Hamilton Park Shares the Love and This "Thing Called Us"
TeenMusic battled dying cell phones to check in with the Atlanta R & B boys of Hamilton Park. Longtime friends Anthony, Chris Voice, Royce P and Mr. Marcus Lee finally connected with us from New York to talk about their beginnings, their message and their new single “Thing Called Us”.
The guys weren’t afraid to show us their softer side, as they talked about romance; their feelings on love and relationships. So sweet and friendly, we can certainly see why girls everywhere are falling for these cuties. Hamilton Park was so much fun to talk to; we didn’t want to hang up the phone! Oh, and speaking of romance, we couldn’t help but give Royce P a hard time about his Twitter messages.
TeenMusic : I wanted to ask, who the ladies man is in the group but we have to ask Royce, is it you? We read your tweets!
Royce P: (laughing) Oh that! I tweeted that my grandma asked me how many women I’ve got and I told her “Grandma, you’re the only woman in my life.” She called me a liar!
Marcus: We meet a lot of ladies at our shows and meetings.
Anthony: You know, it goes back to our “Computer Love” video. We communicate through Twitter, Facebook and even MySpace. We’ve been given a lot of love in Facebook. Twitter is a bit more direct, so the exchanging of phone numbers gets crazy! (laughing).
TeenMusic: That’s hilarious! Seriously, you guys are so busy with your music, how is that affecting your other relationships? Do you get to see your family much?
Marcus: We seem to always have great timing getting back to our families. We’re home on weekends, so I get to see my family at church on Sundays.
Anthony: When we’re on the road I make it a point to show my love to my mom, brother and my little 4 year old niece. We make time for family. It’s important, you know?
Chris: My mom is in the army and is in Alaska. I always reach out to my mom. I haven’t seen her in six months, so the before she went to Alaska we were together with my grandmother and my little brother.
TeenMusic: You guys are really close. So let’s go back a bit. How did Hamilton Park get together?
Anthony: We grew up together. We started doing our artistic development together, we played basketball, and we honed our craft in the park. I approached my uncle Don “Frame” Howard, and the rest is history. We were the top act in Atlanta and sang the national anthem at a game, and then we were off to New York and went on an anti-bullying campaign.
TeenMusic: You traveled to different high schools on that campaign. What can you tell us about it?
Anthony: It meant a lot to us. It’s something that’s’ really increasing, even though violence itself is decreasing. The name-calling, hitting, and all that stuff keeps going on. We decided to take a stand on it and spread our message. We want to use our influence on our peers so that they stop bullying. There have been suicides because of bullying, and it’s happening on the Internet too. It’s not just face-to-face. We want to emphasize and encourage people to stop the bullying.
Marcus: For me, it was a big deal to be part of the anti-bullying campaign. I’m the little guy in the group and I remember being picked on in school. Now we get to go to different schools and spread the message that everyone is entitled to their individuality and should be safe in their own skin. I love being part of this.
Chris : When I heard about doing this campaign I was like “Wow! This is stuff we talked about doing!” We always talked about teaching kids. It made so much sense. It’s great getting in front of the kids.
TeenMusic: So when the show is over and you’re relaxing in your room, what music are you listening to?
Chris:Besides our inspirations, I like a lot of music Waka Flocka and some hip hop. Lots of stuff.
Marcus: I’m the same. I like hip hop and blend it with some R & B, and I like listening to Tank.
Royce: I’m totally adventurous. I like to listen to full albums. But lately I’ve been listening to this really great artist from Europe, I can’t remember his name. He doesn’t even sing in English. I like music from around the world. You might even catch me listening to Mozart and classical.
Anthony: I like all kinds of music. Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Travis Tritt..we just love music!
TeenMusic: Guys, we’ve heard your a cappella singing in a couple of videos and your harmony is off the hook! Are we going to hear any of that on your album?
Anthony: Having that on an album would be pretty dope. We’ve been working on a piece, but we won’t disclose those details right now. We did get to sing the national anthem at the Braves game a capella, though.
TeenMusic: Besides the anti-bullying messages, what message do you want to share with our teens ?
