A singer, songwriter, actor, performer, and overall creative force, Pat Reilly is a true artist in every sense of the word. Fusing R&B with pop electronica, Reilly brings an authentic queer narrative to all of his work. His sound weaves weighty emotion through the lightness of pop with a distinctive sensitivity, sexuality, and softness. Already capturing the attention of tastemakers like Billboard Pride and QueerX, Reilly is emerging as one of the most exciting, boundary-pushing, queer voices in pop.
YASS met Pat Reilly and this is the result of spending a beautiful afternoon together.
Who is Pat Reilly and how do you identify?
I don’t know who Pat Reilly is, to be honest… but I like him! He/him/his.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe my music as queer R&B pop electronica.
What is the message you would like to spread with your music?
Freedom to do whatever you want. I constantly am in a battle with what I should do as an artist, so I think every song I make is a fight against the Should or Shouldn’t. I want people to feel free to make bold choices, and showcase parts of themselves that aren’t shown in average conversations. As a gay kid growing up in Texas, I became obsessed with the idea of being this taboo human who didn’t fit in and boldly went against the grain, but I was also still someone that people liked and enjoyed even if they didn’t know why. I felt so powerful… and that is what I want to try to bring to all of my music.
Who are the queer artists that have influenced you? Did you have any artists you looked up to growing up?
Current queer artists that influence me: Jordy, Vincint, Brayton Bowman, MUNA, Kehlani, and Victoria Monet.
Artists I looked up to growing up: Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, James Taylor, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and Imogen Heap.
Why and how do you explore your queer sexuality through your music?
I think that singing itself taps me into my sexuality. Every time I get nervous before a performance, I actually think about singing as the same thing as sex, and it drops me into my body.
When did you decide to get involved in making your own music?
Two years ago when I was out of work as an actor I decided to take the plunge into making my own music. I had been writing songs since high school, but never felt comfortable putting those songs out into the world. Things have now changed, clearly!
Do you think there is enough LGBTQ+ representation in the music industry nowadays?
No! I think there are a lot of queer artists, but not enough of an initiative in the gatekeeper realm to weave queerness into the culture on a grand scale: to take people under their wing, and help them find the right contacts. Plus, it really doesn’t make sense since people come to listen to music for the relationship POV and the sound — I don’t know a single person who picks apart pronouns used in songs saying “oh shit! I can’t like this song anymore because the singer is singing to a gender I’m not interested in, so now I can’t like it???” This always seems to be a topic of discussion in sessions and catching a “wider audience”, and it sounds like a basic cop out to me.
How has the pandemic had an effect on your career and your life?
I somehow ended up tapping into a dark-pop vibe for this EP instead of the pop-R&B EP I was planning to create. I’d say the pandemic has forced me to purge the worst parts of myself that I’d been covering up with alway being busy and running around. That’s why I had to make this EP and turn away from what was comfortable for a minute — it’s an exorcism of all the stuff I’d been pushing down and holding onto. This EP feels like a purge of the worst parts of me, and a stepping into the light of new parts of me I’m uncovering.
How do you see the future of the music industry?
I hope the future of the music industry moves more and more artists to the top of their business. Give them the money they deserve, allow them to make bold choices that they deem fit, and continue giving them a platform where they can succeed. There is enough to go around, as we’ve learned this year. The rise and success of indie queer artists doesn’t mean the downfall of the already successful heteronormative business.
What are your future plans?
Keep making music, and return to the other EP I had started before this lockdown took me away from my producers!!!
Stream “Adamantine” on Spotify:
Stream “Adamantine” on Apple Music:
Stream “Adamantine” on Soundcloud:
‘Prince of the Night’ PR: