Patrice Murrell is living her passion
Patrice Murrell has always done what was expected of her. She earned a master’s degree and worked a 9-to-5 job in the financial sector that would ensure she would be financially set. But she struggled too, as she yearned to indulge her passion and desire for song. In the end, for years she juggled trying to
balance her life and her passion. For a decade, Murrell donned the 9-to-5 façade daily. But it was a traumatic event in her life that forced her to listen to her inner voice, to finally morph into the person she was born to be, and do what she was created for.
In late 2015 she resigned from her day job at a prominent offshore bank and fully immersed herself in the entertainment industry, the result of which saw Murrell have two of her songs “Come To Wave” and “Your Ting” finish in the top 10 at the 2017 Music Masters song competition.
“I always sang. Everyone that really knows me knows that Patrice is a singer. It’s something I never shied away from even as a little girl,
however, I grew up with the typical mindset that Bahamian parents tend to instill in you, and that is… you want to be a singer, that’s great, but you have to go to school and study something that is going to allow you to come back home and make money.”
At the advice of family members, she didn’t pursue what she loved or seek to put a professional polishing to her natural talent. She went the polar opposite of what she felt and what people could see. While Murrell loved music and singing, she was also good at numbers, math and
business. A career in finance just made sense to everyone, as it would
afford her security. She had also viewed, firsthand, the life her aunt, an accountant, lived.
“My family… I remember distinctly one of my uncles telling me, ‘You see your aunt she gat it made in the shade. She’s an accountant — she making good money. You get this stable career, you get with a good firm and your bills will be paid. You won’t have to worry about how you’re
going to eat and you will live comfortably.’ I said I would do that. I would do what everybody else is saying I should do, which is become the doctor, lawyer, accountant, to ensure that I am financially secure in the future.”
Murrell studied accounting and finance and earned an MBA. She worked in the financial sector in accounting and two stints in the world of offshore banking.
The turning point
Then tragedy struck — her mother Ruth Ferguson died, and that forced Murrell to question her own mortality and question whether she was
fulfilling her life’s dreams and desires.
“Unfortunately, my mom passing away made me kind of re-evaluate my life and my purpose, and what I was doing and whom I was living for. And I realized I wasn’t living for myself anymore. I was living for everybody else but me. It made me realize that life is short, and we’re only here for a short period of time. My mom wasn’t an old lady … she was in her late 50s, and was one of those people who got up at 4 a.m. and exercised, she ate healthy, she was a good person, went to church every Sunday, she did what’s right, and was kind and good to people — and she’s not here today. So many things went through my head at that point. I went into a different mindset and everything shifted, and I said I had to start living for myself and doing what makes me happy. I decided to really just go for it full-time. I talked with [husband] Terence [Murrell] and we made some pivotal changes that would require us to decide what we need to survive and what we want to survive, and I went for it full time.”
Murrell hung up her corporate attire and went all in to her passion for music. And it was surprising to view the show-stopping, stage commanding persona that emerged. Her performances left people surprised that she was capable of performing at that level, considering she had been a pretty, doe-eyed, almost shy, numbers cruncher before that.
“I decided to put myself out there. I closed my eyes and said I’m going to do this. I didn’t care what anybody else said or thought about me or what they were saying,” she said.
Now that she’s living her passion, Murrell said she’s found it liberating.
She’s now able to breathe.
“It’s like I’ve found my voice. I feel like I’ve become whom I was born to be, and I’m doing what I was created for and I’m living my purpose.”
After a frenetic pace during the recent carnival season, she’s fresh off a recording stint that saw her record duets with Julian “Julien Believe” Thompson for a new track “One for Me” which she said is “going to be dope” and a great summer anthem; and a single “Wine and Dip” with Tierra “Thin Ice” Rolle. Both songs, she said, will be great party songs for the summer.
Murrell also recorded a number of music videos that will be rolled out during the summer, including for her single “Your Ting”.
Longer hours, but a happier person
She said the back-to-back projects was a grueling, exhausting process which sometimes saw her day starting at 5 a.m. and crawling into bed at 2 a.m. after recording non-stop all day. But even though she found herself working longer hours and working harder than she did when she had an office job, she said she enjoyed it.
“You’re tired, you’re drained … all of that, but it’s a good tiredness. It’s not as difficult, because you’re doing what you love. It’s not work. At a 9 to 5 it felt like work. Now I am living my dream. I am living my passion, so it’s never a problem if I have to stay up until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. recording or shooting music videos or performing, because that’s not work for me.”
In the next 10 years, Murrell says she can envision herself with several multi-platinum albums to her credit and with the title of the first Bahamian female Grammy award winner; and having engaged in at least one world tour. The “cherry” on top, she said, would be a happy family and a baby or two with her husband, who she says supports her following her passion wholeheartedly.
After straddling the fence for so long, and with both feet firmly entrenched into the entertainment industry, Murrell has discovered that’s she is able to rise to the occasion and do whatever is put to her. As such, she refuses to put herself into a box and won’t allow anyone to box her into any genre.
“I realize I’m able to do so many different things when you have a certain type of gift that allows you to be versatile.” Some people have even said she sounds country on some of her songs.
“I think it’s going to throw them for a loop when they hear these songs coming out, because I have the soca songs that I did for carnival, and then when they hear the duet I did with Julien, they’re going to be like, ‘Who the hell this girl is?’ ‘This is not the same person!’ And then the songs I plan on releasing after that are a whole other spectrum from what we’re releasing in the summer. I just want people to become a fan of Patrice Murrell the artist, and appreciate who I am and what I can bring to the table as a vocalist and as an artist. They will continue to grow with me and grow with my music, and love my music as much as I love it.”
A full-time music career is still in its infancy, but she’s excited to push it for all its worth and to reveal who she’s always been, but had hidden away for too many years as she did what everyone else thought she should do, instead of what God wanted her to do with her life.
In a little over a year since she chucked in the daily grind that is the corporate world, Murrell said she’s not found every day to be perfect. She said that she sometimes has questions and wonders whether she’s doing the right thing, but she’s found that every day has brought something new and different.
“I never know what to expect — but I am happy. I am at a place of peace and contentment, and I’m okay with letting God decide what He wants for me and how He wants me to live my life, knowing that I’m walking in a purpose that He has placed in me and in my life.”
Her advice to the next “Patrice/Patrick” who may find herself/himself in a tug-of-war situation, the like of which she recently pried herself out of, is to not be afraid.
“Listen to that small voice inside,” said Murrell. “God places that voice inside of you for a reason. That voice was inside of me since I was a little girl. My dad [Patrick Edwin Ferguson] told me that at three-four months I was cooing and ahhing and singing, and he remembers me being in the baby seat in the restaurant listening to the radio and singing along with the radio. So if you have that passion, if you have something inside of you that God placed inside of you, don’t ignore the voice, because it’s not going anywhere and it’s only keeping you back from living your purpose and living your dream, and being happy.”
As for exactly where she got her talent from, it’s a topic of debate in her family, but Murrell credits both her parents.
“I get my musical ear from my father, a classical pianist who has played with the Lou Adams Orchestra like his whole life; and my mom was a singer who sang with the Lucayan Chorale — so I like to think I got my voice from my mom and my musical ear from my father, because I have a pretty well-trained ear for someone that never really officially got a degree in music.” Murrell minored in music in college, but did not get a degree.
And while she may still be new to the recording scene, Murrell’s image has been in the public for a number of years, as she has done a number of print and television advertisements for financial institutions and service stations.