UB Exclusive Meet-N-Greet: Hamilton Park may have honed their vocal skills while singing in their church choirs, but they are much more than just four guys who share a love for singing. They are a brotherhood born on the basketball courts of Hamilton Park Recreation Center in Atlanta. Hamilton Park, which is made up of Anthony, Mr. Marcus Lee, Chris Voice and Royce P, turned to both music and basketball as a way to avoid trouble in the streets of Atlanta, and remain on the path of following their dreams. Never once did H.P., imagine that the endless time spent playing basketball, or singing for hours on end, would later lead to being discovered by legendary music mogul Andre Harrell through his partnership with Radio One’s “Superstar Soul Search,” becoming the first group signed to his label, Harrell Records (an imprint via Atlantic Records).
The group recently chatted with Aries from UrbanBridgez.com – Full of energy and excitement about doing their first interview since being signed to Harrell Records. The guys discussed how they came together, their up-coming debut album & new video “Computer Love“, coming up in Atlanta, what they hope to bring back to R&B that’s been missing, future endeavors and alot more! So check out the fellas of Hamilton Park and get acquainted with them, they’re going to be around for the long haul!
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you guys catch the eye of Andre Harrell?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): We met Andre Harrell while he was here in Atlanta with Radio One for the Superstar Soul Search. We were participants and we sung the “National Anthem” and the rest is history pretty much. We flew to New York and got a deal.
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you guys come together to form Hamilton Park?
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): We got together about 4 years ago, we were just singing in Church and playing ball. We use to see each other around the A and we met and we bonded at this place called Hamilton Park. That’s when we really came together and decided to just do what we do and we grinded it out. We just really tried to be heard and just got ourselves out there.
UrbanBridgez.com: Did coming up in Atlanta play an important part in you guys development as a group, you think?
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): I feel it played a very big part because we’re so southern with our music. With our tones and style, it’s very home style mothers cookin you know! Like your mothers fried chicken and mac and cheese. I think my brothers would agree.
Anthony (Hamilton Park): And cornbread! It’s very southern, so Atlanta played a big role. Like that Church sound, it comes from that southern feel.
Royce P (Hamilton Park): Groups like Jagged Edge and 112 played an influence. And with just singing around on the Marta trains and basketball courts. Pretty much with those experiences, it gave us that really good feel.
UrbanBridgez.com: You guys just released the video for “Computer Love,” how was it filming your first video?
Royce P (Hamilton Park): It was a pretty good experience. We had a lot of fun and it was really exciting, check it out on hamiltonparkmusic.com (laughs)
Anthony (Hamilton Park): Filming our first video was incredible! From just working with the director and the fact it was shot here in Atlanta, which was the most important part about it. The fact we were actually in Atlanta filming our first video, it was incredible!
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): It was really just a dream come true, I think my brothers would definitely agree. Being our first time and first video, everybody was a little nervous and had the jitters but doing the routine like we do all day everyday anyway. It just turned out to be a beautiful experience.
Mr Marcus (Hamilton Park): I just wanna say that the video if you all catch it and pay attention to it, it was shot like the New Edition video “If It Isn’t Love.”
UrbanBridgez.com: I was going to say that and ask if it was meant to be like that.
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): Yeah, so we tried to capture it. The director did a good job of capturing it, we don’t want people not to take that away from watching the video. We were highly influenced by those guys.
UrbanBridgez.com: It’s a good video, it does remind me of it to a tee, so good job and New Edition is one of my all-time favorite groups.
Hamilton Park: Thank You!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell us who you guys are working with on your debut album and what fans can expect from it?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): Wow, that’s a great question. I think what people can expect to take from the album is the fact that it’s real southern, down-home, Atlanta R&B! From the likes of Jagged & 112, of course they were some of our biggest influences. It’s just real R&B.
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): What people should take away from this Hamilton Park album is that we all have lead vocals ability. If you listen to alot of other groups, they all have one or maybe two leads at the most. But we have all four strong lead singers. It’s very important that music has that now a days, because it cheapens the sound sometime.
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): Our music is passionate and youthful and the homage that we pay & the influences that we have with Jodeci and with the collaboration we have with Andre Harrell & Harrell Records; it makes sense and it’s a very beautiful thing!
