INTERVIEW: Pamela Hopkins

How would you classify your music?

My music is country…sometimes it’s more country rock and sometimes it’s more traditionally storytelling, heartfelt, and emotional. I’m a woman and my mood changes which each writing session and idea.  Sometimes I feel more like rockin’ out a bada** rebel style and sometimes I’m more in my feels about my where I am in life.  Either way, most of what I am co-writing has been some sort of real life story at one point in my life or another.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

I have a lot of musical influences so it’s hard to put them in an order, but my top 5 influences would most likely be Carole King, Sam Cooke, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Elton John…simply for their song writing attributes—I need to throw Prince and Michael Jackson in there as well….all of these artists wrote great music that made me want to sing along and move my body to the beat (some call that dancing but I’m not sure that is what I call the moving I do to the beat  LOL)

What do you want fans to take from your music?

I want my fans to feel what I felt when I wrote or sang a specific song.  I want them to connect to my emotion or my attitude of the song…but most of all, I want to move them.  If it’s a happy song, like “Crankin’ Up the Crazy,” then my hope is that they’re dancing around having a great time.  If it’s a song like “Little Things,” I want them to feel in love and warm about their significant other.  When my next single drops, “Givin’ a Damn (Don’t Go With My Outfit),” I want them to feel like a bada** and sing along proudly!

How’s the music scene in your locale?

Since the pandemic has hit, live music is not going on as much as it was before, but venues are still hiring bands and musicians to work.  I am a dueling piano player  at Willy D’s here in Little Rock, AR and right now we are performing every weekend.  Once they are opens up a bit more, the plan is that we will open a few more days a week like we were pre-pandemic.  We have a few more restaurants that support live music, so people are still gigging around here, just less nights a week.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live? 

I love going to concerts and I go all the time (pre-pandemic).  I have seen acts from Kiss to Weird Al to Miranda Lambert to Milli Vanilli (yes back in the 80’s I saw them in concert). There are 6 memorable concerts that stand out as being really great in my opinion.  1) Boys II Men/Montell/Mary J Blige (mid 90’s), 2) Reba McEntire (Mid 90’),  3) New Kids on the Block (in the 90’s AND a few years ago when they came with Boys II Men and Paula Abdul), 4) Justin Bieber (I saw him 2 different tours), 5) Carrie Underwood, 6) Guns N’ Roses).  When I play live, I try to put as much passion and emotion in my performances as what I have seen by my favorite artists/concerts.  I love creating memorable moments for my audience.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

On my last EP, With or Without You, I have a solo-written song called “Give Him Back to Us.”  This one is my favorite, simply because every single part of it is true.  I wrote this song a short while after my husband, Jason, came back from war in Iraq back in 2005.  The song was written from a military wife’s (me) perspective and what the wife goes through as well as the soldier who has seen trauma and has to live with that and returning to “normal” life.  I still tear up when I sing this one. 

My current songs will not be compiled into an album until all 10 singles have been released.  Currently, I am on release number 5 with “Little Things.”  With each release I think “this is my favorite!” but the next one comes out, it becomes my new favorite—so it’s hard to decide really.  So I would say that “Little Things” and my next single to be released sometime in late April/early May, “Givin’ a Damn (Don’t Go With My Outfit)” are my absolute favorites that will be on my upcoming album…with “Somebody Here is Walkin’” and “Crankin’ Up the Crazy,” being right up there as well—see I can’t decide…I love them all!

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

I have really tried to focus on my writing skills and connecting with other artists and writers.  I’ve also tried to focus on vocal technique and staying vocally healthy.  Covid closures and limitations on venues has allowed me more time to focus on those things and really hon in some skills I didn’t have time for before since I was performing 3-4 night a week and working my day job. I decided a year ago to start working on my music every day to grow and to also try and find my voice, lyrically speaking, and share my message and emotion with the world.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?  

There are so many people I can think of…but here are my answers for each since my fav’s have different roles in my dreams: I would love to have met Prince or Michael Jackson or have even just seen them live in concert before their passing. I would love to play a gig with Carrie Underwood, we are both Tri Sigma’s and hopefully she’d let me hang out with her as well since we are sorority sisters.  I think that Ashley McBryde is an amazing country songwriter and she really inspires me to write when I listen to her music—so I would love to co-write with her, have dinner and few drinks with her as well…she seems like my kind of people…AND she is from Arkansas too!  

What’s next for you? 

I plan to keep releasing songs this year and hopefully win some awards. I’d like to eventually tour when the world opens back up for concerts again.  My dream would be to open for a big star soon…I’m not greedy, so I don’t mind just opening and being the warm up person for a while…then who knows?  But regardless of what may or may not come, my plan is to just keep moving forward and pushing out new music, writing new songs, performing every chance I can. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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