V Exclusive: Patra on Her Absence, New Music, & Female Sexuality in Reggae

Time has aged Patra like a fine wine. The Queen of the Pack shocked headlines last summer after an appearance at an Essence Magazine party, and from then on has been hard at work prepping her comeback with a new team, a new album, and a fresh outlook.

Thanking MTV’s Sway amongst others, for the boost in the right direction after her absence, the reggae goddess dropped a new single this month, entitled, “Come Ova” featuring Delus, and is expected to release the video as well as her fifth studio album, Patra: The Continuation soon after. Promising to deliver nothing but the sexiness, Patra hopes her fans will feel like she never left.

In an exclusive interview with VIBE, Patra discussed her absence, new music, her opinion of Tupac at Coachella, and describes how she manages to preserve the sexy.

VIBE: You shocked headlines last summer after a photo popped up of you partying in New York. So, I think the first question on everyone’s mind is where have you been?
PATRA: Yeah, what happened was I was taking a break, to get my career on track. It’s very simple. I just wanted to be in control, finish my education, and just to be happy, that’s basically it. There’s nothing really dramatic to discuss. I just needed to take that break to get myself and things together in order to be in control of my own business. To me that is the most refreshing thing I was able to accomplish from my absence from the scene is to be in control of my stuff.

You’re prepping to release new music under a new partnership with LGN Entertainment. How’d that come about?
When I got to New York, I’m there getting everything together musically. I’m doing radio shows and all that. Rich Nice and Sway from MTV were the guys that were helping me while I was in New York. However, pertaining to the deal and my ability to partnerships with these guys came through Don Harper. Don Harper is someone that I’ve known, and it’s funny because he had reached out in different ways, not about the business, but just to see when I was coming back out because he had heard all these stuff going on and then I let him know that I would love him on board. I had other stuff on the table, but what they had to offer me was the best from all the other stuff that was one the table because it allowed me to retain control and to make sure everything has the right attention that it needs with all of the craziness that’s going on.

You’re dropping a new single in June, “Come Ova”, can we expect an album to follow through soon after?
Oh most definitely! I can even give you the name of the album now. Last week, I could not. I decided to keep it simple and name it Patra: The Continuation. Because actually, I didn’t go anywhere, I was just focusing on getting stuff straightened out and I just want to continue where I left off and try to be even better. And of course the single that’s coming out isn’t just me on the single. It’s me and Delus. He also collaborated with me. I also want to give much respect to the producer, Damian Gayle, he’s a good friend of mine, he’s the one who produced this and he’s responsible to make sure this whole world can have that dancehall flavor as well as a crossover appeal to it. This record will be the record for the summer. Trust me. We’re shooting the video in a couple of days. It’s going to be the sexiest video for the summer!

Who else are you planning to work with on your album?
Since, it’s been so long, I’m just trying to make everything right. I’m not trying to look for collaboration at this moment, pertaining to who’s on the album. Right now, for me, it’s just a moment of connecting with my fans and getting back out there. My message to share as a person and a woman is to share all of my experiences and the essence of being back. I have to just focus on me at this point.

As self proclaimed, ‘Queen of the Pack’, can we expect the same type of raw style from you or have you switched things up?
All I can say is it’s a brand new work. It even turn-up more than Queen of the Pack was. But, I always give respect all the time to Queen of the Pack, but there’s nothing that compares to Queen of the Pack than to what I’m doing now. I’ve grown lyrically, but most importantly as a woman, free to express. So, just doing that with the art, it just come around, and not to mention just working with the best producers. It’s always going to be about sex with me, nothing political. I’m just focusing on being sexy all the time. That’s all I’m doing right now. Just being sexy, chopping up the charts and everything. I just want to feel good! I love what I do, and I’m excited to be back. And of course, the original dance queen come back!

