From Patrick Seraya
Few people in the music world can boast of the richly diverse cultural and musical background that has shaped both Patrick Seraya’s life and music. Born in Congo, Patrick began his musical journey at the age of seven, learning from many great guitar players in the Kinshasa area. Over the years, he both lived in and traveled through various African countries before finally moving to the United States as a young man. In the course of those experiences, Patrick feels blessed to have played and recorded with some of Africa’s best musicians, as well as an extraordinary cast of international players along the way. Certainly included in this list would be the most recent collaboration with Zion Celebrate, an all-star cast of American, Mexican, African, and Puerto Rican players who contributed to the recording of his debut album CHANT D’ALLEGRESSE.
Stylistically-speaking, Patrick has developed a wonderful smorgasbord of sounds from worldwide styles and influences ranging from jazz, fusion, Latino, soul, Congolese rhumba, various African sounds, and musicians like George Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Jonathan Butler. These influences work very well with Patrick’s own unique guitar and vocal flair. Add in the collaborative talents of Zion Celebrate and you have a seamless sound that is undeniably sweet. Regarding the message behind Patrick’s songs, it is clear that his travels and experiences have caused him to witness a great deal of suffering and despair in the world along the way. However, in the face of poverty, disease, and injustice, the message in his first full-length album CHANT D’ALLEGRESSE (Song of Joy) is decidedly one of hope, not angst. Rather than point fingers, Patrick instead points to Jesus Christ as the solution and to living a life that places God first as the means of attaining true blessing. This hope, which he has known experientially through times of trouble, transcends culture, race, language, and economic background. As Patrick is a multilingual and multicultural musician singing for an international audience, songs here are heard in a variety of languages including French, English, Swahili, Lingala, etc… In these languages, very real subject-matters are addressed, including; social/family issues, advice about life, marriage, and ultimately the worship of the Creator. As he forges ahead into the future, Patrick’s plans are to continue giving back to his local Portland-area community in providing guitar lessons and mentoring to local kids, helping others record at his home studio, performing concerts and festivals, all-the-while expanding plans to bring more hope and assistance to those in need in Africa.