From a small English town, to the hustle and bustle of Toronto, to the infamous land of Reggae Music, this Biography profiles a brief summary of the Musical journey of Reggae’s NEW Rising star……PETRAA! With a soulful voice and a captivating sound, her live performances take you away into her world, a place you may never want to leave.
The Beginning in Leeds, England
Growing up in Leeds, England, where she was born, Petraa always had a love and passion for Music. Since lining up her teddy bears and singing them old Motown songs, Music; Singing, Performing and Song Writing has always been a beautifully challenging reward for Petraa. Although her love for Music was awakened in England, it wasn’t until moving to Toronto, Canada in 2003 with her family that she would finally get her chance to explore and nurture her passion.
Moving on to Toronto, Canada
Starting off by appearing in local Talents shows and Open mics; Petraa performed throughout the city of Toronto, an eclectic style of R’n’B / Reggae vibes; speaking on messages of love, spirituality and consciousness. She had the ability earlier on in her career to captivate a crowd and take them somewhere magical. While on this journey she attended York University in Toronto, where she discovered the joy of the on-campus radio station, CHRY 105.5 FM. It was here that Petraa would gain a plethora of experience about the ins and outs, and behind the scenes running of the music industry and Radio. Starting in the Music department as a volunteer, Petraa was approached by the station’s Program Co-ordinator to help co-host on an existing Arts show. It was on this show that Petraa had a chance to express herself and showcase her on-air talent and skills, while providing a platform for upcoming artists. After much success on this segment, she was encouraged by those in the office to put through an application to create and produce her own radio show, which she did. Petraa called the show “Represent”.
“Represent” was a show that not only featured upcoming Artists but also played a sound close to Petraa’s heart; UK Garage, Grime, Funky House and Dub step. Staying true to Petraa’s English roots, it was an opportunity for her to express to Toronto, a part of her identity, the music which she grew up with. At first facing a bit of adversity at this new sound on a predominantly Reggae based station, over time listeners became accustomed to the songs and sounds, often calling in to ‘Big Up’ the selector and even request songs. After working at the Radio Station for a while, Petraa came across a business card for label, Qryptonik Records. Although Petraa loved radio, Music was still her calling.
Signed to a Record Label
Petraa chose to call Qryptonik to set up a meeting. Briefly signing to the label in 2007, Petraa performed under the pseudo name of “Petra the Empress”. With the support of Qing Que, CEO of Qryptonik, the label gave her the support needed to allow Petraa to reach to a wider audience through interviews with Rogers TV, Much Music and variety of other publications. After featuring on the single, “Butterfly” with label mate Janny Popps, the song began to gain popularity on radio stations and on Much Music. The single received an award from New York’s WBLK 93.7 Unsigned Hype for Best Hip Hop Song that year.
Moving Forward to Jamaica
Although things seemed to be going well for Petraa, after years of establishing herself in Toronto, she still didn’t feel like she was getting as far ahead with her music the way she had hoped; her messages weren’t being heard. It was at that point Petraa made a fight or flight decision. This decision led her to pack up and head to the sunny island of Jamaica. She felt if she was to be taken seriously as a Reggae Artist, she had to go to where reggae music began. Although, Petraa travelled to Jamaica back and forth over the next two years, it wasn’t until 2014 that Petraa began to start her Musical journey full force again. Petraa met up with Raymond “Dizzle” Cunningham from “Dizzle Entertainment” and Christopher Coombs of “Di Lab Records” in Exchange, whom she has known for many years and has since embarked on her new project, her Debut album.
Petraa’s Musical Influences
Petraa promises to bring something familiar but eclectically different from what is out there in the Reggae scene. Mixing her British upbringing with her Vincentian/Kittitian Roots, Petraa’s music of love, life, experience and consciousness is heavily influenced by Jamaican culture; which she was exposed to growing up. Being raised around Lovers Rock and Reggae Music from the 1970s/80s era has influenced Petraa’s style. For her, this was a time when “Reggae was felt more so than heard”. It is this that Petraa wants her listeners to experience through her music; mixing this with an array of soulful vocals and sounds but also with a melodic twist that at times can be up tempo and up beat allowing the listener to jump to their feet in an expression of dance.
“I make music for the world to hear, enjoy and love….I wanna be able to tell a story many can relate to on many levels” —-Petraa says.
Having been influenced by great Artists such as Marcia Griffiths, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Chronixx, Jah Cure and Motown, Petraa loves and appreciates good music and the people that have made them. It can be seen and expressed in her writing style and the way she tells her stories with her voice. Many who hear Petraa, have compared her to reggae Princess Etana. Although Petraa loves, respects and appreciates the comparison, Petraa is ready to create and leave her own mark in the Reggae industry.
Release of Debut Single ‘Love is Eternal’
With the release of her debut single “Love is Eternal”, it is gaining much success and popularity throughout Jamaica and on the international Reggae scene; getting airplay in the UK, Canada, and throughout the Caribbean. Petraa and her team are excited to see the progress of the song to see where this journey will lead.
With the talent, the looks and the personality that Petraa has, some of the top artists in Reggae are soon going to have to take notice of this rising star. As her passion, drive and determination is one that is striving for longevity in the industry not just momentary success. She is here to tell her story and the stories of others; to be a voice for the voiceless and for those who have not yet made it. World, let’s introduce……PETRAA!!!