Anthony Hamilton: All Love, No Worries
Tell me about your upcoming album.
Aint Nobody Worryin is a continuation of Comin From Where Im From. You can tell the maturity in the music, and that the man is grown up and in a different place now, and has experienced love and certain things have turned around but hes still conscious of whats going on around him. The last album was more simple, in terms of production, soulful, but simple. This one has more strings and horns, and stuff like that. Its a nice treat. Theres a little Reggae in there too.
What made you decide to have Reggae on it?
It was just when I heard the music. The producer, James Poyser, hes amazing, and his family is from Jamaica. He had this original roots track, and I was like, wow and I just started singing to it. It just came out amazing.
In your music, you come across as both a storyteller and an observer of your surroundings and conditions. What are some of the things youre reflecting on these days?
Just me being happy, finding someone I can love and then growing. Also, being more conscious about whats going on in the world. There (are) still diseases, and welfare and medical things that we need. Theres still poor education in schools and kids are running crazy. Families are suffering. Men are still afraid to fall in love, so they run behind every panty and skirt just to cover up that loneliness.
Thats not something many artists talk about.
Yeah, you have to. Its crazy. We just keep getting weakened and weakened. As the years go by, the man becomes not as strong. He just doesnt have the backbone like back in the day. Relationships used to withstand an argument or two. It was a mans duty to love and build a family. But now, its like theres so many options. Everythings a quick fix, if it dont work out. And the man doesnt even stand for anything like he used to.
So youre in love now. Do you want to talk about that?
Yeah, I got a little love going on. Its made me mature. Its made me not only look through my eyes, but also look through hers, and see how a woman really operates. Yall are a different species. Im telling you, we are so different but alike. But were alike at different times, I think. On purpose, I guess is how God did it. Its the craziest, sexiest ride, but its worth it. She sings and everything, shes amazing. Her name is Tarsha McMillan. Shes actually on Preachers Daughter with me.
Your whole face lit up when you talk about her. Eyes sparkling and everything!
[Laughing] Its baffling baby its baffling! Im losing my cool man. Oh my God hes probably gonna shave his face! Yeah, but it feels good, you know. Shes definitely a strong woman. I needed that to keep me from bumping my head. We just got married recently and its a big step. Compromising, like, I just wanna paint the house my color. I wanna furnish the house my way. But I respect her wishes and her judgment and decisions. It makes you a better person. Now I think Im learning how to really love.
Being a performer, do you find that theres more temptation?
Yeah, theres temptation! Theres always some cute little bunny tail hopping around, trying to get your attention. I just have to know: Is it worth it? Losing this great woman over something that might not even be good to me. You know, and its not worth risking. And nine times out of ten, you dont even like the person. She might have a nice shell but I dont know anything about her, she could be crazy. And if theyre coming at you from every angle, then you need to run! Because if theyre trying to give it away that much If they dont want it - then why should you? It really helps to have a strong woman and she understands. We sit back now, and were like, uh oh, here comes one right nowwatch this, watch this. And they all walk past my lady and be like, oh I just love your music, and I say, this is my wife before I even start a conversation. Like, acknowledge her, I make them respect her. And I never make them feel like they have the upper hand over her. But Im learning.
How is your relationship with So So Def? Do you have the creative freedom that you want?
Well, it helped that [Jermaine Dupri] saw the vision that was created and allowed me to be myself. Like, the way you look, the way you sound thats what I wanna sell to America. And it allowed me to be free and feel comfortable that I didnt have to fight so hard and so long. I had somebody that was gonna fight for me and with me. It helps to have the machine on your side. You dont have to fight the machine and prove yourself to the people all at the same time. Thats a lot of work and it kind of takes away from the music and the performance. It divides your focus.
Talk about being from the south and living in New York.
Being from the South afforded me the luxury of having grass and trees and being closer to real natural things that balance you out. Im not surrounded by cars when I walk outside and concrete all the time. I think the earth gives you a certain feeling, so to be close to nature kind of calms you in a waythe trees swaying, walking slow. And I come outside of my apartment in Harlem and its nothing but cars and people on the go. It makes you feel almost like a robot like I gotta get sucked into the whole system of go-go-go, walk faster, everybodys in a rush. But it did give me a certain energy to put into my music. My southern point of view is now backed by city-slick knowledge and hunger. Theres a go-getter energy behind the southern boy. So it balanced me out.
What was it like performing with DAngelo? Talk about that experience.
Thats taking you back
Yeah, to a heaven. Its like going back with The Funkadelics Band, or touring with like Prince. He brought that Thing like, its real. Its not some cat trying to do something. Like even mine mine is real, but hes a musician, producer, arranger, so it just made it that much more intense. His styleand he was not watering it down at all. It kind of made me look up to him. I looked at his shows as a way of freedom. It made people feel like, wow, this is so unbelievable. And thats the energy that Ive adopted and when I go do my shows, I try to get that same, bust-your-head-open type of approach to the show. Theres definitely something about him. We were actually just talking about him this morning - a friend of mine who used to braid his hair, and was kind of like, yeah, I talked to him. Hes turning it around, hes getting it back together. I was like, man - he better come on and get it together. I called him about five months ago and he was just bouncing back and I pray that he does, because itd be a waste to lose something that precious. You only get those once. Hes like the Michael Jordan of music. You cant explain how special it is. You know, and it seem like all those real, real super special people have so many hurdles to cross. I dont know, its like the Universe is after them. I think Satan is like, you know what? Theyre too powerful, Im gonna throw some salt in the game. So I pray for those people constantly.
Through your experiences and your music, what would you want to impart on people?
That life aint that bad. If you embrace it and learn from it and share your stories with somebody else, it could make a difference in their life. Just listen and learn from my mistakes and my trials. Listen to the man who has seen something and pay attention to it.