How are you able to distinguish between embracing your sexuality as a woman than in a way that is intended to sell your music?
It’s a natural thing. I’m a Jamaican woman from the island. That’s the lifestyle for us. We intertwine both. Caribbean people, we work hard, we play hard. So, to intertwine both for me is fun! I don’t want my job to become a job. I want my job to be something that I appreciate and love. So, I can say I’m going to my job for several hours then come home and feel good. I want to go on stage for an hour, an hour and a half, mash it up and leave and make people feel good. I’m that type of person. I’m very sensual, yet private, and I express it through my music. I think artists have their standard, and I think love, respect, and all these things are important. It’s not something I get up and do on the fly, it’s a natural thing.

How do you feel about the direction reggae music has been going in lately? Is it something you’re proud of?
I’m very proud of what’s going on in the dancehall and reggae atmosphere. Reggae music is one of the most powerful forms of music whether you get it or not. Reggae music is the type of music in the world that everyone emulates when they’re trying to do something. It’s because of the soul and the depth. Dancehall music right now, is the thing that keeps everyone jiggling and going because it’s wild and crazy. The artists are the ones who are fueling everybody. It’s a combination of both. I could have not have been more excited and delighted. I remember when I came out, not a lot of reggae artists were gaining that international appeal. But, now that the game has changed from all of these big monopolies, everyone has some form of the reggae/dancehall industry. If I don’t hear at least one reggae or dancehall record a day, my day doesn’t start. So, I’m proud of it.

What do you feel you can bring to table musically in this day in age?
When you have old school artists like me, you can evolve and change. I haven’t evolved, but I’ve evolved in terms of my company, but I’m not changing anything. I haven’t seen a change really. I think everybody is doing what they’re doing. I’m just blessed to be doing what I’m doing and taking reggae music to a whole other level. There’s nothing for me to compare myself to. There’s nobody doing what I’m doing right now as a woman from the reggae Jamaican side. There’s nothing for me to think about because I’m a Jamaican artist. I’m always doing crossover music in reggae, but that’s my culture. There’s nothing for me to think about than to just keep my music to the world. I’m not trying to catch up what’s going on, because most my albums are built from scratch. I think this is my best work ever. My vocal has grown and my attitude has changed as far as what I think of people.

Making that ‘crossover music’ allowed you to connect with the U.S. market.
I really have to give respect to the American people. My Jamaican people have really supported me, but when I went to America, it was like---I don’t want to say it was easy and simple, because it wasn’t. I have to give respect to Shabba Ranks because as you know, he was the one who I was touring with at the time. But, then I went Gold, so I had to go and do my own thing. But, the American people, when it comes to the Billboard charts, it was remarkable, MTV, BET, everybody.

You were pretty close to Tupac when you made your U.S. debut. What did you think about his hologram appearance at Coachella earlier this spring?
It’s so funny that you ask me that, because I feel when a person passes, you should just let them be. These are personal feelings because of how Tupac treated me and respected me as a person the few times we hung out, then showed up on my video set. I feel like when he passed, he needs to pass and rest. This is just a personal belief. Same with Biggie Smalls and stuff like that. It could work both ways. I was shocked when people started to send me the link to my personal email. That’s when everything started coming back. When I decided to take a break, two of my friends just died, Tupac and Biggie. I was the one who gave Biggie, the last Source Award interview at Madison Square Garden. So, there are so many things. It’s just weird and for me, it was just private. I wonder when I pass, will people do the same thing to me. That’s weird. That’s just my personal opinion about it.

What do you want your fans to gain from your return back to music?
They will gain the ability to love themselves and to just relax. That’s basically it. Not only that, but to also to work hard if you’re a woman to achieve your goals. You don’t need to let the advice of one to see what your true values are. It’s the simple things that you’ve done as an individual that make you who you are. Sometimes we just like to get our hair and nails done to get sexy, even if we’re not going there. It’s the simplest thing, as a woman, that we do to make us feel that word, how to love yourself, be confident, how to express yourself, physically, emotional, mentally. This album is driven on that, and that’s why it’s called the continuation; and of course, the fellas love it for a different reason. But, for the ladies, they’ll be able to understand it and as a result, become more vocal.

