Miss Pat a legacy beyond compare
(For this special Mother’s Day celebration during the year of Jamaica 60, the Entertainment Desk is featuring some of the women who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of music and culture)
The story of VP Records is one defined by musical passion along with building and sustaining relationships. Vincent and Patricia Chin – the ‘V’ and the ‘P’ – a husband-and-wife duo, started out as small entrepreneurs until they were able to open what would become the music business’ landmark retail store, Randy’s Records Shop at 17 North Parade in downtown Kingston.
The Chins subsequently migrated to the United States in 1977 and Patricia Chin, affectionately called Miss Pat, proudly states that packed in her suitcase for that memorable journey were her music and her culture, the ingredients which they used to build a formidable reggae empire. VP Records became a major player in the music business as producers and wholesale distributors of reggae, as they established supply lines to record stores across North America and became the world’s leading distributor of music from Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Miss Pat has firmly cemented her place as one of the mothers of this musical nation. Legendary sound system owner and record producer Lloyd ‘King Jammy’ James and the youthful Romain Virgo were eager to shower praises on Miss Pat for Mother’s Day.
“Miss Pat played an very important role in the Jamaican music industry, because you rarely find women in the leadership of our music, but she was like a mother to all the actors of our music. If you go to see Miss Pat about problems you are having with something, after telling Miss Pat about the problems, she gently speaks to you in a very soft way and solves them. Miss Pat is very beloved and she is also well respected by all the people in the music industry. May God bless her and keep her very safe. Thank you, Miss Pat, you are one in a million.”
Describing Miss Pat as “one of the most energetic elderly ladies I know”, Romain confessed that she made him realise that age is just a number.
“Miss Pat is always helpful, always encouraging, not just on a musical level but also on a personal level. She always has my family’s interest at heart. She is somebody I really look up to. We are very grateful for her. Whole heap of love to Miss Pat. She is definitely a hero in my books,” he shared.
Calling her “a woman I truly admire, respect and love” her eldest child, Chris, said that he has seen how his mother leads by example, is always ready to help, and treats people with respect.
“From my youthful days until now, my mom is always here for us. Us is not just our immediate family, it’s the community and the reggae industry. Growing up, my brother and sister always saw the caring and loving side of our mom which came out in the ways she encouraged us to explore avenues that interested us. My mom’s the one who groomed me in this business ... through the course of life, my mom has overcome a lot of challenges, namely excelling in a male-dominated industry.
“As an adult, I have seen the appreciation her contribution has fostered, her peers’ admiration for the way she balances family and her commitment to continue working in the business, even at the age she’s at now.
“We are fortunate to have her share time with us today as she takes on new roles as a grandmother and great grandmother. I am most proud of her for sharing her life journey through her book, Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey. The world now has a more personal understanding of how she built this empire. Our industry has grown and blossomed because of my Mom, Miss Pat Chin, her legacy is one we are proud of,” Chris told The Sunday Gleaner.