Meet Patricia Chin, the Jamaican Woman Who Escaped Political Violence and Helped Bring Reggae to the World

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Patricia Chin, also known as Miss Pat, is an influential figure in the reggae community and the woman who helped popularize the genre in the United States and around the world.

How it all started: Miss Pat’s journey to reggae began when she and her late husband Vincent “Randy” Chin opened their music store called Randy’s Records in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1958, where they sold jukebox records, according to Rootfire.

  • The couple then opened a recording studio above their store called Randy’s Studio 17, which later became a hub for many musicians. Bob Marley, a world-renowned reggae star, was one of the singers who used the studio, Miss Pat told NowThis News.
  • “Studio 17 was like an employment agency — you could find everybody right there,” Miss Pat told Rootfire in an interview in 2018. “If you want a singer, he would be there, or a backup singer, or any musician.”
  • Miss Pat said the ‘50s and ‘60s were exciting times, adding they had just “created a new culture called reggae music.”
  • “The songs are like a newspaper. It tells you what’s going on in the country, the poverty, the struggle, and what’s going on politically,” she described.

Moving to the U.S.: Fearing for their safety, Miss Pat and her family decided to leave her birth country in 1977 as the Jamaican political unrest continued.

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  • The family moved to Jamaica, Queens, where they opened VP Records named after the initials of Vincent and Patricia.
  • Miss Pat recalled the many struggles she endured after moving to the U.S., including learning the culture, establishing a business, facing racial stereotypes and being discriminated against as a woman in a male-dominated industry. But in the end, she managed to overcome it.
  • “Giving back my culture throughout the world makes me very proud,” she said.

Other details: VP Records is now one of the world’s biggest independent reggae music labels, with over 25,000 recording catalogs from artists around the world.

  • Miss Pat was born to a Chinese mother and an East Indian father.
  • She has also worked with well-known contemporary musicians over the years, including Shaggy and Sean Paul.
  • She released her memoir, “Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey,” in March 2021.
  • In addition to her contribution to the reggae music industry, Miss Pat also created the V&P Family Foundation.

Featured Image via Television Jamaica (Left), Getty (Right)

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