William Hall says he doesn’t think “we’ll ever see another Michael”, but he goes a long way to filling the gap left behind by the king of pop’s untimely death.
Hall was lucky enough to see the man himself many times in concert. “That was the best schooling for me, to see him live, ” he says referring to how he perfected Jackson’s moves and stage performance.
Currently in Australia for his Michael Jackson The Legacy Tour, Hall performs the show in concert format. There is no interval, nine costume changes for him, and dancers who were chosen based on their look and ability to do Jackson’s choreography.
Hall says putting the show together was a two and a half year process. “It took a lot of time, and money. Everything was made for me. I put the music and the band together.”
His favourite Jackson song growing up was Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough. But now he finds it hard to pick a favourite. “There’s too many to choose. I like them all. It just depends on the atmosphere on the night.” He belts out about 17 songs in the concert with no interval, and features a big screen tribute to the Jackson Five. “I remember listening and watching the Jackson Five when I was about eight, and it [the performance] stuck with me.”
As he got older, he began singing Jackson’s songs and learning his signature moves. Actually performing as Jackson is something that “just happened” he says. “I had a band in college an a promoter came up to me and asked if I would be interested in doing a Michael Jackson tribute.”
Twenty five years later, Hall replicates the trademark Jackson moves to perfection. “I was performing in Las Vegas and they [Michael and his entourage] came backstage. He was really impressed with my vocals. He was pretty much like what I thought he would be. We were two artists talking to one another.”
He gets so into the Michael Jackson persona, he says he sometimes finds it hard to introduce himself at the end of the show. “William Hall is my everyday disguise. I love being me, this is a job, but it’s a great one.”