Cocktails With... Patra

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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With model looks and a knack for delivering infectious dancehall ear candy, Patra cemented her place in the public consciousness on The Rock, and beyond its shores, as a certified music vixen of the 1990s. Between having Tupac Shakur co-starring in her Romantic Call music video and remaking Grace Jones' Pull Up To My Bumper as her own dancehall booty shaker, the music world was Patra's oyster. Looking back (and forward), the lady born Dorothy Smith has not given up on music, but today has fashioned a second chapter of life as a self-styled gourmet restaurateur who operates the Chateau 7 eatery in Stony Hill, St Andrew, with a second branch due to open soon at the Mayfair Hotel.

As an influential and seminal presence on the dancehall scene in the 1990s, what is your proudest achievement?

It would be undoubtedly my breaking on to the international music scene and topping the charts worldwide and showing that Jamaica is a powerful force in the music industry.

Your breakthrough album was titled Queen of the Pack. When do you feel most like royalty?

Once I wake up I'm royalty! Because you can't be anything without God giving you life and with that you can achieve anything. And for that I'm royalty.

If you had to a pick a singular wardrobe look from your discography of music videos that best captures your general mood as an artiste, which would it be and why?

The one where you're seeing just a silhouette of my body behind the ice in the Worker Man video. Not only was it private, but it was also sexy. Birth outfit. And that's the mood I'm always in. Sexy, just like my food!

The Patra persona ends and Dorothy Smith begins when...

It's a three-way thing — me, myself and I. And we're always together.

The greatest life and career lessons I've learnt are...

To speak up quick before things get too late. That being said, it's never too late to be in control of your destiny.

Food is now one of your immediate passions and The New York Times, no less, has bestowed a favourable review of your restaurant Chateau 7. What drives and sustains your interest in the culinary world?

I must start by saying I now realise I don't have to be in The New York Times just for music. This is another blessing God has given to me naturally, and I've expanded on that by absorbing new ideas from travelling around the world, and the taste and flavours that the world has to offer are absoultely amazing . It's good to have two jobs. I'm earning new fans every day who didn't even know about my music career.

What's new in music for you?

Nothing. Just like no one knew I'm a sexy chef, is the same way people will wake up and hear what I'm thinking musically.

Is there any contemporary artiste who you admire? And, if so, who would you want to collaborate with?

The way I'm thinking at the moment, it's difficult to even contemplate a collab. For me it's personal. I have to do my thing first before I can start thinking about a collaboration.

When is Patra most relaxed?

When I'm sleeping. I'm a workoholic. And with my second job as a gourmet chef at Chateau 7, I have to keep thinking about ideas in order to continue creating healthy foods with outrageous flavours.

Say your life story was optioned to be made for the big screen. Which actress do you want to see playing you?

I'm so complicated it would be difficult for anyone to capture my true personality without living with me for a while. That said, my first choice would be Angela Bassett.




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