Rich P: We want to show young men the proper way to love.
TeenMusic: What’s your songwriting process like?
Chris: We all live together. We’ll be chilling in our rooms and someone will be like “hey guys, I came up with a lyric” and we’ll go down to the studio and work on it. We put songs together there or someone might have a verse. It’s real authentic and real genius.
Anthony: We’re so blessed and so fortunate to have a team of producers that actually live with us. At any given point we can knock on a door like “Hey, yo, I have a melody, can you help me build this out and manifest it?” It’s great to have them at your disposal.
TeenMusic: What was it like to shoot the video for “Computer Love”?
Marcus: There was a different version of that video, but then they chose to go with the new version that has us in a warehouse. The story is like an audition.
Chris: The whole video was shot in a day. We didn’t know what to expect but we found out it was like rehearsing with a bunch of cameras around and a bunch of ladies around. It was a great experience. You can check out the behind the scenes video on our website.
You can watch their video here.
TeenMusic: Okay, so let’s talk about your new single “Thing Called Us”. What’s the inspiration behind that song?
Royce: The inspiration is like a young man who is having a situation with the ladies and forgetting to think about this thing called “us”. A lot of times when we get into a relationship, we get tunnel vision and might forget that there’s a person taking this life journey with us. This song is our dedication to a few hearts we might have broken and really, we’re just saying sorry and expressing ourselves from an honest perspective. That’s missing in a lot of music today.
There’s a lot of honesty missing about love and it’s like people are afraid to love or say they’re in love, or even to say they really feel a certain way. When you look at it, this is something our mentors shared with us, you let your strengths be your strengths and let your weaknesses be your strengths, too. If you know how to love and admit that this it is something that takes control of you, then you have more control. If you listen to both of our pre-albums, “Thing Called Us” is really our first album where we’re being honest about our hearts. In order to get someone’s heart you have to give away your heart.
Anthony: We consider ourselves to be connoisseurs of love. We have a responsibility to create a song and put real love into it and out into the atmosphere. That’s what the radio and the world is missing. We want to create a record that puts love back out there into the universe. It’s totally sincere. Mr. Marcus is very soulful when his part comes in. Chris comes in and gives that love that he truly exudes out of his life. Royce is singing sincerely with that passion he can bring. I like to think I bring optimism to the situation.
It’s great to think three other guys have the same mission. It’s sort of like Captain Planet, you know. He’s got all these other people who have these powers and they combine to create a big superhero. In our eyes we have powers and combined they create Hamilton Park.
TeenMusic: You have such a positive message about love and relationships. So what do you think about some of the other music that’s out there that’s a bit more raunchy and nasty?
Royce: I think that when the trend came out it was because people didn’t really understand the true meaning of honesty. I think at one point people got caught up in “being real” but they forgot how to actually “be real” when it came to love. Some of that other music is about how love feels and sounds, but not about how it makes you feel. That’s why our music is different. It’s about love. We want to send you down the path to love.
Marcus: When it comes to music, you can listen to it and then look at the world and see if the music is doing what it should. Music should do something positive.
Royce: The interpretation of what love really is has been misconstrued. Love is a lost art, somewhat. Chivalry is dead. Guys don’t open doors for girls or pull their chairs out for them anymore. There’s a lot of hurt in the world. People are hurting and it comes from situations that individuals are in and dealing with. We’re focused on bringing passion, love, soulfulness and optimism back into music. It’s like people don’t love themselves. But now here you have four young men that know that in order to love someone you have to love yourself. We love ourselves and we give that love back out into the universe.
Chris: Our manager says Hamilton Park is going to be a group that marks time. We’re one of a kind, authentic, and we’re realizing it.
TeenMusic: So what’s next for Hamilton Park?
Anthony: We just got word that on July 3rd we’ll be on TV, live at the Braves game. It’s going to be a big event. The mayor of Atlanta is going to be there. We’re definitely looking forward to touring and doing radio. July 1st our single comes out! (You can listen to their new single here)
Check out their Apple Store performance here!