Heather: Hi thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I’d like to hear about your musical background and how you classify your sound/genre?
Pamela: Hi Heather, thanks you for the interview! I took a few guitar lessons when I was 12 and that’s how I started writing my own songs. No special background, really. I had a band when I was a teenager, at school, and I forced all my friends to play an instrument! haha! I started music seriously in 2005, and after a few line-up changes, experiments, I released my first album in 2010. And then the second in 2013 and here I am, about to release number 3…
Congratulations on the upcoming release. It sounds like you have enthusiasm for making music for many years. What band members are you playing with right now?
We are four on stage. I’m playing with Eva on bass and backing vocals, Pierre on lead guitar and backing vocals and Ernest on drums. As far as I am concerned, I sing and play rhythmic guitar.
As a singer-songwriter, I’d like to hear about how you create your lyrics writing process and your overall method for writing?
I usually grab my guitar and improvise, singing in some weird phonetic English. I record long minutes of improv and cut the parts I like best. Sometimes it’s just a chorus, sometimes a verse, sometimes both. When I’m happy, I write lyrics that fit, and record something more definitive over the improvisation and build around that. I can change the lyrics later on too; some songs take longer to finish than others.
So you are based in Paris, what is the music scene like out there?
It’s pretty dynamic, like in any big European cities. There is a bunch of really good bands and solid solo artists, but mostly French singing. It’s harder for the English-singing bands or artists. Less space in the media, on the radio… The scene is suffering from the market saturation. It’s so hard to have a band nowadays you know…
Do you have any types of favorite venues that you prefer to play?
I like clubs. Small venues, when you can look at the people in the eye.
I can understand why an artist would prefer the smaller venues. I am curious, what would you say are your favorite artists/bands?
It’s hard to say. I’m not sure I have a favorite artist. I really listen to a lot of different things all the time. I’m trying to stay really curious. But I was very influenced in my teenage years by the Brit-pop scene and bands like Elastica, Blur or Sleeper. Nirvana was important for me too, heavy guitars, punk spirit and yet pop melodies… And the fundamentals too, the Beatles of course, and Otis Redding which is my favorite singer of all time.
I listened to many of those bands as well! How have different musicians shaped and influenced your musical style?
The sound of your music changes a lot depending on the band you have, of course. I like arranging with the band. I like when everybody can express themselves through my songs. On the upcoming record, I worked with new people, and it gave a new direction to the whole thing: more guitars, less keyboards. My songs are more or less the same, but with a different band, they change shape and sometimes reveal something new I enjoy exploring. It’s always interesting to take some risks. And I think music is mostly about people playing together anyway, so yes, the band matters a lot.
I love your song, “Gunshot.” Can you tell me more about this song? What are you expressing through the lyrics?
I wrote this song in winter and I had an imaginary movie scene in mind. A girl waking up and watching her boyfriend writing a postcard at the table, in their room, bathed in the morning light. And then suddenly, a sound, a lost bullet, and the boy falls down, dead. In my idea, it was so sudden, it was not even gloomy, it was just impossible to understand. And the song is about that, the impossibility to understand. The sudden change, from life to death. For some terrible reason, I was planning on releasing the song two days after the shootings at Le Bataclan in Paris. I posted the first teaser of the lyrics video a few hours before it all happened. I explained it all here on my blog: click HERE. This song is special in many ways, like a premonition.
New Album “Highline” will be available early 2017- I’d love to hear more about this album?
The EP I just released is an introduction to the upcoming album. I recorded it a year ago with Jay Pellicci in the south of France and we mixed it in San Francisco. It’s a record about love, loss, traveling, and doubts. A lot of doubts… haha! It’s my most personal record, there is a lot of me in those songs. I can’t wait to release it, really.
Do you have anything else on the horizon? What are your hopes for the future of your music?
I would like to tour more and be able to meet people all around the world and play them my songs. It’s very hard to find agents, promoters and all. I’ve been doing this for a while already but I’m still excited about playing, and I’m sure people can relate to my songs. It all about making them know the songs exist!
Thank you again Pamela, I look forward to hearing more of your music!