At the end of 2021, Adele released her long-awaited 30 album, giving fans the brooding, compelling soundtrack we’ve been waiting for an entire decade. Exactly eight days after the album’s debut, Afro-Latina singer and TikTok star Pamé found herself in the spotlight with her own version of the album’s first single, “Easy on Me.” Since its first publication on November 27, 2021, Pamé’s cover has garnered more than 11.7 million views. But after being inundated with compliments for her stunning vocal performance, Pamé admits to POPSUGAR that the video is actually her least favorite cover to date.
Gifted with a voice that’s straight out of a recording studio – even with its “janky” speaker and backstage karaoke-style setup – Pamé’s signature song covers include classics like “Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James, “Run to You”, and even more recent hits like “Pa’ Romperla” by Bad Bunny and Don Omar. “It’s like I’m reintroducing [my followers] to the classics,” she says, adding that she also enjoys recording her own music. “I want people to see that I’m not just a cover artist. I actually want to start doing more duets and writing verses to other people’s songs.”
“There are Afro-Latinos who are in the music industry right now, but I don’t think there are Afro-Latinos who represent my skin color, people who look like me. So I really want to be an example and give people that space.”
On October 28, 2021, Pamé released her debut single, “Fresh Water”, featuring Floyd Fuji. It is a song representative of the tropical sound that she hopes to embody by combining traditional Dominican palo – sacred music of African origin played on traditional palo drums – with chants, merengue, accordion and modern sounds. “I’m from a country called the Dominican Republic, so a lot of my music incorporates these African and Dominican palos into the music. It’s all very upbeat and rhythmic,” she said. “It’s important to me as an Afro-Latina [to make this music], because coming to the United States, I never really had a space where I felt like I belonged. I didn’t fit the standard of what a Latina looks like in the United States. I also didn’t fit in with African American kids because the culture was completely different.”
Pamé was struck by the difficulty of learning a new language and integrating into a new culture when she arrived in the United States. But her social media presence has made her a champion for underrepresented voices on TikTok and in the wider music industry. “It’s very, very important to me to represent Afro-Latinos and people who look like me, have my skin color, speak Spanish and come from these different countries,” she explained. “There are Afro-Latinos who are in the music industry right now, but I don’t think there are Afro-Latinos who represent my skin color, people who look like me. So I really want to be an example and give people that space.”
Image source: Sandy Marisol
Pamé only posted her “Easy on Me” cover because her sister begged her, but she’s grateful for the influx of followers the video has earned her, many of whom see themselves represented through it. “I’ve had emails – paragraphs and paragraphs – from girls from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras, or Mexico, and they’re Afro-Latinos,” she says. “They’re like, ‘Yo, I’m so grateful to have someone who looks like you and looks like me to represent us. They need that representation.”
“I just want to help my community and be a voice for people who don’t really have that chance.”
Eager to break into the music scene, Pamé is taking her TikTok fame in stride and hopes her successes, big or small, will pave the way for other Afro-Latin artists to do the same. “I just want to help my community and be a voice for people who don’t really have that chance,” she says. “At the end of the day, we have to help each other. Most of the time, the music industry can be such a selfish place, but there’s room for everyone. And I think it’s important to let everyone know how much they mean, no matter how small.”
Beyond TikTok, Pamé is a full-time musician with a specific goal in mind: She wants to win an EGOT — yes, all four awards, starting with a Tony. Experienced as an actor, Pamé played the role of Felicia in Memphis during her time at Berklee College of Music and is currently in talks to do a stint as Jenna in Waitress on Broadway. In 2022, Pamé plans to release a five-song EP to launch her music career, hoping to lay the groundwork for her future Grammy. Later, she also hopes to work with stars like Kendrick Lamar, Victoria Monét and Juan Luis Guerra. Ambitious? Probably. Feasible? Absoutely.
Pamé added that if she wasn’t a musician, she would probably be a marine biologist. But we’re grateful that her talents led her down the path of music, because her voice is next level. Listen to some of Pamé’s best covers on TikTok ahead.