Anthony Hamilton knows the perfect formula for making people fall in love with his music.
Though I can’t remember the first time that I heard “The Point of It All,” I do remember how I felt. It’s the same feeling that I get every time that I hear it now—as if I, too, am so head over heels in love that I can’t imagine life without my significant other. There’s something irresistible about his rich vocals that pull you deeper into the melody. It’s romantic, but not sickeningly so. Even if you’ve never experienced a love like his, for three minutes and 50 seconds you’ll at least get a taste of what you’re missing.
“Sing it like I mean it,” he says. “People connect to that. They feel the energy when you’re putting your life into it. They start to need it, start to tell everybody else about it, and next thing you know you have this community of people who love this certain feeling from music and they become your fans from just telling the story and making it beautiful, or real and transparent.”
For two decades, the Grammy-Award Winning artist has shown up and shown out on each of his eight albums with hit singles including “Charlene” and “Cool” along with an impressive list of collaborations from Al Green and Carlos Santana to Jadakiss and Nas. It’s no denying that the man can sang. Not just sing, but that take you to church feel it deep down in your soul sang. A minute into our interview and he can’t resist turning our casual conversation into a spontaneous lyrical outbreak, smoothly transitioning from a deep tenor to a soulful soprano while his team chuckles in the distance.
We have a lot in common, Anthony and I. From our North Carolina roots and love for Dame’s Chicken & Waffles (it’s all in the smear) to our attire that day—black pants, plain tee, and a signature wide-brimmed hat that we both rock religiously for our own individual purposes. We even have similar views on life and love–how society celebrates nothing but the moment instead of toasting to the journey, and that despite what radio may want you to believe, romance exists and is still waiting to be embraced by those tired of emotionless encounters. “There’s love still available. There’s respect still available. These things are still available, and they’re free,” he says.
Anthony reminds us of this through soulful ballads that take us on a journey of life, love, pain, and joy—implications of his mental state at the time each album was recorded. His current state of mind? It’s time to celebrate the good woman who can bring a man to his knees because of her love, and on his latest single release “Amen” off of the forthcoming album What I’m Feelin’ (releasing March 25th) he does just that. It’s a contrast to the mainstream sound where the lines between lust and love are mistakenly blurred, and it’s something that we talk more in depth about as we dive into the topics of love, vulnerability, and why we need to eradicate the fear of success.
Take a peak at what Anthony taught us below.
The Lack Of Love In The Music From the New Generation Stems From the Desire for Fame
“I think success is taking the front seat and become priority as opposed to love and romance. People are so eager to be famous and financially stable or financially rewarded that they don’t think about those things until they get older. I think once you get to a certain point you’re like you know what, how much money can I have? How much time can I have? What about the things that are important to me like love and relationships and friendships.”
It’s Okay to Be A Gentleman and Vulnerable As a Man
“Everything now is about being cool and trendy and having a certain perception for the people instead of just being your natural self. I think in return you’ll be happier [being yourself] because you don’t have to live this lie and this pressure to be this perfect person. It’s okay if you feel like you want to call her and say, “Hey love;” that’s cool. You don’t have to call her “this chick, this broad.” It’s okay to open the door for her. It’s okay to cover her up with a blanket when she’s cold on the couch. It’s okay to be a man and vulnerable with emotion.”
What Makes A Man Decide He’s Ready to Marry
“You get to a place that you find a person that you really love and you don’t want to lose a person for the sake of just being free and having your own space. This person is somebody that you can see yourself living with, and you want that friendship and you want to protect this person. And you want to do it by covering it, and the best way to cover it is to go to God and make this commitment to God and this woman.”
When A Relationship Is Damaging, It’s Time to Let It Go
“I think each relationship has its own balance and imbalance, but I do feel like if there’s any physical or emotional harm on a certain level it can destroy a person. I think you have to make a choice whether to stand by a person if they’re really showing effort. It’s okay to forgive, but if this person is beating your head in, I think it’s time to go.”
There’s Beauty In Marriage Even After Divorce
“I still see the beauty in union. It’s powerful, and it’s a solid foundation. But you have to be vibrating at the same time and on the same wave. It’s dying to [your] self. It’s okay to not let my ego win. It’s okay to not have it totally my way. It’s okay to bow out.”
On How Marriage Shaped His Music
“Wherever you are that’s your truth at that moment. And there were times when it was really heavy and I’ve been through a lot so I had to get it all out. And coming from where I’ve come from each album has grown and shaped in different ways. Marriage and certain things have come into my life and shaped me, you’ll adopt those moments and adjust to them. And it brings out different sides to your personality.”
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Now That He’s Single, Is It Going Down In the DM?
“The DM? It don’t really be poppin’. I mean if it is, I don’t go in there too deep. Every now and then you might get a little cutie that says, ‘Hey, I love your music.’ And I’m like true indeed princess (laughs). But it can get poppin’. DM, PM, AM whatever!”
On People Settling Instead of Pushing For Greater
“[I’m collaborating with] Gary Clark Jr. on a song of “Ain’t No Shame,” which is a bluesy rendition of just voicing my opinion about how people settle. Being in the south, people settle. They go to work and come home, they don’t push the envelope. They don’t enjoy to the full capacity and I wanted to let people know it’s okay, there’s no shame in wanting joy.”
Fear of Success Keeps People From Having A Successful Life
“Some people have a fear of change–fear of being in a better place than where they are. Some people are scared of success. Not just being on TV, but having a successful life. They’ve just been so conditioned to (goes into old slave voice) “well you know so and so got sick and uh… I don’t know…” I get so sick of that. Please stop with all of that slave talk. Let’s talk about bigger and better.”
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He’s Raising His Boys To Use Their Mind
“Right now I’m keeping them as innocent and as pure as I can. I’m teaching them not to kill each other (laughs), not to lick their hands after playing on the playground, simple things. But a little later on I’ll start teaching them to be respectful and to cover your mouth, say yes and no ma’am and yes sir—just basic respect. Make sure they can count and read, and how important that is. I do instill in them to use their own mind. I say that to them everyday. Use your own mind, don’t let your brother get you in trouble, don’t let your friends get you in trouble.”
Check out the video for “Amen” below and pre-order What I’m Feelin’ and pre-order the album on iTunes.