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New Single and Interview with Dancehall Queen “Patra”



Click Here To Watch the Patra Promo on Vimeo


The Dancehall scene of the 1990’s was filled with many artists who’ve made great music and enjoyed much success – hit maker/leader Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra (“Flex”) and the team of Shaka Demus & Pliers (“Murder She Wrote”) are such examples. When it comes to the Queen of the Dancehall pack, there is only one name that comes up – Patra.

With smashes such as “Think”, “Worker Man”, “Romantic Call”, “Scent of Attraction” and “Pull Up To The Bumper,” Patra established herself as a firm hit maker who blended Dancehall with Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B with great ease. As the 1990’s went into the 2000’s, Patra then took a break from the music business for reasons pertaining to personal growth – even though she released a couple of indie singles here and there. With her life now back on track, Patra is reclaiming her throne with the new single, “Gimmi Way,” which will be released on April 14th, 2023.

Born Dorothy Smith in Kingston, Jamaica, she started singing in her church choir. Years later, Patra came onto the music scene as a Dancehall DJ with solid rapping and singing skills by her mid-teens. She then cut an independent release, “Hardcore,” that caught the ears of executives at Epic Records, who picked up the single and signed Patra to the label.

With label executive Vivian Scott-Chew overseeing production, Patra set forth in cutting a Dancehall-flavored remake of the 1970’s Funk classic, “Think” – which became the Dancehall queen’s first Top 40 R&B Hit.  “It was Vivian who introduced me to Funk and Soul music”, says Patra, “especially the late Lyn Collins, who recorded the original version of “Think”, which was written by The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown. It was very exciting to record the song and make the video with Ms. Collins. I have Vivian to thank for that.”

“Worker Man” followed up “Think” as Patra’s next single and quickly showed another side of the artist. Besides her rap skills, fans got to hear Patra’s sweet singing voice. “ That was my first number one hit! It was originally recorded by Tony Kelly but when the song was presented to me, we (Vivian Scott-Chew and I) took it to another level by giving “Worker Man” a Hip-Hop flavor. This is one of my biggest songs.”

Then came the third single from Patra’s debut album, Queen Of The Pack, “Romantic Call” – which featured Yo-Yo handling the rapping with Patra on the song, then both ladies with Tupac in the video. “Making the video for ’Romantic Call’ was crazy!” exclaimed Patra. “Tupac came by the trailer to visit and it was a big surprise. It was a great time we had – Yo-Yo and I riding around making the video, Tupac being in many scenes. That song and video drew many Hip-Hop and Rap fans thanks to Yo-Yo and Tupac. I greatly appreciate them as well as those who worked behind the scenes to make ‘Romantic Call’ happen”.

All the preceding tunes were included on Patra’s debut album on Epic Records, Queen Of The Pack, which peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart for thirteen consecutive weeks (the longest Reggae release to remain at the top in the history of the chart). The Queen Of The Pack album is a multi-platinum worldwide success.

Patra continued to enjoy success with her sophomore album on Epic, The Scent Of Attraction, with singles including the title track (a duet with Aaron Hall of Guy) and a remake of the Grace Jones’ Dance classic, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (a Top 40 Dance hit for Patra).

The Queen of Dancehall embarked on collaborations with Gangstarr’s Guru for his Jazzmatazz II album as well as joining an all-women  chorus on music for the film, “Panther”. However, by the early 2000’s, Patra left the music scene for a near 20 year sabbatical, with only a couple of  sporadic independent single releases. “I spent those years getting myself and my mind intact,” explained Patra.  “Most importantly, during this time I focused on becoming mentally prepared so I could return to making music.  This meant reconnecting with nature and my inner feelings as well as writing new songs.”

During this sabbatical, Patra made a surprising and successful turn as the owner of the Chateau Seven Gourmet Restaurant in Kingston, Jamaica. Patra – “I love to cook for friends and colleagues, especially dishes that are deeply rooted in the Jamaican culture. So around 2015, I saw a building that was for rent and was focusing on just opening a juice bar there. When the owner said that the location next door is also available for a jerk-food based operation, I decided to go in the direction of having a restaurant. So the space was refurbished and I opened the restaurant but soon realized that I wasn’t happy with the flavors I came up with for the menu items. Therefore, I put the restaurant on pause and entered a culinary school for five years, which included catering for the EU, the US Embassy and the United Nations. Since then, Chateau Seven Gourmet Restaurant earned rave reviews from outlets such as the New York Times and I’ve been busy since then”.

By 2022, Patra began her re-entry into this business of music when she appeared on DJ Cassidy’s “Reggae Pass The Mic” on BET. This year, The Queen Of The Pack is back with a new single, the ruff-and-ready “Gimmi Way” – a collaboration with Patra and producer General Degree (the owner of Size 8 Records). “General Degree knew I was working on songs for my new, upcoming album”, shares Patra. “Degree sent over ‘Gimmi Way” and we started vibing on it. The song has many flavors – Dancehall, Hip-Hop – and it makes a statement that Dancehall, Reggae, Jamaican music is still alive. One thing I will always do and that is remember my culture and keep that on the forefront of my music. ‘Gimmi Way’ is an example of that”.

“Gimmi Way” will be available on most streaming and download platforms on April 14th, 2023, while Patra is pulling together an album of new songs with various producers working with her – General Degree, Teflon, Eddie Galen and Don Fen. While Patra recognizes her international appeal and will have songs reflecting that vibe (such as the pop-sounding “Changes” and “Hush”), she promises that the upcoming album will have plenty of tunes reflective of the Dancehall/Rap/Reggae culture. The new album will contain both music rooted in Dancehall as well as mainstream but leaning more towards the former as well as my culture. I feel that it’s right for me to aim in this direction since I’ve been successful on both fronts – I don’t want to limit myself musically. Am aware of the success I enjoyed with singing (i.e. “Worker Man”, “Pull Up To The Bumper”) but my roots are the main focus. “The new release will have ten solid tracks and be a message- oriented album, very sensual with quality music,” Patra proclaims. “When the fans hear these new songs, they won’t miss the 90’s!”

“Most definitely an international tour including the USA is in the works’, promises Patra. “What fans can expect from the tour and the new music is The Queen of the Pack is continuing the journey. Giving my longtime fans what they want – quality music. This is all natural to me and what I’m meant to do.”

  • Connect with PATRA on Instagram – @therealpatra
  • PATRA is available for interviews and performance bookings
  • For media inquiries, contact angelo@dxxnyc.com, 201 224 6570


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