Anthony Hamilton, Love is the New Black

Courtesy of The Purple Agency

A Closer Look with Anthony Hamilton

Hands down—Anthony Hamilton is one of the best, living, Black male soul singer of our time. This truth cannot be overstated. Year over year, his presence and voice has not only been consistent but felt deep down in our bones. Hamilton hits us in our spirit—gives us chu’ch. He is gospel. His name has become household and with songs like “Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens,” “Since I Seen’t You” and “I Know What Love’s All About,” his ballads have permanence at Black cookouts, holidays, reunions and weddings. 

Recently, Black streaming network allblk aired A Closer Look With Anthony Hamilton which chronicled the raspy-voiced crooner’s life from as far back to his humble North Carolina beginnings to his current status and success. Not one to shy away from sharing private parts of his life, Hamilton was forthcoming with his life, love and losses. He was also gracious enough to sit down with MADAMENOIRE to continue the conversation ‘cause we had questions.

MADAMNOIRE: Anthony, you could have done this interview with any platform, but you decided to sit down with all Black platforms. How important was that for you?

Anthony Hamilton: Well, anything Black. I’m supportive of it. I think we underserved a lot of times, and anytime I could bring my celebrity to be a part of something that’s beautiful and deserving, that’s what I do. And it’s Black owned, and it’s beautiful and it showcases us. Why not be a part of that? I think we tend to see other publications being more powerful or being a better choice. But I think the home is always better for me where people look like me.

 

MN: A Closer Look With Anthony Hamilton is for me, it was like a retrospect of sorts, right. It scanned not only your talent and its infancy, but it also kind of depicted like your humble beginnings in Charlotte. And I want to know for you how did it resonate with you watching yourself?

There were moments when things I went through and the things that I have experienced, that you’ll remember it. But to walk back through it, to smell that room, to see that moment where things start to turn for you for the better or for the worse, I think to see that you live in gratitude deeper after revisiting. And it just gave me a sense ofI’m all right, I made it.

We’re making and we’re walking through it, and that’s on the other side. So, the legacy is still living.

RELATED CONTENT: Anthony Hamilton Reminds Us Where He’s Coming From With New Album ‘Love Is The New Black

MN: This is true. Can you tell me a little bit about Taste Foundation?

Taste foundation is something that’s really dear to me. When you don’t have and then when you do have, you don’t forget what that feeling is. And to be able to be there for someone else, I think it’s so important to me. I want to take a step to elevate, is what it stands for. And any time you can bring someone up to the next level of their lives and show them a way that they probably wouldn’t have access to something. And just to deal with mental health and mental illness in boys and men, I think be better for our community and better men, create better women.

 

MN: You bring the Church to the conversation and thank you. So, Music Box, you talked a little bit about your own label, right?

Yes.

 

MNWe talked about being able to control your work, right. Your labor, your talent, your creativity. Does or will Music Box make room for other talent outside of you?

Absolutely. My Music Box is the house, not just for me. Not only am I signed to it, but I just signed my first artist. His name is JX Hines from Charlotte, North Carolina. And he is absolutely raw and just beautiful as a person, as a talent. He’s incredible as a writer. And I look forward to sharing him with the world and opening updoors that he deserves to walk through.

 

MNWill you be working with him hands on?

Absolutely. Working with him, showing him things that he may not know and learning things that I may not know. So, I’m open to all of it.

 

Anthony Hamilton

Source: Courtesy of The Purple Agency / The Purple Agency

 

MN: Awesome. So, I want to shift a little bit. And you talked about getting up in your business, and, you know, that’s my thing. Your music does the work of conveying love, right?

A: It does.

 

MN: It so excellent in this program, you seem to get or at least I understood that it was a sensitive topic to talk about when you were a part of the conversation. Right. You talked about your marriage, and I sensed vulnerability. Can you talk to me a little bit about that?

