Interview With Anthony Hamilton



Anthony Hamilton’s ride to a favored place in the hearts of soul lovers has been bumpy, rewarding and ultimately successful. In the ‘90s he saw his career stall twice with two different labels managing to stay in the business by selling songs and singing back-up for people like D’Angelo. Eventually his church trained voice found recognition on the Nappy Roots singles “Po’ Folks” and “Sick And Tired” By the time his official solo album came out in 2003 his former boss’s stud physique was no longer crowding the video channels and Maxwell was on hiatus. Hamilton’s rustic look and unassuming love songs were different from the modernistic GQ loveman Usher or the carnal R.Kelly. He chooses not to reinvent R&B but admits to an admiration for the work of ’70s soul stars Bill Withers and Bobby Womack. And there are others including Curtis Mayfield that spring up in his songs but those influences do not obscure the singular character of his voice that is always compared to the home cooking of his southern background. The ebbs and flows of his career have lead to the explanatory fifth album entitled The Point Of It All. “Cool,” the first single with David Banner put him in another collaboration with a southern rap artist and producer who also worked with Nappy Roots on their ’04 album. Success has not changed his style and there is no expectation for Hamilton to copy fleeting flavors; the new album is as self-contained as his past work. In this interview the singer answered questions while trying on new shoes and talked about the genesis of the project, romance, his wife’s artistry and future developments including a blues album. He also commented on his love for Al Green who he worked with on Green’s last album.

As far as the Point Of It All why do you sing and keep on singing?

That’s who I am who God intended for me to be one big ball of music.

Why the title?

Because you go through a series of situations and changes and questions and answers all that stuff and you go through it all because for one reason the point of it all is just because you’re looking for love or you’re in love love calls you I just thought maybe it would be kind of clever.

What do you like most about this album?

I like that it has more uptempo.

Could you compare it to your other albums?

I think my other work was very thoughtful a lot of heartache and pain and this one is a little more livelier good times and fun.

Are you happier now?

Oh yeah even in those other relationships I was happy but there was a moment when I wasn’t happy ????

What are your feelings on the state of soul and R&B music?

There is a lot that I like I listen to a little bit of everything I can find some good in any genre of music. We need more variety I think everybody ends up doing the same old thing after you hear one or two artists then you don’t need to hear the other ones because it’s nothing different. I think it needs more substance in the music nowadays a little more respect not so heavily sex driven you know joy and love and courtship and being respectful to a woman. And everybody’s in a rush pick you up, kiss you and I slept with you what about the walk to the restaurant what about the awkward conversation in between?

Who is your favorite soul singer?

There’s so many I love Al Green, Marvin Gaye, modern day I love K.C., D’Angelo, it’s too many to name one.

Is there anyone’s style you studied while discovering your own?

I think I paid a lot of attention to Bill Withers because people kept bringing that to my attention Al Green those are the ones I kind of paid attention to Bobby Womack I love the grit in his voice.

Is your wife on this album? Can you tell me something about her music?

Her music is inspirational you know a walk closer to God not judgemental music but it allows me to see that whatever you’ve gone through or whatever life is giving you it’ll be ok look at me I’ve been through it and I’m still here. She sings on the song called “In The News” when it goes out she gives that old good time brothas’ gone work it out type of thing.

What’s next?

A blues record and trying to get behind the label we started and be the best businessman I can be.

What’s it called?
Mister Music

When can we look for the blues album?
Maybe some time in ’09, a Christmas record, I want to do a group I got an idea for a group called Prize and Stone.