Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it. For me, there wasn't really one particular person who inspired me to write music. Most of my life, I've been just a singer and, although I wanted to write music myself, I didn't really have the time for it. But around the age 13-14 I had my voice break (the thing that all boys go through at this age) and I couldn't sing at that time, but I still wanted to do something with music, so I tried writing my own music. It clicked instantly with me and I was inspired by other artists like Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran and their music, so I knew that I wanted to keep on making music even after I got my voice back.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? I'll probably have to go back to the voice break for this one. I was about 13 years old and I had a performance at the opera. I had to sing like one song that was really easy for me. So I get up on stage and I start to sing, and the first few seconds everything is pretty normal, nothing out of the ordinary, but then I just feel a big "jump" in my voice, and I realise that I can't control my voice and I'm having the boys voice break right there, up on stage. I look at the conductor and the guy is completely red, holding his laugh, barely can even conduct the orchestra. I mean those were very long two minutes of my life, it just felt so bad, knowing you can't really do anything about it and just have to stay there for some time, screeching out the notes that you can somewhat hit. And this was my last performance ever with the voice I had as a boy.
What has been the high point of your music path? I think my highest point of my music path is still in front of me, but looking back I'd have to say it was when I performed like 5 or 6 songs at a Christmas concert in a stadium full of 3000 people. It was huge for me, I was still just 11 years old and it was very overwhelming, but I managed to do it. I really hope to be back performing in stadiums soon.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? I usually start with writing music, more specifically – melodies. I rarely sit down and start writing songs, because when I TRY to come up with something new, it doesn’t come to me that easily and usually it isn’t the best song overall. I could be just randomly walking somewhere or making food or really doing anything and suddenly I’ll hear a melody in my head that sounds amazing. Most of the time, I’m not at the piano or I am not in the mood to start writing the song, so I just pull up my phone and sing in the melody in my voice memos. Another thing for me is that I can’t really “push” writing songs. I need to want to write the song, only then it’ll come out as good as I want it. When I do sit down at the piano or the guitar, I usually start by finding the right chords and structuralizing the song and then I move onto the verse/pre-chorus/chorus, depending on where the original melody is placed. After finishing the musical side, I move on to the lyrics. For me, lyrics really depend on the state that I am in when writing the song. It could be about a relationship, friends, a topic that's on my head and so on. When I am happy with how everything sounds, I move on to the production.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? I think the biggest challenge for Indie Artists today is getting seen or getting heard. It is really hard to get heard, because there is so much music released nowadays and only a few of the songs that are being released each day get heard by a lot of people. There is just too much content for the listener and that is the main issue.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? Well if we are talking about bands that don't exist anymore, then I'd have to say "Queen". Their music was so out of this world and they give off the energy that I want myself to have someday. But if we are talking about artists that are alive right now, I would definitely want to share the stage with Shawn Mendes, because he is a phenomenal singer and I really feel his music.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show? It really depends on the show. For instance, right now, I am having rehearsals basically every day for a lead role in a newly written musical by Janis Lusens called "Star Child" and the rehearsals usually consist of talking to the director, putting a scene together, learning the choreography, analysing each song and building the character, and so on. But for concerts it is usually more simple. If I don't have any particular choreography for a concert, then the rehearsal is more about getting the sound and timing together with the band. We would talk about the form of the song first and decide what everybody is going to do in each part. Then we have about 5 full sing/play-throughs and usually by then the song is somewhat ready for the concert. But again, this process can change, depending on the concert.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Writing is relatively easy for me in the whole music making process, so there isn't really a song where I thought that I would quit before I wrote it, but the song that took the most energy and time to write was "Stay For A Minute". First of all, it was a trio, so I had to take in mind everybody's vocal range, which gives me less to work with overall. Then, the song is not your usual pop song that has 4 chords, I think "Stay For A Minute" had about 10 chords which is way more than needed, but I decided to play with it. The hardest part was writing the back vocals. I think I spent about 8 hours just coming up with all the back vocals, so it took a lot of time. But I managed to do it in the end and I am very happy with the result, I think it sounds amazing.
What's coming up in the future? I will be releasing a post-album song on October 15th that I have been working on in the past few months together with producer Tim Lars. It is called “Country Side” and it is about the nostalgic feeling of summer parties far away from the city. We filmed a music video for it this summer in a party in the countryside. The video will come out October 22nd and it was filmed together with my real-life friends, and everything was captured on spot, so it will be very personal and authentic. I am also writing new songs in the meantime and I hope to release them as soon as possible.
About Patrick Tabaks
Patrick Tabaks was busy readying his debut album Lost My Mind for release in September. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter / producer spent much of 2021 writing and recording the nine-song collection in studios in the U.K., Sweden, Canada, the United States as well as his native Latvia. Patrick Tabaks has been immersed in music since his sister began teaching him piano at the age of six. He began singing on the professional opera stage at the age of 11, performing at the Latvian National Opera and becoming known as “the boy with the golden voice.”
Over the next four years, he performed duets with famous opera singers and participated in productions of different operas both in Latvia and abroad. Even with his own album complete, Patrick has no plans to slow down. He is currently cowriting and co- producing new songs with singer Elizabeth Luka, as well as collaborating with producer Tim Lars on an electronic pop single called “Countryside” that will be released on October 15th. He has also started rehearsals for the leading role in a new musical Star Child that will debut in November. Patrick was also a part of the cast of musical Rent when the production resumed at August 2021.