New reggae song ‘Rise Up’ creating waves

Patrice ‘Sonjah Royalty’ Gonsalves

Patrice ‘Sonjah Royalty’ Gonsalves is one of the newest, conscious reggae singer/songwriters on the block. Her debut song “Rise Up”, which was released on social media platforms has seen more than 13,000 views to date on Facebook alone, and has created quite a stir in Ghana.

Sonjah, as she is popularly known, whose father was a member of the legendary Mischievous Guys Band inherited some of her musical qualities from him. Her family, she noted, has always been involved in music.

As a child the singer would belt out Tanya Stevens’ songs in front of her mirror. Her love for conscious music began at an early age and with her grandmother always insisting that she pray and read her bible, she became more devoted to singing songs that spread positive messages. The church has played an integral role in who she has become today. While attending the Mariah and Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist churches, Sonjah would always take part in the singing even sometimes when she visited the Roman Catholic Church with her grandmother.

Sonjah is inspired by the great Bob Marley, Garnett Silk, Buju Banton, Etanna, Queen Ifricia, Sizzla Kalonji, Jah 9, Chronixx and Guyana’s very own First Born. Their music, she further said, has always given her goose bumps and produces a feeling of happiness.

She has since converted to Rastafari.

The singer/songwriter has always had a love for writing lyrics and began doing so while still a teenager. When she met Troy Azore a founder and still a member of First Born, who now her husband as well as her manager and producer, he noticed her eagerness for the music and culture and began guiding and working along with her in producing her music.

To date she has recorded three songs: “Rise Up”, “Blessings From Birth” and “Ganja” though only “Rise Up” has been released so far.

After the release of “Rise Up” on different social media sites, Sonjah was contacted by Booth Radio Ghana and did a press kit, live streaming via Skype. She spoke with the host and hostess, Trap God and Trap Goddess. The team was so excited about the song that they invited Sonjah to be a part of their Ghana Day this past March but there was a lengthy wait for a visa and she was forced to postpone. She plans to visit for the next Ghana Day.  It can be said that Sonjah is currently paving the way for other Guyanese to take the Guyanese culture through music and art to the African country.

She’s currently working on ‘The Way to Happiness Ghana Foundation Project’, which promotes tree planting by every individual to combat pollution in the world. Sonjah is also involved with the Afro-Caribbean Project, which caters for Caribbean artistes of African descent. The aim of this project is to introduce the different cultures in the Caribbean to Africa.

So far she has done shows in Linden for a o member of First Born’s birthday bash, at the Pan Africa Gardens Celebrations of Women’s Day at Merriman Mall, Cruiser’s Place at Turning Point, Tucville, and also at the Bob Marley Earth Day at the Rastafarian Council in Bourda. She is scheduled to perform at Linden Town Week in two weeks.

“Rise Up” is expected to hit the airwaves here next month.

The song has been released under Vizions Sound Publishing; the track was built by the Heatwave Band and it was produced by Til-Shiloh Records, Gathering of the People Productions. The video is out already and can be viewed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through Sonjah Royalty.

“Blessings From Birth” is set to be released next month and “Ganja”, before the year is over.

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