Phind out Phriday: Down and Dirty with Patty Coke of The Dirty Sweet

I can't say there is a particular rhyme or reason as to how I decide who I ask to interview from week to week. I think if I had to create a list of requirements in addition to being a creative independent and passionate I would add happiness.  While I've known this week's creative independent for 6 years now I've never seen her happier than right now, singing with a funk band, The Dirty Sweet.  I like to think her happiness is indicative of her courage. Her courage to let go of the expectation (she has a degree in biology and her parents are still kind of waiting for her to be a doctor) and embrace her passion for music (her parents want her to be happy even if it means putting the medical profession on hold...indefinitely even). In talking to Patty Coke of The Dirty Sweet I got to phind out everything from the meaning of the band's name, her shining moment covering Aretha Franklin's song Rock Steady, and that she is not immune to stage fright. I'll let you read about what else I phound out about Patty Coke and The Dirty Sweet. Take a read below. 
Phreedum: Talk to me about how The Dirty Sweet came together?
PC: The Dirty Sweet is actually the brain child of Chris Santana. Chris used to bartend where I currently bartend.  Chris is really passionate about music and so am I. After seeing me sing my heart out at karaoke, which I love by the way, Chris asked me about joining the band as one of the lead singers. I was pretty nervous about the band dynamics, but Chris did a great job of picking really skilled and passionate musicians and vocalists.
Phreedum: Talk to me about the name of the band.
PC: We’re a funk band and I think if you really think about funk music there is something really sweet about it but also really gritty. It’s the kind of music where you can’t help but get up, dance, and get all sweaty cause you’re listening to really sweet music.
Phreedum: What has been a highlight for you so far as a lead singer of the band?
PC: I got to do an Aretha Franklin cover and the crowd loved it. I sand her song Rock Steady. I was a bit nervous. I love Aretha Franklin and there is a note in the song that I was really worried about hitting. But I nailed it and the crowd went pretty crazy. I saw people several days later just randomly on the street and I was still getting positive feedback.   It was one of those “I absolutely love this.” moments.
Phreedum: Very cool. So I imagine getting to that note took some time practicing. Can you talk to me about the sacrifices you’ve made as a band member?
PC: Time. I think you learn to sacrifice it and protect it. I sacrifice it in that there are rehearsals and shows and they don’t always allow for things like me visiting my family in Connecticut were I’m from or time to socialize with friends. I protect time in that I set aside time for rehearsal because it’s time I spend perfecting your craft and your passion. I do not play games with rehearsal time.
Phreedum: What has band dynamics been like, especially since that was a concern you had before joining and you spend a lot of time together rehearsing and performing?
PC: I think it’s the level of passion we have not just for music but for the band. We are on the same page and we work as one cohesive unit because we want The Dirty Sweet to be successful. Communication is not something we take lightly. We communicate constantly and respectfully.  I would also say we are friends. We really enjoy each other’s company and remember that we are people and not just our talents.
Phreedum: How does your music/performances change the lives of others?
PC: It gets people excited and happy. When we play people can escape for a moment and just be happy no matter what else is going on in their life. I think that’s part of the power of music period. It allows you to escape and reenergize if even just for a moment.
Phreedum: What do you think people underestimate about what you do?
PC: That it doesn’t take a lot of work. I think because I love it and as a band we play well and have together when we perform people think it’s easy. It’s not. Even if you are good at a particular thing you still work at it, tend to it, and perfect it.
Phreedum: You went to school to be a doctor but you're a lead singer in a band and extremely happy. Can you talk about the decision to follow your passion and not the expectation?
PC: To be honest I really struggle with this. Don’t get me wrong. I am the happiest I have been in years singing in The Dirty Sweet. But, I go home to parents who don’t completely get why I haven’t applied to graduate school yet and what I am doing as I paid a good amount of money for my undergraduate biology degree. I think that I want to give myself time to be happy and see how things work out with a music career. We’ll see, maybe I will go back to school and do something with the biology degree. I still love science and helping people but I also love the happiness that I get from singing.
Phreedum: What’s one piece of advice you carry with you?
PC: Always try to do your best.  The band life, especially starting out, is not glamorous. Sometimes the venues are awesome and sometimes not so much. I think you give your best anyway, even if the circumstances don’t warrant it.
Phreedum: If The Dirty Sweet were a funk band from the 60's and 70's who would you be?
PC: We would have been Sly and The Family Stone. We have a great dynamic and we are incredible. To me Sly and The Family Stone is a band that represents excitement, fun, great dynamics, and they sounded incredible. Their vocals were perfect and their musicians were tight.  We would be like them for sure.

To phind out more about Patty and The Dirty Sweet visit

*Photography courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography

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