Spotlight: Anthony Hamilton

7:45PM, La Zona Rosa

Spotlight: Anthony Hamilton

What is it about Anthony Hamilton's music that drives those normally repelled by modern soul to gush? As the North Carolina native and Grammy-nominated singer puts it, "Hip-hop has an energy that vibrates deep inside of you, and because of the intensity of my voice and the subject matter that I'm living through, I wind up bringing that same raw emotion to R&B tracks."

There's also the gospel factor. Trained as a singer in his church choir, Hamilton translates spiritual rapture for a generation more apt to have been raised in shopping malls. "You gotta get your church on. For me as an artist, it's allowed me to see how people worship. Basically, that's what I'm doing on stage: worshipping God, love, and relationships."

Driven by precedents like Al Green and Gladys Knight, Hamilton extends the shadows cast by Seventies soul legends ingrained deep within our collective craw. "I don't really approach music scientifically as if the ultimate goal of it is to come up with earth-shattering new styles," he admits. "To me, it's more about capturing a feeling than completing a project."

With Ain't Nobody Worryin' (So So Def) marking his third album to hit the racks since 2003, the one-time industry casualty wishes to augment last year's retrospective, Soulife (Atlantic), with yet another nostalgic peak in his previously unreleased back catalog. "I don't think I'll feel completely vindicated until XTC finally sees the light of day," Hamilton reveals. "That was the album I did in '96 as part of my first failed deal with Uptown Records in New York."

Currently teamed with Atlanta's Jermaine Dupree, the heavens are the limit for Anthony Hamilton as his Southern dialect journeys through the hardships of wearing a heavy heart on his sleeve.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Anthony Hamilton, North Carolina, Hip-hop, R&B, gospel, Ain't Nobody Worryin, So So Def, Soulife, Atlantic, Jermaine Dupree

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