Pato Banton initially burst onto the international reggae scene in the same wave of British artists that included his friends and colleagues Ranking Roger and UB40. Over the years, Banton's music and lyrics have retained the lighter pop appeal of those performers, while incrementally adding depth and profundity.
At this point in his career, Banton has become one of reggae music's most individual and powerful artists.
Banton's motivation for making records clearly is not based on marketing strategies, however, as he has frequently worked on projects with a spiritual, rather than commercial, impetus.
Banton has appeared on a series of religious albums titled "Words of Christ." Banton does not use his own lyrics on these works, but rather serves as a narrator, reading texts from the Urantia Book, also known as the Fifth Epochal Revelation, the central work of an esoteric Christian splinter group.
"I've been very blessed to find the Urantia Book. After 21 years of studying it, I'm convinced that it is a revelation for the human race," Banton says. "It's a gift from the angels."
Tenets of Rastafarianism also figure in Banton's lyrics, but he cherishes his role as a Urantian prophet.
"It's become a tool not only that I give to people but also that I can use for my own edification," he says.
Banton, who says he has the gift of revelation, explains that it becomes manifest in many ways.
"In my travels, there have been times when I've seen miracles before my own eyes. I have to give thanks for those times," he says. "I don't talk much about them, because I don't want to freak people out or make people think that I'm anything special, but there have been times when God has used me to do certain things, and I just stand there in awe."
Banton's recent music retains a strong pop feel, but he feels his role is increasingly becoming more mystical.
"The more spiritual I become, the more I want to be of service. Musical and financial ambitions are not so important anymore," he says. "My main ambition is to reach as many people as possible, and to touch their lives in a positive way. That's where I get my true satisfaction -- from knowing that I've made somebody feel better, about themselves or about life."
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And, please go HERE to listen to Pato's newest CD on Truthbook.com: The words of Christ IV: Peace Be Upon You.