Check out our interview with award-winning songwriter, singer, cancer survivor, and coach, Patricia Bahia.
“Though I was always a singer, I didn’t write my first song until after receiving a cancer diagnosis in 2003. I’d spent my life doing what was expected of me, pursuing a career as a lawyer, living out someone else’s dream, while secretly harboring a dream of writing songs”
“Songwriting was on my bucket-list–something I’d always wanted to do, but didn’t know I was capable of, and had no idea of how to even start.”
Patricia encourages others to follow their own dreams, saying, “I am living proof that it is never too late to start living your dream. My mission is to spread love, healing, joy, and peace through the power of words and music, and to inspire others to follow their own dreams.”
Follow Patricia – @patriciabahiamusic
Hi Patricia, please tell us a little about you?
I am a songwriter, performing artist, cancer survivor and coach based in Los Angeles. My mission is to spread love, healing, joy, and peace through the power of words and music, and to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Bucket List Passionista
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I was always a singer, but I didn’t start writing songs until I got a cancer diagnosis in 2003. Songwriting was something I always wanted to do, but it took a life-threatening illness to push me to push past my fears (of not knowing how, of failure, of not being good etc. etc.) and allow myself to try it simply because I wanted to. So, I guess you could say cancer got me into the industry.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Melodic Uplifting Pop
Who influenced you?
I think we’re all influenced by everything we ever hear, see or do in our lives. Every song we hear, every book we read, every movie we see, every place we visit, every person we meet, every conversation. All of it comes in and swirls around in our hearts and minds and then comes out as a one-of-a-kind expression through the unique filter created by our life experiences.
All that to say, my influences are eclectic and broad and include everything from the classical music my parents played in the house, to top forty radio, to the singer songwriters of the 60s and 70s, to the soul and R&B music that came through the radio late at night, to the jazz, blues and gospel music I was immersed in when I lived in the San Francisco bay area, and probably many more influences that I’m not even consciously aware of. All this combined and being put through my life experience comes out as my unique sound.
Why did you choose to make music?
I’m not sure it was a choice, really. It feels like more of a calling that I could not ignore.
Do you play any instrument?
Yes – voice, piano, and guitar.
Do you ever get nervous?
I prefer to call it excited energy!
Tell us about your new single “Hold On” What’s the story behind the song?
I saw a friend going through a difficult time – really down and struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts – and I wanted to write a song to lift them up and let them know they’re not alone.
When my co-writer (Emmy-Award-winner) Mike Meiers came over and started playing the chord progression, it matched the feeling, the tone, of what I wanted to say, and we wrote the song together.
Hold On recognizes the listener’s pain and says, in essence, ‘I see you and what you’re going through. Please know that you’re not alone. Hold on. I’m here for you and I’m not letting go. And I need you too.
I worked with my good friend GRAMMY-nominated producer Bobby Holland to make the recording and I absolutely love the record we made. Bobby is amazing. He’s worked with Kesha, ZZ Ward and Maggie Rose, among many others -and I’m grateful I was able to work with him to bring this song to life. I love it.
My hope is that anyone hearing ‘Hold On’ will feel encouraged and less alone.
Did you have plans/concerts planned and cancelled because of COVID? If so, have you done any online concerts or interaction with your fans?
Yes, and a lot of events are still virtual. And some that returned to in-person for a short time are now back to being virtual. For example, my new release ‘Hold On’ is nominated for a Positive Music Award this year and the award show was changed from in-person to virtual because of Covid safety concerns. The award show will be held on Friday September 24, 2021. Details at https://www.empowerma.com/the-empower-posi-awards/
Which project is still on your bucket list?
Lately I’ve been thinking about putting together a band of performing songwriters. Writers /performers I really admire. We would play each other’s songs and sing backups and harmonies. I think that would be amazing.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
Songwriting is still like magic to me. You sit down with a blank screen or piece of paper, and a little while later, there’s a song. It is positively exhilarating to create something out of nothing. The not-so-exciting part is the administrative work necessary to keep a music career afloat.
What’s next for Patricia Bahia in 2021?
I have a few more singles in the pipeline to release. And 7th & Hope, my trans-atlantic duo project with Betty Lawrence, just found out our song Born for This will be the soundtrack for a European commercial for a University. It’s our first European ad and we’re super excited!
What is your favorite song? And why?
That is constantly changing, but for about eighteen months it’s been “If The World Was Ending,” by Julia Michaels and JP Saxe. I love the lyrics – how raw and real they feel, and the story they tell. I love the melody, their voices together, really everything about it.
Any loves other than music?
I love dogs!
Best advice ever given?
When I was growing up, my father used to encourage us by saying “The ‘no’ you have, the ‘yes’ you may get,” meaning, if you don’t ask, it’s as if you asked and were told ‘no’; but if you do ask, you could get a ‘yes’.
How’s a typical day in your life?
Typically, I have a big list of things I want to accomplish, and I get about 25% or less of them done, ha ha.
Name one your strengths?
My superpower is songwriting is anthemic sing-along choruses. They just flow easily for me.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Hike. Brunch. Nap.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car?
Whatever song I just finished writing, or am in the process of finishing.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Spending my life serving others with what I love to do.
Do you support any charities?
Yes, The Cancer Support Community – I’ve been leading monthly circle singing sessions there for over ten years, though we haven’t been able to have in-person sessions since March 2020 because of Covid.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love a salad pizza! (pizza topped with fresh arugula salad with a light vinaigrette dressing). It’s a lighter version of pizza and so delicious.
And your favorite cheat food?
New York style cheesecake. With fresh strawberries. Yum.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
I’m not dating, but when I was, a big turn-off was egotistical know-it-all types who would just talk about themselves.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing what I do now – writing songs, collaborating, recording, performing – but to a much larger world-wide audience.
How would you describe your fashion style?
What do you think of Social Media?
I have a love-hate relationship with it. Love the connectivity, but the time I lose to it daily is scary.
Where can we follow you?
Quote: Teamwork makes the dream work.
Travel Destination: I haven’t done much traveling since Covid, but when I get back into it, one of the first places I want to go back to is the Big Island of Hawaii. I love it there.