Sierra Leone is blessed with talents of all sorts-ranging from sports, education to entertainment.
One such Sierra Leonean Gem is a singer, songwriter, music producer, and film-maker, Patrice Babatunde Bart-Williams. Williams is a Sierra Leonean-German breed; born July 9, 1979 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia. He was raised by his Sierra Leonean and German parents.
Patrice Bart-Williams grew up listening to Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Champion Jack Dupree, Max Romeo, Buju Banton, Dancehall and Hip Hop music; and at the age of 12, started writing his own songs.
Patrice was born the same day his paternal grandfather died, causing his father to give him the middle name, “Babatunde,” which means the father has returned.
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. Gaston died in a boat accident in Freetown when Patrice was only 11 years old.
Patrice began playing guitar and writing songs in his adolescence, after the loss of his father. Influenced heavily by reggae, skate culture and punk music, he began mixing genres and styles. He formed an Afro-beat reggae band called Bantu through which he met producer Matthias Arfmann, who subsequently produced Patrice’s debut EP, Lions which was released in 1999. Later that same year, Patrice supported Lauryn Hill on the European leg of her Miseducation tour.
Patrice visited Sierra Leone in the mid-2000s and he studied the music industry in the country and was impressed that the country is full of talented musicians. He released his first Album Ancient Spirit in the year 2000. In 2002, he released How Do You Call It? and in 2003, Silly Walks Meets Patrice,2005, Nile, 2006 Raw & Uncut – Live in Paris,2008, Free-Patri-Ation,2010 One ,2013, The Rising of the Son in the Summer of 2016 he released a single “Burning Bridges”, produced by the French Picard Brothers, who produced for Major Lazer and co-wrote the Singer MO as well as Diplo,Major Lazer, Madonna, Beyoncé. Patrice’s “Life’s Blood” Album was released on September 30, 2016.
This talented Sierra Leonean is presently based in Jamaica working on his upcoming album from which he has decided to release a brand new song titled “Tall Shade” featuring the sensational Nigerian singer OluwatosinAjibade known as MrEazi.
In an interview with SalonJamboree recently, he said he is planning to release the album and Sierra Leoneans would be proud of it. He added that his second single from the new album would feature another Nigerian exceptional female singer, Simi.
By: Mohamed King MillanBangura