We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Bahia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I love to collect quotes and I share a different one on social media each Monday #mondaymotivation (and sometimes on Wednesday for #wednesdaywordsofwisdom)
One of my favorites is this one from Steve Jobs’ June 2005 Stanford commencement speech: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose… There is no reason not to follow your heart…Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Though I was always a singer from a very young age, I didn’t write my first song until after receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis. I spent the earlier part of my life living out someone else’s dream life as a lawyer. I had a “safe” career, and moonlighted as a singer, singing other people’s songs. But songwriting was on my bucket list, something I had always wanted to do but didn’t know I was capable of, and had no idea of how to even start.
For years, I thought songwriting was something other people could do (but not me). I thought you had to be an amazing musician (I wasn’t), know all about music theory (again, not me–I didn’t really know what a I-IV-V was), that you had to be able to write music like Mozart (nope), or that you had to be born knowing how, or that it was magic. (well… it kind of is magic)
I told myself I was “just a singer” who interpreted other people’s songs. It took a cancer diagnosis and the encouragement of music friends to finally allow myself to even try to write a song. That’s when I truly realized it’s my one life and I’m not going to get another chance to follow my heart and do what I feel called to do. So I decided to trade my briefcases for guitar cases and start living my bucket list life as a songwriter.
Since those first few baby steps toward writing songs 16 years ago, I’ve had songs I’ve written on TV shows, films and commercials, I’ve won awards, and most importantly to me, I’ve touched people with my music and message. I’m living proof it’s never too late to do what you feel called to do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I call myself a “Bucket List Passionista” because I truly am living my bucket list dream life as a songwriter, performing artist, and coach. As a songwriter I get to write and produce songs with and for other artists and for sync (TV, film and commercials). As a performing artist I get to share my unique and authentic voice and stories. And as a coach I get to help empower others to uncover, claim and develop their musical passions to fuel their dream lives.
I know how lucky I am. When I worked as an attorney, work never felt like this. Back then, I would wake up most days filled with dread. Now I love doing what I do so much, most of the time it doesn’t feel like work at all. I get to wake up every day and make music with an amazing group of talented writers, artists and producers that I love and respect. And I feel so fortunate and grateful to have the songs we write featured on TV shows like Pretty Little Liars, Nashville and Selling Sunset.
My most recent songwriting success is having a song I co-wrote in a current ad for Google Pixel. “I’m Coming Up” was co-written and performed by the awesome team of Emi Hart, Katy Davidson, producer Jeffrey Brodsky and me. We had so much fun recording this at the Hawaii Songwriting Festival 2019. We made a “vocal booth” in a hotel meeting room by turning long folding tables up on one end and draping them with table cloths. It kind of felt like kids building a fort out of sheets and blankets. I think the fun we had comes through on the recording.
One of the things I try to do as a songwriter and artist is to create songs that help lift people up, combat negativity with hope and optimism, and help us remember that we’re all one family living on one planet. So I’m very excited that my upcoming February 12th release, “(Say Yes) World With A Little More Love,” featuring Ryan Hiraoka is connecting with people and winning awards. It won a 2020 Peace Song Award in the World Music Category and a 2020 Positive Music Award, which is like the Grammys for positive music.
Besides being a songwriter and performing artist, we know you’re also passionate about helping others. Can you tell us about your coaching and mentoring work?
As a coach, I love helping people connect with the joy of making music and the magic of songwriting. I believe that doing something you love to do, for no other reason than it gives you joy or makes you feel alive, is what makes life worth living. So one of my passions is helping others to fully express themselves and be creative through singing and songwriting–helping them to realize their dreams.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Before Covid closed the restaurants and music venues here in Los Angeles, we would definitely go to The Hotel Cafe. You don’t even really need to know who is playing, it’s always a great night of amazing music. Adele, Damien Rice, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Ingrid Michaelson, JP Saxe and many others played there in the earlier part of their careers.
After the show, we would go across the street to the Velvet Margarita for Mexican food. I love their funky Gothic decor, they’re always playing clips of old movies, and their turkey albondigas soup is delicious. Another night, we’d go to a show at the historic Troubadour on Melrose, where so many of my songwriting heroes and sheroes started out–Joni Mitchell, Carol King, James Taylor, Donny Hathaway, and Willie Nelson, to name a few.
If the visit was in the spring or summer, we would definitely go to at least one outdoor show. I love the KCRW nights at the Hollywood Bowl–always great music and a great time. The Ford and The Greek Theaters are also amazing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One of my favorite sayings is “teamwork makes the dream work.” And it really has been a team effort to get to where I am now. Along the way, I’ve had a lot of encouragement from many, including my songwriting mentors, teachers and collaborators, as well as my husband Gregg.
Today, I’d like to give a special shout out to two of my songwriting mentors, Bonnie Hayes and Jai Josefs. Bonnie Hayes was my first songwriting mentor. She encouraged me when I was just beginning my songwriting journey. When I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, she gave me priceless life advice that I follow to this day. She encouraged me to pay attention to what lights me up and then follow that light.
Jai Josefs is the mentor who took me from fledgling songwriter who didn’t play piano or guitar, to performing artist with songs on TV, in films and commercials, a wall of songwriting awards and trophies, and a coaching practice of my own.
Other: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Bahia https://www.imdb.com/name/nm11316131/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Jeff Fasano, Justin Higuchi, Ron Z Photography