Meet Patrick Saint James,

the U.K. recording artist who

is headlining the Western Oklahoma Pride Festival

It’s pop with a hint of soul, Lorde mixed with Adele and mingled with an '80s vibe. The lyrics are written by an old soul and are heartfelt and resonant.

Meet Patrick Saint James, a U.K.-based powerhouse Singer-Songwriter. Better yet, see him in person as the headliner of the Western Oklahoma Pride Festival on June 10th at Clinton, Oklahoma’s McLain Rogers Park.

Patrick, a personable 27-year-old native of Derry, Ireland, is making his first trip to the States. He is ready for a party as he adds international flair to the inaugural WOK Pride Festival. But make no mistake, as legislators in the Sooner State and worldwide push proposals that are harmful to the LGBTQ+ community, Patrick, as a gay man, knows how important this gathering is.

"I'm thrilled to come to Oklahoma and perform for all of you. However, I think it's important to remember that while we will definitely be having a party, it's also a protest, and that we have a purpose for being there. The reason it's happening this year, in particular, is because there are issues that need to be addressed. So, by all means, let's celebrate ourselves, but let's also ensure that we can continue celebrating ourselves in the future."

Patrick – and all festival-goers – are also celebrating a career already blazing off the launchpad. He is signed to Lovers Music with renowned producer Joe Cross, and his debut EP, “Mood Swings & Roundabouts,” came out in 2021. He is now releasing singles from his second EP, including crowd favorite “Surrender,” power ballad “Goodnight” and the latest called “Broken Hearts.” Destructive relationships, mental health and intensely personal experiences are the topics of many songs, and “Broken Hearts” represents a slightly different take.

“It’s quite sarcastic,” Patrick said. “It was originally written a little while ago, then I left it for quite a long time and recently came back to it and finished writing it retrospectively. It sounds quite sad, but it’s less about being in total heartbreak and more like, ‘Why did I feel like that? You weren’t worth that.’ My most melodramatic self.”

“I’ve always been a really serious lyricist,” he said, but in real life, “I’ve always been sarcastic, sometimes too sarcastic. So (past lyrics) might be what I would sing, but in conversation, I may have said it a little differently. So I’m just allowing myself to speak a bit more honestly.”

It’s important to Patrick not to say too much about his lyrics so that listeners can interpret them for themselves. “When someone asks you what a song’s about, I try not to give too much away from my perspective or what I believe a song to be about because I kind of want to leave that up to the listener. I saw an interview with Pink a couple of years ago, and they were asking her, ‘What is this song about?’ And she was like, ‘Well, I know what it’s about, but I don’t want it to be about my story for you. I want you to hear it and relate it to your story.’ And I just thought that was pretty beautiful, to be honest. So I try to adapt to that as an artist now.”

His journey as an artist started about 13 years ago when he started writing songs. At first, it was just that, writing the songs and convincing friends to sing them. “And then they just got a bit fed up with me asking them, to be honest,” Patrick said with a laugh. “So then I started training my voice a bit more.”

Patrick has a degree in songwriting from the British Irish Modern Music Institute, but the voice training is something he has worked on himself over the past decade. “My idol is Adele. The way she uses her voice has always fascinated me, both what she’s saying and how she’s saying it. She takes my breath away every time. So that's how I got the passion to really go for it as a singer. Watching her do it, I wanted to do it. I wanted to be her, to be honest.”

In addition to his formal training, Patrick draws on his life experiences to inform his music. “As a songwriter, unfortunately, the more dramatic your life is, the better the music is. It's a bit of a double-edged sword. The music is a lot better because of some of the things that you go through. So, we live and learn, but it has made me who I am as a writer.”

Patrick toured England last year and also made a stop in Derry, and he’s still getting used to the amazingly positive fan reaction.

“When people you’ve never met before come up to you and say, ‘This song means so much to me. It got me through this, this and this,’ there are no words for it. I’m trying to find words.”

The people who have found out that Patrick is coming to the Western Oklahoma Pride Festival have likewise had a great response.

“They’re so crazy for it. They’re so happy that people are getting involved so universally. That really speaks volumes to how serious the situation is. We’re losing our rights, and it’s happening everywhere. So, it’s time. It’s time we remembered that Pride isn’t a party; it’s a protest.”

Interview by:

Holly Clanahan, WOK Pride

Western Oklahoma

Pride Festival

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