Royce P (Hamilton Park): What you can expect from the album is tasteful but graceful, you know. It’s truth, truth from our youthful expressions and how we like to do it!
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of the people you’re working with and when can fans expect the album?
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): We’re trying to keep everything a surprise. We don’t wanna leak too much out there, we wanna keep you on the edge of your seat.
Anthony (Hamilton Park): You’re gonna get the album in 2011 though and it’s done! It’s coming soon, we’re just putting little finishing touches on it. Getting it tight and right, it’s going to be incredible!
UrbanBridgez.com: With so many R&B groups M.I.A. right now, how does Hamilton Park plan to fill that void?
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): Hamilton Park is about to bring back that old school feel! We really love to sing and we’re not afraid to sing, We’re definitely giving that passionate conviction that you will feel in Church. We’re trying to bring that across in R&B, that I feel what’s missing in today’s R&B and Hamilton Park is here to save it!
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): When you hear the music from Hamilton Park it delivers a conviction. Alot of R&B out now a days don’t have conviction in it’s sound. You hear it, but you don’t feel it no more. I feel we’ll bring that back to the game. Like old school groups like Jodeci and 112, they had conviction in their songs.
Royce P (Hamilton Park): What we’re bringing really is our hearts and authenticity, real R&B! This is not cookie cutter music. This is real experience. It’s not the Making The Band type of R&B group. It’s actually real speaking from the heart organic music.
Anthony (Hamilton Park): And Aries I just want to ask you a question. I know when you were younger you’ve been in love and heartbroken right?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): So the thing about our music is that we communicate to the heart of people. It’s one thing to communicate to the ear, but it’s another thing when you can communicate to the heart! From our hearts and our music is doing that. We’ve been in love and heartbroken before, young and impressionable, you know. So we do that with our music and that’s what we form our harmonies around.
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): Ayy shawty we really just from the A (group laughs). And to the young ladies, just feel our hearts and the HP atmosphere you know! And feel the HP nas, you can phrase that.
UrbanBridgez.com: (laughs) Real good! Who are some female vocalists you really like and wouldn’t mind working with?
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): Ms Keri Hilson!
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): I wouldn’t mind working with Meagan Good! (everyone laughs). Oh she isn’t a singer. I wouldn’t mind working with her anyway, this Chris Voice from Hamilton Park, get at me!
Anthony (Hamilton Park): I wouldn’t mind working with Raven Simone. I love Raven Simone, she’s beautiful and she’s a singer.
Royce P (Hamilton Park): I might holla at some Sebastian’s (everyone laughs). It’s a whole new line of them coming out.
Hamilton Park: New Breeds!
Royce P (Hamilton Park): So you might end up getting some new names, we gotta check em out!
UrbanBridgez.com: Describe the overall image of HP, bad boys, good guys, what?
Royce P (Hamilton Park): We’re just some bad boys who know how to love, that’s it.
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell fans what they can expect from you guys upcoming promo tour and from a HP show?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): Life, love, passion and energy!
Chris Voice (Hamilton Park): They can expect the real, R&B feel! They can expect sweat because we’re going to give it all.
Mr. Marcus (Hamilton Park): This is Mr. Marcus the freak of the group and they can expect the wetness & moistness of your ears. (everyone laughs) It’s very direct. It’s nothing you would listen to and be like is this the lane they’re trying to go. No, it’s obvious that we’re bedroom music.
UrbanBridgez.com: Outside of music are you guys working or planning to work on anything else soon?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): Absolutely! I’m sure as time progresses Mr. Marcus wants to do a boxers catalog or something (laughs). Chris Voice would love to start a clothing line.
Royce P (Hamilton Park): We wanna get them Swisher endorsements (everyone laughs).
Anthony (Hamilton Park): We’re just focused young men, right now we’re trying to stay focused on this (sings) “Computer Love!”
Chris Voice: Yeah that’s the only thing we’re focused on right now is that “Computer Love” and getting that “Computer Love.”
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your steady growing fanbase?
Anthony (Hamilton Park): We love you! We appreciate everyone who has worked hard and believes in us. Keep believing because we’re going to give it to you!
Hamilton Park: Atlantic Records and Andre Harrell, thank you for the chance!