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Being aware that she has a duty to speak the truth in her sound, the New York-based, French Ghanian singer-songwriter Patricia Baloge is set to release her forthcoming EP, Queen Of The Dawn, on July 22. A work in which many of the songs included were produced during the pandemic, letting herself be carried away by her emotions while shedding a lot of her old self and becoming new. To tide us over whilst we wait eagerly for the release, today she presents one of the singles that comprise the EP, Unbothered. A track about “understanding that you’re the most important person in your life and that your energy is worth protecting,” says the artist.

Two weeks before the Queen Of The Dawn EP sees the light of day, we sat down with Patricia to get to know more about music’s influence on her childhood and adolescence, who her idols were -we anticipate that Alicia Keys and Destiny's Child were two of her great sources of inspiration- and talk about one of the issues that matters most to the singer, womanhood. “Being a woman is standing up for myself, in a world that constantly tests us and fishes for our weaknesses. Especially as a Black woman,” she tells us as we tackle this pivotal topic, before teasing out what her long-term plans are.

Patricia, nice to meet you and welcome to METAL, how are you? Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Nice to meet you. I’m doing great, thanks! I’m Patricia Baloge, a Ghanaian music producer and singer from France, currently living in New York.
You are set to release your forthcoming EP Queen Of The Dawn on 22nd July. A work made up of five tracks that promise to be a turning point in your career. But before we get into this new project, I’d like to know how your first approach to music came about. How and when did it happen?
I’ve always had a tremendous love for music and I wanted to pursue it as a teenager, but I let people’s opinions get in the way. I rekindled with music around 2013, after going through a pretty dark time in my life. During that moment, I started singing again and I also got into production for the very first time. I cannot say that the sound was the best, but one thing for sure is that it made me feel like something beautiful could come from me. And that’s exactly what I needed at the time. A few years later, I got into DJing and I realised that my purpose is to produce my music and sing it to the world. Now here we are!
And what kind of music was played in your house when you were a child? Has any member of your family dedicated themself to music or art?
Music was always on in my house as a child. My mother would blast Ghanaian worship music every single morning to wake us up. Then there was a lot of African music, reggae and soul music playing. I am the only person in my family so far who has dedicated myself to music or the arts.
Many of us have had childhood idols that have marked our way of interpreting the world, and have fostered our creativity and desire to take on the world. Were you a fan of any particular artists when you were a teenager? Who were your biggest referents?
I was a huge fan of Alicia Keys and Destiny’s Child as a teenager. I was pretty big on RnB and soul.
Now, you have the opportunity to be the reference for other people who, besides enjoying your work, can also feel identified with your lyrics or the experiences you share in your songs, don't you think? How do you feel?
I feel blessed that I get to share my experiences through the music I create. But more so, I feel that because music is so powerful, I have a duty to speak the truth in my sound. It’s important for me to never water myself down when it comes to what I have to say. I feel like I have a responsibility to not only make the music sound good but also to bring value to my listeners by being as true to myself as possible.

Now you are releasing your new song, Unbothered, included in the Queen Of The Dawn EP. What can you tell us about this track?
Unbothered is a track that speaks about establishing new boundaries for oneself. It’s about understanding that you’re the most important person in your life and that your energy is worth protecting. Especially when you have something dear to your heart you’re trying to achieve.
And how did this EP come about? Were you clear about what you wanted to do or were you progressively shaping the project, letting yourself be carried away by what you felt at each moment?
The idea of the Queen of The Dawn EP came about slightly before the release of Womb, my previous EP. The track Queen of The Dawn was supposed to be a part of it, but did not feel right at the time; so I decided to make that song the main track of my next project. Many of the songs in this EP were produced during the pandemic, where it felt like I was shedding a lot of my old self and becoming new. Each song was definitely made at a time when I got carried away by my emotions in the moment. It’s interesting because it feels like the music I make informs me of who I am becoming, and I can only release it once I have completed the mission it wants me to complete within myself. It really is a transformative process.
You released your first EP, Womb, in 2021, embarking on the start of a self-described spiritual transformation. What has changed since then and what remains intact?
Womb, my previous EP, was created and released at a time when I realised that putting my trust in the world could only lead me towards deception and disappointment. It’s the time when I finally was compelled to stop being so naive about the world we live in. I realised through my experiences that I had to rely on God to validate, guide and protect me. Since then, I have mostly done that, and I have to say I like it! Everything has changed since. I have a new understanding of the place I hold in the world. I process my experiences differently and I don’t allow negative things to wear me down. It’s a game-changer!
I would also like to talk about a topic that I know is especially relevant to you, womanhood. How has its meaning evolved for you over time?
I first felt like a woman the day I moved from France to New York by myself. Independence was the foundation of womanhood to me. Today womanhood is overcoming adversity and having a strong sense of identity as a result. Being a woman to me also means that I can boldly express myself in whichever aspect I wish. I’ve also learnt over time that enjoying the art of being feminine, with makeup and beautiful clothes, does in no way minimise my intellect. Being a woman is standing up for myself, in a world that constantly tests us and fishes for our weaknesses. Especially as a Black woman.
And what would you like to be doing five years from now? What are your next goals?
Five years from now, I’d love to keep making music. I’d like to keep challenging myself as an artist and keep growing as a performer.

Words
David Alarcón
Photos
Gabing.me

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