Nola Grown Artist: Producer Desmond Hollins aka Katrah-Quey

Today my featured Nola Home Grown Artist is my one and only brother, Desmond Hollins aka Katrah-Quey (prounounced Cat-Tra-Kay) is the pseudonym of New Orleans native St. Paul, Minnesota based producer. Katrah-Quey’s beats have been featured on Adult Swim’s bump ads. He is also a member of a production crew named the 4Shades.

Born in New Orleans in the late 80’s to the parents of Blues Musician, Willie Cole and designer semtress Jean Hollins, Desmond was exposed to a big gumbo pot of culture and music. He was named in honor of the great Desmond Tutu and his middle name “James” was after our great grandfather, named after men like these Desmond James Hollins had no choice, but to be someone great.


Desmond is our child prodigy. He started reading at 3yrs old, memorized the continent of North America, including all the states, its capitals; down to how it is shaped and what it produces.

He also, is a lover of anime and street fighter games which influences most of his music.

Katrah-Quey is a self taught musician and producer, wowing music lovers all over the world. The New Orleans native hip-hop producer has been like an epiphany for us, delighting our ears with his craftmanship, making impressive remixes and productions.

He blends lush melodies, samples & chords with boombap driven drums, experimental electronic sections, relaxing soundscapes and very minimal turntable scratching into a cohesive instrumental healing hiphop album. The longer tracks have more dynamic arrangements while the shorter tracks have grooves so rich in depth, you are inclined to play them back over and over. The first half the album provides a good amount of energy to catch your attention while the last half of the album is more meditiative & zen-like. The compositions seems to follow the chakra chart on the album cover with each track activating different spots while maintaining vibrations to improve the quality of your mind, body and spirit. Overall, a delightful listen that is highly recommended.


“Katrah-Quey treats us with a brief but very concentrated and cohesive instrumental hip-hop album that is mellow but very energetic. Laced with heavy drums, shifty procussion and nice bass carried throughout the project complements the chilled out concept of the album that is not boring like many instrumental projects tend to do. For fans of Fat Jon, Comfort Fit, Dimlite, Prefuse 73, Nujabes, Caural and Express Rising – or if you’re a fan of relaxing music! 8/10” – James Howard.


We suggest you to pay attention to a project where Mr. Quey fuses jazzy meaningful beats with supa-smooth and electronic hip-hop underground instrumentals. This is not the work of a newbie but it sounds really mature,solid,compelling,lavish.

Katra-Quey recruited Chicago femcee/singer Kaiji , Louisiana emcee Noir (sumptuous performance over the sample of Bob James) ,Suzuki Kaioh and others!

Def one of our fav emerging hip-hop producer!

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Taste the Katrah remarkable sound and don’t forget to support the artist!



A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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