Patrice Pike, formerly the lead singer for the band Sister 7, was courted by Clive Davis for the Arista stable of artists in 2000 after he heard a demo of the group's Wrestling Over Tiny Matters album. Within three months, however, Davis was ousted from the company. As a result, Sister 7's new album never saw the light of day and the band soon split up. Pike went on to establish a new band, Black Box Rebellion. She also hyphenated her name to Pike-Zain, in honor of her former band. "Zain" is the Aramaic word for "seven." She established Black Box Rebellion with her longtime musical partner, guitarist Wayne Sutton, and the two also founded a record label of their own, which they dubbed Zainwayne Records, to forestall any future disasters like the one that occurred with Arista.
Pike received her first musical instrument, a ukulele, when she was just a toddler. With a stepfather who played guitar in Dallas nightspots, she was spending evenings listening to the music in smoky bars by the time she was three years old. When times got tight and money got thin, the family left the city and headed out into the country. Pike so hated the isolated environment that she threatened to run away from home. In response, her mother set up an audition at a Dallas school, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Pike entered the school at the age of 15 and had Erykah Badu and Roy Hargrove as classmates. There she had the opportunity to meet and get advice from Wynton Marsalis, who once spoke at the school.
She became acquainted with Sutton during a Dallas street festival when both were still in their teens. Sutton relocated to Austin, then headed back home to Plano, where he and Pike began to craft songs together. During the early '90s, the pair formed a band called Little Sister. They settled with the group in Austin, where they started working at the Black Cat and became the opening act for a band called Soul Hat. After putting out a pair of albums and receiving numerous threatening letters from the lawyers of other bands in the U.S. who carried the same name as Little Sister, the band evolved into Sister 7.
After the breakup of Sister 7, Pike embarked on a solo career, releasing her debut album, Fencing Under Fire, in 2000. She also competed in the second season of producer Mark Burnette's reality TV show Rock Star: Supernova for a spot as the lead singer of a supergroup featuring drummer Tommy Lee. Prior to appearing on the show, Pike recorded her fourth solo album, Unraveling, which she released after Rock Star: Supernova ended in 2006. ~ Linda Seida