Yeah. My marriage was one of the love and trust and all the things that marriage should be. She was an amazing wife, singer, partner and there was some amazing years. And then there were some years when I felt that I wasn’t there. Like I should have been giving so much to my career. If you get exhausted, you get home, you don’t have enough to give to the house. Then there’s going to be animbalance, and you learn to separate the two a little better. But I didn’t know how to do that then. I didn’t know how to be all about my marriage and be all about my music, which is my fault, on my behalf. The marriage started to suffer a little bit, but had I known then, I probably would have waited another year or two before I got married. Yeah, I think I probably needed that, but I wanted to do the right thing.

 

MN: You answered my following question which was if you would do anything better. Aside from maybe holding out and taking a little more time to jump into marriage, is there anything else you would have done differently?

Communicated on those days where I didn’t feel like talking and I’m tired, fight through it, communicate a little better, say exactly what I was feeling and exactly speaking about the things that you liked and the things that you didn’t like and just be a little bit more open, not wait so long to speak.

 

MN: Okay. Thank you for that. I really appreciate going there a little bit with me. I want to shift again and lighten the mood up.

Yeah.

 

MN: I was eager while we’re watching a closer look. And you never talked about Hamilton Cornerstore, so can you share?

Oh, yeah. I don’t know what happened, wait Hamilton Corner Store. We started out with a line of grits. No preservatives, really top-quality grits. And they taste amazing. You can take the difference. If you taste Quacker and you taste Hamilton Cornerstore, you can absolutely tell the difference from all the natural grit. And we’ll have all your staples, like hot sauce, fish fry mix, whatever you want to fry in mushrooms, whatever, cornbread, all the staple things that you love in the kitchen. And you can go to hamiltoncornerstore.com or hamiltoncornerstore on IG and find us to what we’redoing. And I package them up one bag at a time. I weigh them. And eventually we have our own grocery stores.

MN: All right. That’s awesome. You’re in the grit game. So,you got to answer this question for me.

I already know.

 

MN: You already know cheese grits or sugar. I’m counting on you to make the right decision.

(Starts singing) “Sugar don’t go on grits!” Salt, butter, and black pepper. And every now and again, if I’m feeling fancy, I might put a little bit of almond milk in it. Just with grins and giggles.

 

MN: All right. You gave me the right answer, all right!

Absolutely.

 

MNSo, your style is impeccable.

Thank you. I appreciate it.

 

MN: Do you have a stylist?

Absolutely. I have a few styles that I work with. Maggie Francois. Yeah, Maggie Marisol. It’s another stylist. Kenny Cass designer that I work with.

 

MN: Bless their hearts and their talent.

So, there’s a fewDirty Milk, there’s a few. Great. But Maggie is who I’m working with very closely now. Maggie and Narissa Leno.

 

MN: So, tell me about your hat game. Like, for me, you’re the MadHatter. What are your favorite style hats? Fedora? cap?

Wide rim.

 

MNAny chance you’ll get into, like, a hat line?

Absolutely. We’re doing a capsule line. I’m teaming up with Francis Gray. So, we’re about to do a capsule line, a limited-edition capsule line of hats. They’ll be ready pretty much, I think, in March. And then I’ll come out with my own. It’s called House of Fedora.

 

MN: All right. House of fedora. Yeah, I’ll remember that. All right. I’ve asked you this before, so I know, but I’d like for my audience to know as well. Give me your top five top five artists, any genre.

Top five artists, any genre. Wow. D’Angelo, I love. Jodeci was definitely one of my favorites. Lauryn Hill has touched my heart, man. I’m a big hip hop head, too. So, I gotta throw some rap in that. If Drake and Kanye was a group that’s number four, I’m loving what HER is doing right now. But in all the old schools, the Aretha Franklin, all that comes without and that’s automatic, but, yeah, those are a few that I really like and enjoy.

 

MNAre you ready for the tour?

I’m getting ready for the tour and start a jumping rope and get my sexy off and yeah, I’m excited about it.

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