Published on September 8th, 2022 | by MuzikScribe


Pamela Long: Divine Calling

Although you’ve dropped a few solo singles in the past, this new self-titled EP is your first full length body of work — Why did it take so long?

The reason why this album took so long to be released is because I wasn’t ready, I still had to be processed by God. His timing is perfect and now is the right time, because if it wasn’t I don’t believe He would be allowing it.

And, what was it about now, specifically, that prompted your decision to finally unleash a project of this magnitude?

The reason why the album is out now is because a woman of God from my church who is a true Prophetess received a word from the Lord, and one day on a prayer call she told us to get a date in our heads and after we did. She shared that the Lord talked with her about getting things done that she was told to do that she hadn’t yet got done, and she believed she was supposed to share the same word with those of us on the call. So when the word was told to us to get it done, I said to God that I was going to get the album out, which had been sitting on ice for years. I asked Him what to do, and here we are today.

For it, you teamed up with Kenny Black — Why did you opt to only incorporate one producer for the whole set?

Kenny Black’s work speaks for itself. He is a great producer, and he and I were divinely put together by God to bring a new sound to the industry. It’s something because I honestly had no confidence in what I had, because it didn’t sound like everything else and it was so far away from who I was. But when I finally made the decision to believe in what I had, because I ran out of the funds to do anything else with the music that was already completed, I stepped out and the response has been amazing.

That said, and aside from the obvious, how then does this material either differ and / or compare to what your fans already both know and love you for as the former lead singer of Total?

What differs about what the fans know of me is the colorfulness of the album. It’s not just R&B, it’s Pamela Long the artist, who has music for every genre. What I believe the fans from the Total days can relate to is, still being able to identify the unique voice that I have and that is a blessing within itself. I’m so grateful to God for that.

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

When I write a song, I pray and ask God for direction or His sound.

Now the masses last heard from you through last year’s reality series BET Presents The EnCore, which resulted in the formation of R&B supergroup Bluprint — Although y’all also ultimately dropped an EP, of which you were featured on one of the tracks, you had already quit even before the series finale — Care to explain what happened with that situation?

Concerning the show, The EnCore, it was a blessing. I actually didn’t leave the group before the finale, but after the show ended I made the decision to follow what I believe I was led to do. Just so we’re straight on something, it’s NOT always easy to walk away from success, but a decision has to be made and it comes down to who you’re gonna follow, God or self?

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Pamela Long?

My inception into music was as a little girl. I don’t know the age, but I always loved it. I can recall performing in the house with my mom, brother and sister, as we cleaned on Saturday’s. The broom was my first microphone. LOL! Stephanie Mills, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and others played throughout our house. My first solo was in the youth choir at the church I went to, and even though I was scared every time I sang I loved it.

Now you’re a native of New Jersey, correct? So growing up in ‘The Garden State,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

My strongest music influences were my mom and Michael Jackson. I used to say that I was a part of the Jackson family; they just didn’t know it! My name was Michelle Jackson, LOL! My mom believed in me. I was the one who would be called into the room to sing and dance, and I did it with all my heart. She was the one that I say was the first who showed me how to use a mic, a.k.a. the broom.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

If I had to explain my sound and style, I would say God given. I’m learning how to #JustBeMe.

What particular string of events actually led to your initial linking up with Kima Raynor and Keisha Spivey to form Total and later y’all inking to / with P Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment?

The way I met Kima and Keisha was not planned. Our paths crossed #God’sPlan. I was 15 years old and a friend of the family took me to a studio one day, and I did a song with a producer by the name of Norman Bradley. After recording the first song, I went back to the studio and in passing I met the ladies. As a few weeks went by, Norman called me on the phone with Kima and Keisha and he explained that they were looking for a 3rd member for their group and he thought the 3 of us would be good together. When he first asked I said No, and then as we spoke I said okay and we became Total Opposites. That was the original name of the group. The way we met Puffy was through a woman by the name of Kathy Dukes, who had become our manager. After working with Kathy for some time, she took us to Puffy who was her son’s Godfather – which we had no idea of – she never told us. We performed for him at The Hit Factory in New York, and we gave it our all. 5am the next morning, he called Kathy and said for her not to take those girls anywhere I want to sign them to my label…and the rest is history.

What eventually caused the group to disband?

The disbanding of the group was due to differences.

Switching gears here…

To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

One of my best career moments was when we shot the video for “Can’t You See,” and getting signed to a record deal.

What’s an average day like for you?

An average day for me is getting up to pray, read my Bible, work out, come back home to look to get things done and then chill. Nowadays, things are starting to speed up and I am working more on my career which is exciting.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I do interact and respond to fans. I don’t do a lot of responding openly on social media as I used to, but there are other avenues in which I interact with them via messages.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part of this line of work is doing what I love to do…and my least favorite is trying  to live up to certain standards, which is a silent killer of who you authentically are as an artist. Being you is always the way to go, no matter what others say.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

The advice I would give to someone looking to get into the industry is to know the business. Learn it, and don’t be anxious and jump at the first thing presented to you as an artist. Know your worth. I also would say to pray! If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, seek Him because He will guide you in all truths. And if you don’t know Him, you can get to. He loves you and desires a relationship with you. Getting to know Him is not so we can prosper in the music industry, but because He is man’s all. There is only life in Him. #TheSonOfGod

“Can’t You See,” featuring late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “Kissin’ You” and “What About Us?” are bonafide R&B classics — How did these particular songs come about? Who came up with the concepts? And, please describe for me the overall studio vibe on those fateful days?

“Can’t You See,” “Kissin’ You” and “What About Us?” came about by working with some great artists. Puffy had a plan and he set us up with some heavy hitters. Terri Robinson, the one who wrote the hit album for Soul For Real, wrote “Can’t You See.” Mr. Raphael Saddiq, the voice of Tony! Toni! Toné! wrote “Kissin’ You,” and Missy Elliott the SuoerDupaFly Lady wrote, “What About Us?” The line-up speaks volumes. Recording these songs was a great experience. There was no ego involved. They made us feel comfortable. I believe Terri got it the worst because we were so inexperienced when it came to working in the studio. She was so patient, sweet and helpful. Raphael and Missy were great as well.

Do you still keep up with Kima and Keisha? And, any chance for a(nother) Total reunion; albeit on stage and / or on wax?

Kima and Keisha are embarking on new ventures, as well as I am, and it is great to see us all moving forward. The music that we did as Total has and I believe will continue to remain strong throughout the years to come. Great music never goes away. It may age, but it comes right back around as if it never left. Concerning a Total stage performance or reunion, I’m not sure what the future holds…but what God has in store will certainly come to pass.

Lastly, what’s next for you, Pamela?

What’s next for me is whatever God says. I’m learning that that’s the road to success, even when it looks different to everyone else and even sometimes to myself.

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

I’d like to close by saying, thank you for the interview and thank you to all those who have and will support me. God bless and please stay safe.

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