Patrick Tabaks is busy readying his debut album Lost My Mind for release in September. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter spent much of 2020 writing and recording the nine-song collection in studios in the U.K., Sweden, Canada, the United States as well as his native Latvia.
Lyrically, Lost My Mind finds the singer contemplating existential questions and exploring his own emotional psyche. “The album is really about what has been growing inside of me all my life,” Patrick explains. “It’s about what I’ve grown up to experience or what I’ve wondered about. So, a lot of the songs are kind of about, I wouldn’t like to say philosophical questions, but questions you don’t really want to think about daily. But those questions stay in your head. And the other half of the album is the romantic half. It’s about my emotions.”
The album’s first single “From Time to Time,” was inspired by the bittersweet nature of grief. “[It’s] a song about the people you’ve lost in your life. The song is about my grandma and my grandpa. I really didn’t get to spend that much time with them [growing up]. Now that I think back, I wish I could’ve spent more time with them. It’s a song that gives you the feeling of loss but at the same time the feeling of happiness that you had when you spent all those moments with those people.”
Another single, “Are You Even Real,” marks a left turn both sonically and in content. “[It’s] a little bit of an outlier,” Patrick says. “The music itself is a bit different than the rest of the songs. But I thought it was an interesting song with an interesting concept… “Are You Even Real” is [about] my fear of what happens after death. I just think that talking about your fears is just as important as talking about the rest of your emotions.”
While Lost My Mind has an undeniable pop sensibility, its influences range from jazz and flamenco to lo-fi rock. Such versatility is unsurprising for an artist who’s been a musician almost as long as he’s been alive.
“I started doing music when I was six years old,” Patrick says. “I remember my sister teaching me how to sing at our home piano. And I really started to enjoy it a lot. And when I was seven years old I started going to a music school where I got my inspiration from working with these teachers. All these people who were also into music…it gave [me] a sense of what it is to be a musician and what joy you can get out of it. I think that’s really where my inspiration came from.”
Under the tutelage of his teacher Valda Tracuma, Patrick began singing opera 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 such as Sonora Vaice and Elina Shimkus and performed 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 in the fall. He has also started rehearsals for the leading role in a new musical written by Janis Lusens that will debut in November. Patrick will also be a part of the cast of Rent when the production resumes at the end of 2021.