In her latest single, What You Gon’ Do?, Pam Hall says that she is tired of the same old story of being ignored by a man. The sparse rhythm puts all the focus on Hall’s vocals as it cascades over the tropical pop production by United States-based producer Tania ‘Chyna Nicole’ Sutherland.
Hall co-wrote the single with her regular songwriting partner Errol Wilson, who is based in New York, who, she says, always, adds to the creative ingredient to make the sweetest sound. Hall explains the inspiration behind the song, saying, “The man I am speaking to in the song set the tone after leaving for a long time in the holidays, and I never heard a word from him. I am not pleased because I am not getting the right attention, so I, basically, give him an option, saying, ‘mi nah run yuh or wil’ yuh, but I am relaxing while at the same time saying you deh pon you own.”
She is melodiously aggressive on the track, the video for which she shot in Eight Miles, Bull Bay, at the Wickie Wackie Beach. For the new single she tells The Sunday Gleaner, “I am not changing anything about myself. I sing a wide variety of types of music – I do reggae, I do soul, jazz, I do ballads. It is not a matter of changing my sound.”
Generally, an artiste’s commercial success decreases as he or she ages, but Hall has experienced the opposite. She has amassed a string of lover’s rock and reggae hits since she debuted as a solo act in the ’70s, and scored hits as one half of the duo Pam and Woody with the single Creation, and then in the ’80s after releasing Dear Boopsie. After building up a discography of timeless music, she supported international acts such as Erykah Badu, Jimmy Cliff, Tracy Chapman, and Eve.
With What You Gon Do?, Hall hopes to reach the same fans that helped her previous hits reach the international charts. Her last release, Make It up To You (2016) , produced in collaboration with Hawaiian composer Lance Motogawa and Robert Sterling Music, made it to the number 21 spot on the New York Reggae Chart. It has been over a decade since her last original album, Testament in 2009, and she has her sights set on the album that will make the lucky number 13 in her catalogue.
Hall believes that there is a space in the 21st-century generation for her and her muisic. “I don’t feel like I have to compete though it is first nature to be competitive for the consumer dollar. Personally, I would like see a vibrant music industry, one where the quality of music being produced is of a high standard.”
She continued, “I am happy for other people’s successes, but this new single will show that I am current. I have an existing fan base that will listen, but if I can get more fans, why not? Like anyone else, I have my place, and the world is huge, so my place will not infringe on another person’s place,” she added.
Hall anticipates a greater output for 2019, with another song already lined up for release before the season ends. Her daughter Tafina Wilson, occasionally shares the stage with her, and they have collaborated on a reggae track, but the title has not yet been set, as they are focused on getting the mix mastered and artwork completed. I like voices that contrast well with mine like a male singer’s I would choose a more masculine sound, and I aspire to do some music with females because I haven’t done that many with females. I can feel a vibe from Jamaican artiste, that they are very focused for 2019, and I look forward to what’s coming from everybody.”
Hall keeps fit with regular exercise and is a frequent participant in 5Ks, the most recent being the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run. At home, she prefers a home-cooked meal with coconut water and green juices but finds every now and then that she cannot resist having a little meat and “rubbish” as she calls fast food. “Like music, I believe in having a balance in everything.”