The purpose of our featured artist initiative is to give artists a chance to share their stories beyond their music. Since we started this program in 2011, we have featured over ten internationally acclaimed artists that have shared deep personal stories to inspire young people worldwide. Each of them pays a special tribute to Kenyan youth, as they send messages of peace and motivation through the audio recorded sessions.
We have built relationships with great artists within Kenya as well as with the global community. Our friends are singers, players of instruments, sculptors, poets, storytellers, and photographers among others.
To see a list of the artists we have featured in the past, please go to our Featured Artists Archive. Please contact us, to share your story and help us engage, inspire, and support Kenyan youth realize their full potential.
Featured Artist – Pato Banton
PATO BANTON INTERVIEW (18:30 min)
A concert by Patrick Murray aka Pato Banton is an experience not to be forgotten. Sometimes he invites fans to join him in a prayer circle after the show. Some have cried while sharing their stories of contemplated suicide, isolation after losing a loved one, struggles with substance abuse, and how their personal connection with him has given them the strength to “Stay Positive” & “Never Give In.”
His stepfather was a DJ from Jamaica, and his house became the weekend nightspot for the local community. Pato would stay up all night entertaining the masses to help his stepfather. By the time he was 16, he was well known around Birmingham, and would get regular work from leading sound systems across the city.
At the age of 19 while working for Sufferer Sound System, Pato was invited to join a local roots reggae band called Crucial Music. In the early 1980’s he participated in a talent show and won. His first audition at Fashion Records impressed the producers so much that they instantly changed his name to Pato Banton.
He joined a band of Birmingham’s top musicians, Studio 2 Crew. After a year of rehearsals, shows around the UK, and Europe, he recorded his second album “Never Give In!” His third album, “Visions of the World,” was released in 1989, and it reflected the experiences and inner growth of a rising star.
After tours with Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, Burning Spear, Third World, Yellowman, Black Uhuru, Dennis Brown and Steel Pulse, Pato secured his place and respect as one of the best live performers in the reggae industry. His fourth album “Wize Up (No Compromise)” demonstrated his awareness of social issues and his growing spirituality.
He has undertaken music workshops for disadvantaged children in many cities. Pato was allowed inside a maximum-security prison in Sicily to lead a live music session for young offenders. By the end of 2002, he set up a School of Musical Arts And Technology (SMAAT). Within weeks he was approached by South Birmingham College, who offered to employ his teams’ services.
In a partnership with the West Midlands Police Force, he helped to reduce gun related incidents across the city. He collected the BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and commitment to positive change. In the same year he also received the Black Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his contribution to the British Music Industry. On the day the Birmingham Museum opened its doors to the Reggae Hall of Fame, Pato was honored alongside UB40 and Steel Pulse.
After spending about eight years focusing on community work, and stepping out of the music business, Pato made a strong comeback in 2008, with a full-length new recording. In the same period he received a Grammy nomination for ‘Life Is A Miracle’. In 2009 he toured all 50 states of America and offered spoken word performances at colleges while spreading the good news and uplifting the masses with a message of peace and love.
Are you an artist? Would you like to share your story? Please contact us for more information on how you can be One Vibe’s next featured artist. To listen to interviews with past One Vibe Featured artists please check out the One Vibe Featured Artists Archive