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'I Want To Speak About Where We Are': Anthony Hamilton On Reshaping His Sound And Raising His Kids

Anthony Hamilton is a Grammy Award-winning musician based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
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Anthony Hamilton is a Grammy Award-winning musician based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As we conclude Black History Month, the Amplifier podcast is taking time to celebrate artists of color who’ve shaped Charlotte’s soundscape. And if you’re talking about Charlotte music, you have to talk about Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-producer Anthony Hamilton. And so today on Amplifier, we’re bringing you an extra special episode from our friends at WFAE’s SouthBound and their recent interview with local music legend Anthony Hamilton about his life, his creative philosophy and what we can all learn from being raised in the South and pivoting through the pandemic.

"I think people look to me for a message.”
– Anthony Hamilton, Grammy Award-winning artist

Interview Highlights:

On processing the events of 2020 as a Black artist and father in America:

Being a father of six Black males, it worries me, then frightens me and then angers me what’s going on. Just the blatant disregard of a Black man’s life or anyone’s life. The hate that’s always been here, and how it’s now blatant disrespect and disregard for our lives. It puts me in a creative space to speak about it and bring awareness to how we feel and how our souls feel and how they’ve felt for so many years.

On pivoting work and perspective through the coronavirus pandemic:

When the pandemic first started, there was a really weird feeling. It was like an emptiness and pause on everything. But two months in, I think I started to get the hang of it. When you take a situation and you embrace it, I think you have more power in that situation. It’s like, “This is where we are. Let’s make the best of it.” We’re making history, so let’s find new ways to make our days beautiful.

This year has changed me in a few ways. It’s made me appreciate my children even deeper. It makes it even more beautiful. It’s made me more patient and let me know that you don’t really control anything. It’s about perspective and how you allow it to affect you. I’ve always been a person that’s into outreach, so it’s made me even more so a giver... There are people who are really open-hearted and really serious about joining the good fight against injustice, and it allows me to see that more of the world is like me than those who are created in hate. Even though it feels like a hopeless world, it gives a different kind of hope.

Music featured in this #WFAEAmplifier chat:

Anthony Hamilton - “Charlene”
Anthony Hamilton - “Ain’t Nobody Worryin’”
Anthony Hamilton - “For All We Know” (Donny Hathaway cover)
Anthony Hamilton - “Best of Me”
Anthony Hamilton - “The Point of It All”

Stay Connected:

Click here to subscribe to the Amplifier podcast (and to give the podcast a rating/review in your favorite podcast app).

Click here to discover your next favorite Charlotte musician on our Amplifier Spotify playlist. Like what you hear? Let us know on social media!

Chat with Joni Deutsch and tag WFAE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Joni Deutsch is happy to call Charlotte home as WFAE's manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, where she's led the first Charlotte Podcast Festival (named one of the “best podcast conferences” by Buzzsprout) and helped produce such podcasts as FAQ City, SouthBound, Inside Politics, Work It and the Apple Podcast chart-topping series She Says. In addition to being an NPR Music contributor, Joni is also the creator and host of WFAE’s Charlotte music podcast Amplifier, named “Best Podcast” by Charlotte Magazine and honored for excellence in arts and music podcasting by the local Edward R. Murrow Awards and The Webby Awards (called “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times).