|Also known as||Pato|
|Genres||Pop, dance, electro, synthpop, hip hop, rhythmic contemporary, R&B, house, rock|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, songwriter, composer|
|Labels||ARK Music Factory
Pato Music World (PMW Live)
|Associated acts||Clarence Jey|
Patrice Wilson is a Nigerian-American music producer, singer and songwriter. Wilson adopted the name Pato as a stage name for his various performances. He founded ARK Music Factory with Clarence Jey in 2010. While there he produced many songs, such as "Friday" sung by Rebecca Black which gained worldwide attention on YouTube.
In 2011, he established Pato Music World (PMW) after quitting ARK Music Factory.
Patrice Wilson was born in Nigeria. Wilson's father was a Nigerian chemical engineer and his mother an Irish British church minister He studied at Wilson Prep School, a Christian school his mother had established, and then Zamani College and Essence International School in Nigeria. Wilson's musical beginnings were when he sang in his mother's church and helped out with youth programs at school. Later, he attended school in Europe and trained in track and field events. He began touring as a backup singer with Malian-Slovak pop star Ibrahim Maiga. He is also known as Pato for his various performances as a rapper. He toured in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and many other Eastern European countries, and speaks fluent Slovak. He also appeared in performances on Slovak television stations as well as becoming an aspiring athlete training rigorously under the supervision of a professional Russian coach for a possible qualification for international track and fields events including the Summer Olympics representing Nigeria.
Wilson moved to the United States in 1999, where he took his flavor of Nigerian music, along with his style of music he had performed in Eastern Europe and combined it with new age hip-hop. He studied at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington before moving to Los Angeles in 2007 convinced that it was the place to be for music business. Under the name Pato, he also did modelling posing for various brands. He worked for a while trying to promote his own musical career before deciding to produce for other potential artists instead. He got married in 2008 to a Spokane-native woman who moved with him to California.
ARK Music Factory
In 2010 he co-founded ARK Music Factory in partnership with Clarence Jey, an Australian record producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist musician. He chose the name "Ark" because of his Christian background. Jey left ARK Music Factory in May 2011 with Wilson remaining the CEO of the company. Wilson and Jey co-authored and co-produced the song "Friday" sung by Rebecca Black. He was also responsible for writing and producing songs for a number of young artists.
Following the huge mostly negative attention Rebecca Black's "Friday" received, a song that Wilson had written and the video in which he also appeared, a lot of speculation arose that he may have been exploiting young aspiring singers. Wilson rebuffed such claims, saying that the label provided a "relatively inexpensive" way of entry into the pop market for artists:
"I'm getting a lot of criticism saying I'm exploiting rich kids and their parents," said Wilson, "but find me another company that would do all this at a cost this low. I don't promise anyone fame. In fact, if someone approaches me with their only goal to ‘get famous,' I tell them they're not in this for the right reasons."
Wilson went public in a promotional interview tape explaining what was behind the company he had founded. He also put two music responses about "Friday" and the controversy it created. The first was posted on 13 March 2011 entitled "Friday (Rap Remix)" written and produced by Wilson and Clarence Jey, the second on 4 April 2011 entitled "Say What You Wanna Say" written by Wilson and Kustom. Both songs address some of the most common grievances against the song and in the way ARK runs its business. Both these postings have received negative attraction as well.
One Week to Hit It Big: Pop Star
Wilson appeared in One Week to Hit It Big: Pop Star, the ABC show Good Morning America 's (GMA) one-week special feature. After auditions of tens of candidates, the final line-up of candidates were Linnea Sult, Lexi St. George, Madeline Ralston, all 14, and Samantha Ramirez, 12. Wilson chose Lexi St. George for the ABC GMA challenge of trying to make a viral star in one week. She recorded the song "Dancing to the Rhythm" co-written for the show by Wilson and Steve Sulikowski and produced by Wilson. A music video was made in one day and was launched on the GMA program on 30 June 2011.
Pato Music World
In 2011, he established Pato Music World (PMW). According to the official PMW site, artists with the company include Abby Victor, Wil Craig, Nicollete Norgaard, Katie Belle Akin, Kaya Rosenthal, Athenna Crosby. Other acts with music written and or produced by Wilson at various times include Angelique Harris, D'lannie, Kenal, Lexi Sullivan, Lora Mchugh, Mahkenna Tyson, Shaun Anton, Noor, Sophie Rose, Teona Dolnikova, Reagan Smith, Ellie Soufi and others.
On 6 May 2012, Wilson released an "official sequel" to the infamous Rebecca Black song "Friday". The "sequel" called "Happy" (alternatively "Happy (The Official Sequel to Friday)" or "The H.A.P.P.Y. Song"), that features Antoine Dodson and Lela Brown and focuses on Saturdays, with plenty of remarks to Friday and self-deprecating music video to boot. Previously, Wilson had also written a song called "Tuesday" for British journalist Jon Ronson.
- Other releases
"It's Thanksgiving" was released by Nicole Westbrook on 7 November 2012. The song was written and produced by Patrice Wilson and he took part in the music video released online. It was featured live on Thanksgiving Day broadcast on Anderson Live.
Another young artist regularly featured by Wilson was Alison Gold. On 1 January 2013, Patrice released rap group Tweenchronic's song, "Skip Rope" made up of Alison and Stacey. After a second release "ABCDEFG" as a solo release by Gold, she had her chart success with the release of "Chinese Food" on 14 October 2013. Wilson was accused of cultural insensitivity for, among other things, using Japanese geisha costumes to portray Chinese culture, but he has denied these claims, saying that he had no plans to disrespect anyone. Even the more controversial Alison Gold release "Shush Up" in 2014 was later taken down from his official channel.
- Hundley, Jessica (30 March 2011). "Patrice Wilson of Ark Music: 'Friday' is on his mind". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- John Semley (February 2014). "Patrice Wilson – [Songwriter, producer] – "Even if I'm the guy who's known for writing the worst songs in the world, at least I'm still known"". The Believer.com. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Stracasm: Who is the rapper in the Rebecca Black “Friday” video? Meet 'Pato' Patrice Wilson
- Yang, Jeff (19 October 2013). "Why Alison Gold's 'Chinese Food' Caused a Stir". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- PopDust: Rebecca Black's musical guru Patrice Wilson speaks out
- Morgan Zalkin and Cat McKenzie article on ABCNews website: One Week to Hit It Big – Will a Pop Star Be Made on 'Good Morning America'?
- OnlinePRNews: Ark Music Factory Launches New Artist on Good Morning America
- Abby Johnston (22 November 2012). "It's Thanksgiving – And Patrice Wilson has much to be thankful for". Auston Chronicle. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "The maker of Rebecca Black's "Friday," Patrice Wilson, releases the official sequel to "Friday"". Prweb.com. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Ronson, Jon; Greenwell, Lucy (19 April 2012). "Internet, Music, Culture, Pop and Rock (Music genre)". The Guardian (London).
- Marlow Stern (19 November 2012). "'It's Thanksgiving' Anthem Goes Viral: Producer & Singer Dish About Video". The daily Beast. Retrieved 16 December 2012.