From the Web

More on Vibe


Justice For Junior: Five Convicted In Brutal Murder Of Bronx Teen

Five men were convicted in the brutal murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. A Bronx jury handed down the verdict on Friday (June 14), nearly a year to the day since the 15-year-old victim was chased down by a group of gang members, dragged out of a local bodega and viciously stabbed to death.

Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, were found guilty on all four charges, according to CBS News. The group faced first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jurors reviewed video of Guzman-Feliz’s murder and reportedly began crying while looking at autopsy photos of the teen, described by his father as a “really good kid” who was doing well in school, and aspired to be an NYPD detective.

The five convicted murderers belonged to the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors said. Guzman-Feliz was killed after he was mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Surveillance footage from the night of the heinous murder showed Guzman-Feliz attempting to run to safety inside a Bronx bodega before being caught by the men.

Guzman-Feliz was stabbed multiple times with knives and machetes, and collapsed on his way to a nearby hospital. His death caused outrage around the globe, and launched the viral #JusticeForJunior campaign. A Go Fund Me account opened to raise money for the high schooler’s family brought in more than $340,000 in donations.

“I want to say thank you, Jesus,” the slain teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict.

“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they won’t be outside killing another kid.”

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Nick Cannon To Host Morning Show On L.A. Hip-Hop Station Power 106

Nick Cannon has signed on to host and produce his own morning show on Los Angeles radio station, Power 106, Billboard reports. Nick Cannon Mornings is set to debut on Monday (June 17), during the coveted 6 to 10 a.m. slot.

“Power 106 is one of the most substantial fixtures in our hip-hop culture that has proven time and time again that they are No. 1 and not going anywhere,” Cannon said in a statement. “Los Angeles is used to star players joining star franchises. I’m just honored for the opportunity to make our community and culture proud.”


View this post on Instagram


A man of the community! ✊🏾 @power_106

A post shared by NICK CANNON (@nickcannon) on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:03pm PDT

Cannon’s morning show will replace J Cruz’s The Cruz Show. The radio host left the station in April for Power 106 competitor, 92.3 The Beat. The move reunited Cruz with longtime L.A. radio personality, Big Boy, who left Power 106 for 92.3 in 2015.

In addition to radio, Cannon is the creator and host of MTV’s Wild ’N Out, which has been on the air for more than a decade. He also helmed Fox’s The Masked Singer, a singing competition show that crowned T-Pain as its season one winner, and was recently picked up for season two. Last year, it was reported that Cannon signed a development deal to host a late-night talk show on Fox.

Continue Reading
Paras Griffin

Judge Finds Probable Cause To Charge Lil Durk With Attempted Murder In Atlanta Shooting

Lil Durk is set to face attempted murder and multiple other felonies after a judge found probable cause to charge him over a shooting in Atlanta earlier this year. Durk appeared at a hearing Friday (June 14) where a police detective testified to viewing surveillance footage that allegedly shows the Chicago native firing a weapon from a car in the early morning hours of Feb. 5, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Atlanta Police Department detective Jeffrey Churchill testified to speaking with a “witness”  who was at the scene of the shooting. According to Churchill, the witness was standing outside of The Varsity restaurant where the shooting took place at 5:49 a.m. on Feb. 5.

“Mr. Banks pulled out a weapon. They heard gunfire,” Churchill said.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Durk Banks, faces criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, participation in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Alexander Weatherspoon, the 23-year-old victim, was shot in the thigh. Authorities claim that Durk and his codefendant, DeaVonte Bennett, are gang members who knew Weatherspoon and planned to rob him of the $30,000 in cash that he had on him at the time. Weatherspoon reportedly told police that he was carjacked and his jewelry was stolen in the aftermath of the shooting.

Durk turned himself in to authorities last month after learning that a warrant was issued for his arrest. He maintains innocence and also denies being gang affiliated. In an interview prior to surrendering, Durk proclaimed that he had “nothing to hide,” but admitted to having a “bad background” as a child. “I had a rough path but moving to Atlanta I thought it would change my thinking,” he said.

Durk and Bennett remain in Fulton County Jail. They are due back in court next month for a bond hearing.

Continue Reading

Top Stories