What his record sales don’t show are the people who appreciate his work. Anthony Hamilton keeps getting calls from various artists and even Hollywood producers. He’s worked with Dr. Dre, in hopes of making the long-awaited Detox, and made a cameo singing in the critically acclaimed movie “American Gangster.” When you want soul, you call Anthony Hamilton.
Being signed to six different labels would make most retire, however Mr. Hamilton kept his name alive despite label politics. He gained notoriety by collaborating with artists before his breakthrough platinum-selling album, Coming From Where I’m From. Since then he’s gained respect in the form of Grammy nominations and a solid fan base.
Working side by side with his wife, Anthony has his eyes set on an even brighter future. He’s prepping his sixth album, in addition to frequent collaborations with others. While his latest work promises more live instruments, he suggests that his core fans will get their usual helping of politics and love’s roller coaster. There is, as he says, “a point to it all.”
BallerStatus.com: What’s up man? how you doing?
Anthony Hamilton: I’m good man. Just ready to get this album going and get on the road. I want to meet some new people.
BallerStatus.com: Your new album is called The Point Of It All. In your opinion, what is the point of it all?
Anthony Hamilton: The point of it all is the reason why we do what we do, why we make changes and certain decisions about life. We all need something and the ultimate thing is love.
BallerStatus.com: Your music is characterized as being profoundly emotional. When you sit down with songwriters, producers, and engineers, what do you talk about to generate such passionate music?
Anthony Hamilton: Most of the time, I’m writing by myself and I just write what I’ve gone through or what I feel people need to go through. I write what people need to hear or be delivered from.
BallerStatus.com: As an artist you’ve been on six different labels. How did you remain patient with the politics of the music business?
Anthony Hamilton: If nothing good is going on, you have to wait until things get better. I survived the industry by working with so many other artists. It was just to keep my name going and I knew, eventually, that stuff would (come back in a positive way.)
BallerStatus.com: Did all the bouncing around change you as an artist?
Anthony Hamilton: Yeah, it made me focus on the business and the relationships, instead of just songwriting. When things get bad, are you going to sit around and cry or will you get up and make things happen? [The labels] didn’t have their business together and internal things kept happening, so I ended up moving around a lot because of that.
BallerStatus.com: You actually work with your wife when most guys can’t be around a girlfriend too long. Does the constant presence strain the relationship at times or make you stronger?
Anthony Hamilton: Either way it goes, you have to work on your relationship or you will have problems. Being so close all the time, you have those emotions and different opinions going. Some days are harder than others, but in the end you want what’s best for each other.
BallerStatus.com: One my favorite films from last year was “American Gangster,” which you performed in. Can you explain what it was like being on the set with Common, T.I., Denzel Washington, and Russell Crowe?
Anthony Hamilton: It was like being at your favorite team’s game in your favorite sneakers, wearing a jersey. It was absolutely amazing. You’re set in the ’70s era playing an adult when I was a child. So it was almost like an out of body experience. Being in that kind of light makes you more professional and you just watch the other major figures and how they handle themselves.
BallerStatus.com: I know the process can be very long. How much time did it take to shoot your scene?
Anthony Hamilton: Two, three days I was on set. I actually knocked my shots out pretty fast. I was almost mad I did ’cause I wanted to be there longer. Once the job got done, I had two choices: stay there longer or move on to the next project. I kept it moving.
BallerStatus.com: What led to you wanting to write and produce for films?
Anthony Hamilton: I’m a very visual person when it comes to writing songs, so the idea of writing for a movie just makes sense to me.
BallerStatus.com: The list of artists you’ve worked with is very diverse. How would you approach working with a pop artist versus someone that does just gospel music?
Anthony Hamilton: Most of the time when people come to you they want what you bring to the table. So you really don’t have to change your thinking much. You basically go in and do what you do and make sense to everybody.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve worked with Fonzworth Bentley and T-Pain, between those two, who has the most personality?
Anthony Hamilton: It depends on the day. They both have a lot of personality, so it hard to say. It depends on the outfit.
BallerStatus.com: You also worked with Dr. Dre recently, are you on Detox?
Anthony Hamilton: I don’t know. We did one song. I did my thing, got my fingers crossed and I’m praying.
BallerStatus.com: Back to your latest work. What subjects do you touch on?
Anthony Hamilton: I talk about voting, the economy, and things of that natural. There’s not a lot to talk about in this world. I think we go through the same things. So love and politics is what I talk about.