Grammy-nominated artist Anthony Hamilton sat down with 2Ls on a Cloud’s Eryka to discuss the making of his Home For The Holidays album, his role on FOX show Empire, and the controversy of the Mike Brown verdict. Check out the full interview below as well as insight above.
Welcome to Nashville. This isn’t your first time here is it?
No, I’ve been here a few times.
You just finished performing here at the Schermerhorn. The performance was amazing. A lot of energy and you were very interactive with the crowd. How do you feel about the show and your performance?
It’s about being an artist, and allowing people to be apart of the show. I feel great about it. I feel like the crowd got exactly what they wanted to feel. I think it came over well.
I want to get into the album. Your last album was Back to Love in 2011. What made you want to come back with a Christmas album?
In between times you think of ways creatively; what you can do to expand your brand. I felt like a holiday album, me and my team felt like a holiday album would be good. So I put some thought into it and I was like “You know what? I kind of always wanted to do a Christmas album.” I might as well put it together now, and I thought that the timing was right.
How long did you work on the album?
It took me about maybe a year. I started it and then I stopped. Then I went full speed with it.
You remade a lot of classics on this album. Was there a song that was you’re favorite to remake?
Wow. That’s a good question. Anything Al Green probably. Anything Bobby Womack; anything Otis Redding.
You also have a role in the upcoming show Empire as well?
Well I was called in to do the part. It’s a great series and a music based series. You know Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. I’ve worked with them before and it was great to be directed by John Singleton.
Can you tell us what the show is about?
It’s about a mogul that gets out and is trying to start his musical empire up. They call me in to be apart of a beautiful occasion for him……I can’t give more away.
So you can’t give us a little hint about your character or anything?
Well I’m going to be looking pretty good.
You performed a ton of crowd favorites tonight. But I want to go back to a song you did with Jadakiss called “Why” and relate that to everything that’s going on with Mike Brown and Eric Garner. How do you feel about everything that’s going on?
I feel like injustice is injustice. I feel like we need more people to stand up; more leaders who are strong. I feel like a lot of times we lay down and let stuff happen to us as a people.
They try to devalue who we are; what we were. It’s so blatant. I feel like it’s injustice and somebody is going to have to do something., or it’s not going to be a beautiful thing if it continues to happen.
Do you think there’s a chance of it getting better at this point?
It’s going to have to. People are tired; my people are tired. A lot of people are tired so it’s going to have to get better.
2Ls stands for “living life.” If you were to say “I’m living life in spite of….” how would you finish that sentence?
I’m living life in spite of all of my hardships.