Max Romeo, Buju Banton, Dancehall and Hip Hop music, writing his own songs from the age of 12.
But even while he feels the samples are great for dancehall he threw down the gauntlet to local producers who he believes should not only continue to innovate, but should raise their production values to compete in the international space and keep dancehall music edgy and relevant.
"I personally believe that one should add something to the culture he's inspired by. I feel that many European and American reggae acts don't think that's important. What that means is that you are only relevant as long as you're not standing next to the real thing. It means that you're producing music for people locally without threatening the status quo," he siaid.
"Music that makes a remaining impact will have to do that however. In order to be relevant in a world of huge pop, rap and you name it acts, you would have to bring things with the same production value to table. Bob Marley did that during his time. Yet kept it real all the way," he said.
The artiste is all about 'keeping it real". His first name was inspired by Patrice Lumumba. Patrice’s father, Gaston Bart-Williams, was Sierra Leone’s first film director. He encouraged Patrice to meet many and interact with many musical acts passing through Germany, sparking an early interest in diverse genres.
He scored a top five hit with his album called 'Nile' on charts in Germany, Italy and Austria in 2005, and followed up with success on singles charts in Austria, and Germany with songs like 'Soulstorm', 'Clouds' and 'Another One'.
Last year, he released the first single "Burning Bridges" from his latest album, 'Life's Blood'. The video racked up more than 600,000 views on youtube. The video also featured Jonkonnu dances and costumes, a nod to the island's African roots.
"After working the album in Europe, I'm now pushing promotion in the rest of the world," he said
Patrice has collaborated with local artistes before as evidenced by his 2013 album, “Rising of the Son" where his lead single “Alive,” featured a version with Busy Signal.
He continues to tour regularly throughout Europe, North and South America and Africa, often with his house band, The Supowers.
He is known for epic performances that trail a large range of large venues to small, intimate features. He has performed at daybreak at the Timbuktu festival as well as a midnight sun feature in Norway. He recently performed at SXSW in Texas, USA. He is booked to appear on this year's Summerjam Festival in Germany, and the massive Cruilla Barcelona Summer festival.