Jamaican American Miss Patricia Chin has released her seminal autobiography of her music journey through the evolution of Reggae music and beyond. Her memoir “Miss Pat Chin – My Reggae Music Journey” includes quotes and remembrances from luminaries such as former Jamaican Prime Minister, the late Edward Seaga, Chris Blackwell, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Marcia Griffiths, and the late producer Bunny “Striker” Lee among others. Presented with many never before seen, artist and family photos and original illustrations by the late Michael Thompson and Maria Papaefstathiou, the book’s designer.
“My Reggae Music Journey” spans six decades of music history, from the rise and development of Randy’s Record Mart, the famed music shop and recording studio in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, founded with her late husband Vincent ‘Randy’ Chin in 1958, to the family’s migration to New York City, where in the late 1970s, VP Record Distributors was established. The book shares personal insights about the rise of the Jamaican music industry, and nuggets of wisdom on business and life. Through decades of transition Miss Pat has triumphed over adversity, both personally and professionally. My Reggae Music Journeytestifies to the indelible spirit that is Patricia Chin.
“Randy was the first person who was setting up something for the people to survive, so they were the best people in the record business. They were simply the best, and Miss Pat was the brains.” – Lee “Scratch” Perry
Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin is the dynamic force behind VP Records, the world’s largest reggae music label, a person of unmatched energy and enthusiasm. She is the mother of four, grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of three. At a time when the world is celebrating women, the story of Miss Pat – who is Chinese-Jamaican and Indian – is inspiring to women the world over, to music buffs, culture seekers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
In addition to self-publishing her autobiography, she supervised the development of a companion audio product, planned for release in spring 2021. During the last few years, she has focused her passions on “giving back,” collaborating with illustrator, Michael Thompson (deceased), in the creation of the pop-up exhibit titled “A Reggae Music Journey,” on the history of reggae, in cooperation with VP Records.
VP Records, based in Jamaica, Queens NY, is a major pioneering force in the reggae music industry. Home to global superstars such as Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Beres Hammond, Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Gyptian, I-Wayne, Morgan Heritage, Mavado and others, VP is the only record label that represents the full spectrum of Caribbean music from roots & culture to soca and dancehall. In 2021, VP Records is at the heart of Jamaican reggae and a major force in delivering reggae music around the world.
It all began over 50 years ago with reggae pioneers, Vincent Chin and his wife Patricia (their initials leading to the name “VP”), in their native Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Chin received his first taste of the music business maintaining the jukeboxes at bars around the island. This led his creative and enterprising mind to recognize the opportunity to sell the old records that would otherwise be discarded for new ones. The entrepreneurial couple quickly learned hands-on the business of music merchandising.
In 1958, the success of the Chin’s jukebox record venture led to the opening of a landmark retail store at 17 N. Parade, Randy’s Records in downtown Kingston. Within a few years, the Chins opened Studio 17, a production facility frequented by legendary artists Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs and others. In the mid-70s, the Chins moved to America and brought their business along with them to service the growing Caribbean market in the U.S.
In 1979, Jamaica Queens, NY became the home of Vincent and Pat Chin’s U.S. retail store, VP Records. From the start, the couple quickly became major producers and wholesale distributors of reggae as they established supply lines to record stores all across North America. During these years they earned the right to their slogan “Miles Ahead in Reggae Music,” as they became the world’s leading distributor of music from Jamaica and other islands of the Caribbean.
In 2021, VP Records releases an average of 60 albums per year and the company is known for carrying the hottest artists and the most current compilations. The Reggae Gold series has been the best-selling and most popular compilation year in and year out spawning hits.
VP is not only responsible for modern day sounds, but has recently devoted itself to bringing back to life some of the most classic reggae material from the past. Launched in 2007 by VP Records, the 17 North Parade imprint pays homage to the historic location of Randy’s Record Mart, the premier recording studio and record shop in Kingston, and the Mecca for Reggae music between the late 60s and 70’s.
By staying true to their roots, VP Records remains a crucial link between reggae music and culture and an ever-growing market of reggae enthusiasts around the world. After 40 years in the US, the Chin family looks forward to the future with confidence, knowing that they have built a business that is poised to take Caribbean culture to the highest heights.