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Getting to know the Wandering Soul Hirie

In a scene mostly dominated by men there are a few solid, stand out female players. Patricia Jetton, better known as “Hirie” by her fans is at the top of that list. Energetic, fresh, funky, soulful, talented and genuine are a few of the words I would use to describe her and her presence on stage. I was so extremely excited to have the opportunity to meet and talk to her and get to know her a little better. Here is what she had to say.

WOT: Thank you so much for taking the time and Happy Mother’s Day to you.

Hirie: Thank you so much.

WOT: I know it must be hard traveling away from your little girl. The fans really appreciate all you do. Tell me what is Hirie? A lot of people think your name is Hirie but it’s not, your name is Patricia. Where does Hirie come from?

Hirie: Well, Hirie is kind of like my alter ego. It is me but at the same time I kind of consider the whole band Hirie. I also consider it a state of mind like the word Irie. Coming from Hawaii that is where I got the inspiration for the word Hirie (Hawaiian Irie). To me it’s being above influence, being inspired, following your dreams and that state of mind when you have reached that as a goal. That is how Hirie makes me feel. That was the inspiration behind me coming up with a new name for myself and starting a new chapter in my life.

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WOT: Being one of the only females in the reggae scene right now do you find it difficult? Are there any obstacles breaking into a mostly male dominated genre?

Hirie: I don’t feel like there are any obstacles no. I am a very competitive person naturally but in a positive way. The only thing would probably be the stigma of “Oh she is a female she must be getting preferential treatment or favoritism”. The great thing about it is being on the road for the last three years I have proved it isn’t a favoritism thing. We work hard and we enjoy the fruit of that. We work around the clock and push as hard as we can. In result we are able to maintain a good reputation and we continue to get invited out on the road which is all we want to do. Performing, entertaining and spreading good messages.

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WOT: What do you miss most from home when you are out on the road?

Hirie: Carne Asada Burritos in San Diego (laughs). Honestly probably stability and having a routine, being in your own bed and having easy access to a kitchen and fridge. I can easily look past all of that really. There are way more perks to being on the road than being stuck in between four walls at home. I am a traveling gypsy so I love this life. The only thing I truly miss about being at home is my daughter.

WOT: Funny you say traveling gypsy. My dream is to sell off all of my belongings and go on the road with the kids, homeschool them and live in a RV.

WOT: What is your favorite place to visit on tour?

Hirie: I am really digging the east coast right now. The Hotting Up tour I just did with Iration I really liked the southeast. I really enjoyed Virginia and South Carolina. I really got to explore those areas. Being away there are so many things to enjoy in every city and every state. You have to be really closed minded not to see the beauty in every place.

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WOT: What do you guys do at home in your down time for fun?

Hirie: We are still working on Hirie so much. There is so much to do. I do a lot of writing in my downtime, I try to do some yoga with Chris our sax player’s wife. She is an amazing yoga instructor. I try to stay healthy and stay active. On tour there isn’t much time to be active except for while performing so I make up for lost time on that.

WOT: What can you tell me about the new album “Wandering Soul” that maybe hasn’t been discussed or published yet? What can we expect from it?52

Hirie: There is a big spiritual aspect to the album. I wrote it while experiencing a lot over the last three years while being a traveling gypsy. I experienced a lot of things I had never been blessed with the opportunity to experience before. This album really encompasses what it is like to be a wandering soul and to journey around and to realize that it is a really great thing. When you allow yourself to be weak and vulnerable and put yourself in uncomfortable situations you grow. The album really encompasses that for me. I feel more spiritual than I ever have before. Not knowing what is out there or what I believe in but knowing there IS something out there.

WOT: This album was recorded with Rootfire Cooperative correct?

Hirie: They have been pushing it for us. We funded it ourselves as a band independently. We threw out a kick starter. By the big blessings of our fans we were able to fully fund it ourselves. Recently we were taken on by Rootfire Cooperative so they are going to do the marketing and they helped us cross the t’s and dot the i’s on the album. The have been gracious enough to give us a proper release.

WOT: That’s good. Rootfire Cooperative and Ineffable Music Group joining forces will do big things I am sure of it.

WOT: What can you tell me about traveling with your husband is it hard?

Hirie: No not at all he is a great tour manager and an even better husband on the road. I feel sorry for him if anything he has to put up with me. I’m kind of the storm you know. He definitely keeps me in check it is amazing what love does. It is easy to give up and stop fighting but if you’re going to fight, fight to stay in love. Some lyrics from Tanya Stephens.

WOT: That is inspiring thank you. I always ask everyone I interview this question and it is a tough one so get ready. If you could create your dream line up and pick four bands or artists from any time period, any genre, dead or alive, who would be on tour?

Hirie: God your right that is hard. I would love Tanya Stephens, Des’ree, old school Matisyahu and of course Bob Marley headlining.

WOT: I have yet to encounter a single person in the reggae genre that didn’t say Bob as headliner. It truly shows how big of an influence he still is. Thank you again for taking the time. It has been a pleasure.

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For a full gallery of images of Hirie’s set at the Culture Room and many other of your favorite artists click here.

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About the author
April Whitney

April Whitney

April Whitney- Photographer, music lover and overall gypsy soul. I found my passion for photography, music, writing, and travel. While on Tour was born out of a desire to combine all of these things and become the wandering soul I have always wanted to be. I love to travel to different festivals, meet new friends and vibe out wherever the music may take me.

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