At a time when R&B is at is at a crossroads on the quest of finding it’s place in the music world, Hamilton Park strives to preserve the nostalgic feeling of rhythm and blues. 24HourHipHop got the chance to sit and talk with the male quartet in an attempt to allow them to introduce themselves to the world and gain insight as to their musical agenda.
24: First things first, introduce yourselves!
Hamilton Park: Royce P: What’s up ya’ll? I’m Royce P.
Chris Voice: I’m Chris Voice.
Anthony: What’s up? I’m Anthony.
Mr. Marcus Lee: And I’m Mr. Marcus and together we make Hamilton Park.
24: Tell us about how you guys got together and the story behind your name?
Chris Voice: The group started off four years ago. We used to sing in church, play basketball together and see each other around Atlanta all the time. I used to come up here to visiting my aunt and singing in church is how I ran into Marcus who was friends with Anthony, then he introduced me to Royce. Most of time we played ball, it was at a park named Hamilton Park. That’s where we basically bonded and so we decided to take what we had and approach “Frame” Anthony’s uncle, and A&R of L7 Management and it all went from there.
24: You guys are the first group to be signed to Andre Harell’s Harrell Records. How did that come about?
Royce P: It’s actually a funny story about how we ended up linking up with Mr. Harrell. He was in Atlanta as he and Radio One launched the “Superstar Soul Search”. One of the radio personalities at a station he visited approached him and said ‘if you’re in Atlanta looking for a superstar soul singer than you must have heard of Hamilton Park’! After that we were contacted and asked to audition for him and he invited us to perform at the grand finale. I guess the rest is history!
24: Do you guys feel any pressure to succeed being that he’s such an iconic figure in the music industry?
Royce P: Not really, but it was a great opportunity and experience meeting Mr. Andre Harrell and it kind of felt that since we were given the chance, that we were really doing something right and are on the path to being in line with the greats and taking the torch. I really think that the only pressure is living up to that expectation.
24: Being that you guys are from a musical Mecca, Atlanta, GA, can you tell us about how the city, its culture and its music has affected your sound?
Mr. Marcus: The thing about us is we’re very Southern. When you think about the South, you automatically go to smothered chicken, Mac & Cheese, collard greens, sweet tea and forgive me for not going on but all of these things are our sound. It’s warm. It’s youthful. It’s a kid on the basketball court with a towel in his hand. And not to mention we’re influenced by the likes of Jagged Edge, 112, Guy, etc. We’re really just trying to have our own but still keep that soulful tradition.
Chris Voice: Our music is youthful but it’s also urban and hungry. We want this.
24: You guys are receiving a lot of comparisons to the names you listed above as well as New Edition and Jodeci. Do you consider this complimentary or are you adamant about distinguishing HP as your own type of R&B group?
Royce P: A lot of people grew up listening to those groups. When you think about the feeling you got from their music and their movements, its all positive. I think that even being mentioned in the same sentence as those greats is more than a compliment, its an honor. We aren’t taking anything from the comparisons, nor adding to it. We’re just eager to carry on the torch as singers of real R&B.
Anthony: Especially with us being from Atlanta. That’s incredible! You’ve had a lot of groups claiming Atlanta, but with us you have four people who grew up here and we really know soul.
24: In this generation of music, male R&B groups are few and far between. What is HP doing musically or image wise to solidify your success and longevity?
Chris Voice: As far as music wise, we’re trying to bring that conviction back to R&B. As most people who have done their research on us know, we grew up in the church and stayed close to it. We were there every Sunday and listened to people bring the gospel from the heart. When you put that with the music we’re doing, as well as our youthfulness, our passion, and our look, we’re just classic Atlanta.
Anthony: In addition to what Chris was saying, a lot of other artists have given us some great ear-gasms, but may not have been giving it all from the heart. With HP you’re getting our heart to keep.
Royce P: It’s kind of like when you look at the commercials for Coca-Cola and you see the polar bears. If you notice he has that old school Coca-Cola bottle he’s holding. We’re like the polar bears basically, we’re cold and we’re bringing you the classic sound in a new era.
24: Tell us about your new single, “Computer Love”.
Anthony: “Computer Love” is our first single. We just shot the video outside of Atlanta. Shout out to everyone that was involved because it’s incredible! If you haven’t yet, I need you to check it out at www.HamitonParkMusic.com!
Mr. Marcus: In regards to the video, when you watch it you might see a theme. It favors the New Edition video. We had to do it real big!
24: How soon can we be expecting a full project from Hamilton Park?
Chris Voice: As of right now it’s just 2011. The date is to be announced but 2011 definitely.
24: Without giving too much away, can you guys let us know who you’re working with currently? Either for your album or any other projects.
Chris Voice: Well a couple features on the album are Chris Voice featuring Chris voice. Royce P featuring Royce P. [laughs.]
Mr. Marcus: We got Mr. Marcus featuring Mr. Marcus on there! [laughs.]
Anthony: Yeah we’ve got some good guys on there! Anthony featuring Anthony. The list goes on! And also we have a promo tour kicking off so be on the lookout for us!
24: Ha! Well since we’re talking about music, you guys go ahead and let us know what you guys are bumping on your iPods right now.
Mr. Marcus: Definitely bumpin’ some new Wiz.
Chris Voice: I got a little bit of Waka Flocka on there. Some Gucci you know!
Anthony: Right now I’m just listening to some old school Tupac.
Royce P: I got a little Mozart going on. I’m doing my classical thing.
24: You talked about the album and the promo tour. What else can we expect from HP in 2011 and going forward?
Mr. Marcus: All the information you guys need to catch up with us is on www.HamiltonParkMusic.com and our Twitter. Follow us on this journey.
24: What are some last words for your current and future fans?
Royce P: We just want to thank all of the fans and supporters and all 170,000 plus people who went on YouTube to show “Computer Love” love. Also, the HP Sweethearts and also thank you to you Mimi and 24HourHipHop.com for everything!
Chris Voice: One last thing, STOP THE BULLYING!
Mr. Marcus: Yes! STOP THE BULLYING is a campaign we’re working on and are passionate about so please keep yourself aware and PLEASE STOP!
Follow Us On Twitter:
BONUS: Check out the video for their new single, “Computer Love”!