Pamela Hopkins is a multi-instrumentalist Country Music Singer who performs weekly as a Dueling Piano Player in Little Rock Arkansas. Pamela travels several times a year performing in various venues as a Dueling Piano Player and also as a Solo Artist with her band. Pamela and her band focus on country music when her gig is concentrated on original music, but they can also cover multiple genres to provide a fun and interactive environment to fit any event. She plays piano, drums, cello, bass, and harmonica. Being in the dueling piano world, she can cover just about any genre asked for. She knows over 1000 top 40 songs from the 50’s to today. 1 In Music meets the talented music artist.
1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?
Pamela Hopkins [PH]: I would have to say that what makes me unique is that I try to stay true to who I am, so you can take it or leave it. I get that I am not everybody’s cup of tea, and I am okay with that. My music reflects a lot of who I am and sometimes doesn’t fit into some people’s mindset (if that is the word I’m looking for). I do however, try to create music that is fun and thoughtful and that hopefully most people would enjoy. But what you hear me sing, play and write, is who I am as a woman, mom, wife, musician, etc…
1 In Music: What music and which artists shape your music?
PH: I would say that my love for ALL types of music has shaped who I am today. I absolutely enjoy music in general…playing and singing in different genres is what makes music and performing fun to me. When I create and write, I pull from things I’ve experienced or others close to me have experienced, or just from general observation. I think I connect more with songs that speak to me from other artists, so those types of songs shaped the way I write.
I listen to all types of music. I have to because of my job as a dueling piano player. We play top 40 hits from the 50’s to today, so I try to keep current on what is trending in all genres. I’ve had to learn anything from Morgan Wallen to Cardi B. If I’m listening for pleasure, I tend to listen to 80s Yacht Rock.
1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?
PH: About eight years ago, I decided to try to be a dueling piano player full-time. Once I went full time in that gig, I realized that my income as a teacher could be replaced. So I jumped on that opportunity and began to learn more music and hone in my performance skills. I’ve just grown from there… eventually I started putting out my own music and I plan to keep moving my career forward.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
PH: I really like Patty Griffin. She is an amazing songwriter and has had several hits with popular artists. But I just love her voice and love to listen to her sing when I need to relax. I get really wrapped up in her lyrics and sound of her voice.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
PH: I generally warm my vocals up on my way to the venue. I listen to some sort of talk radio or just sit in silence on the ride there so that I’m fresh on the songs I’m supposed to perform. I don’t want other songs flooding my brain that I’m not performing. I guess I’m afraid I’ll get mixed up on the lyrics or something. (laughs)
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
PH: I have recently started to repurpose my shoes. I have been adding bling to the ones that don’t have any on them. It is tedious but I can put my earbuds in and just work and escape reality in my mind. I also enjoy going to the movies with my family and bowling as well. I really enjoy escape rooms, so when we travel out of our state,we may book one if we have time.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
PH: [Success is] Creating something authentic, fun, touching, inspiring, etc…
and watching people connect to what I am doing vocally or musically at any given moment.
I feel successful when people enjoy what they hear and support it.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
PH: When I thought about being a musician/singer way back when, I wish someone had told me to really start working on accompanying myself. It took me 15 years to figure out that being able to accompany myself was the key to making more money. Not a lot of bands are just looking for a singer, they’re looking for an instrumentalist that sings as well. If you can accompany yourself, then you don’t necessarily need anyone else to help make your money. You can do solo gigs and make a decent living with your music if you hustle.
1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?
PH: I play every weekend (Thursday-Saturday) at my house gig, Willy D’s. My band plays some weekends as well. We have several shows coming up (you can check my website for that schedule). My solo projects for this year are just completing my next few singles and releasing them. I am in writing sessions with writers pretty often, so I am working on my next singles to record for next year. I will be releasing a full album in December of the singles that I released over the past year and a half with a bonus track that I haven’t/won’t release(d) as a single.
My current release is “Back When,” written by myself, Dave Lenahan, Melissa Leigh Johnson and Cliff Prowse. This song, as well as my last 6 releases, were recorded at Off the Row Recording Studio in Franklin, TN and were produced by P. T. Houston. This song was a tribute to my younger years and me looking back as an adult reminiscing about the good ‘ol days. I believe it is very relatable for many of us who get stuck in the adult rut. It’s a clap-a-long type acoustic style song, that is fun to dance to as well.
1 In Music: Thank you Pamela for doing this interview. Where can we find you music?
PH: You can find all of my music on all of the major digital streaming apps/sites. My music plays on several indie radio stations and you can also find my music on my website www.pamelahopkinsmusic.com. I also have several official music videos out on my YouTube channel (pamelahopkinsVEVO) and on my artist account Pamela Hopkins Music. If you google my name, you’ll find it.
Thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate you supporting independent musicians like myself. It means the world to me!