Now, Jerrica Patton is conquering New York City as a musician with hearing loss.
Originally from St. Louis, Jerrica was introduced to music at a very young age. Everyone in her family either sang or played an instrument so a musical environment was considered a normal environment for Jerrica. She fell in love with singing when she was eight years old. It was the first time she heard Whitney Houston.
“When I first heard Whitney Houston sing and she BLEW my mind away! I just knew at that moment that I wanted to be just like her: a performer. From then on, you would always find me singing and “performing” in the living room doing my best Whitney Houston impersonation,” she says.
She then went on to start composing her own music around the same age. She found her love for the piano and admired her father play, wishing to one day be like him.
At the age of four, Jerrica found out she has a bilateral mild-to-profound hearing loss. Her hearing loss brought challenges that often stood as obstacles she overcame to achieve her dream of being a musician. She has a hard time articulating sounds. She can hear the sounds, but they aren’t clear. This caused her to have trouble with speech.
“As a child, I hated wearing my hearing aids and wasn’t fond of speaking in front of people, especially those I didn’t know, for fear of them hearing my speech impediment. Kids used to tease me throughout my school years, so I had very low self-esteem,” she says.
Going through these experiences made Jerrica stronger. As grew older she learned to accept herself. Her faith helped her understand her identity and raise her self-confidence.
Jerrica explains how she has grown over time. “Over the years, I’ve watched my confidence grow and blossom; however, it took some time because I had to rid myself of the mindset of shame, believing that it was a ‘flaw’.”
Jerrica’s music is inspired by her experiences and emotions.
“What inspires my music? The heart. Feelings. The emotions of everyday life experiences and where it takes you, to another level in life that cannot be explained.”
“The emotions of everyday life experiences and where it takes you, to another level in life that cannot be explained.”
Through her songs, she shares the stories of her life. Even though she can’t always hear the music with her ears, she can hear it with her heart. She works with other musicians and producers to hear what she can’t hear with her ears. She makes an extra effort to over-pronounce the words in her songs to make sure that her words are clear.
Her experiences and stories push her to inspire others through her music.
“I hope to inspire, empower, and bring joy to people all over the world someday with my music – to move their hearts in a way that can’t be explained in the natural language.”