In a day when male R&B groups are rare, Hamilton Park is on a mission to bring real vocals back to the stage and love songs back to the radio.
The Atlanta-based quartet, comprised of Anthony, Mr. Marcus Lee, Chris Voice and Royce P., is one of several acts to perform on the Scream Tour: The Next Generation, which kicks off in Augusta at The Bell Auditorium Friday, Sept. 30. The 22-date, nationwide tour also features Diggy Simmons, Mindless Behavior, The New Boyz, Jacob Latimore and The OMG Girlz.
In a telephone interview last week with Anthony and Mr. Marcus Lee, the band mates talked about Hamilton Park’s mission to “reintroduce conviction and romance songs and bring back songs that appreciate women.” The group’s debut single, Thing Called Us, is a ballad.
“We purposely took our time and put out a ballad,” Anthony said. “People always ask us that and say, ‘You guys really took a chance to put a ballad out for your first single.’ We say that it was a risk to take, but I think it’s paying off because people are recognizing that we’re really singing about potent music.”
This isn’t Hamilton Park’s first time performing in Augusta. Their fans can expect real vocals with no auto tune, Anthony said.
“You’re going to get some real singing, some soulfulness. You’re definitely going to get passion, the love element,” Anthony said. “We want to put the love back into the atmosphere. You’re going to get energy. You’re going to get a show. I don’t think artists are doing shows the way that we’re doing our show. I think it’s really, for lack of a better word, an experience. We just like to take people and bring them into our world.”
“With the economy the way that it is,” Lee said, “people are really expecting to get their money’s worth. You can definitely get your money’s worth when you see Hamilton Park perform.”
The members of Hamilton Park became like brothers while hanging out on the basketball courts of Hamilton Park Recreation Center in Atlanta, which inspired the name of the group. They developed their vocal skills while singing in their church choirs and built a following over the past five years.
Anthony and Mr. Marcus Lee became friends more than 10 years ago through their church choir and later met Chris Voice at choir events. When they were introduced to Royce P., they knew they “had found the missing piece of the puzzle.”
They spent the next four years learning their strengths and weaknesses as a group and building camaraderie during pick-up games on the basketball court. Hamilton Park has been compared to platinum-selling groups 112, Jagged Edge and Jodeci.
It’s their brotherhood and chemistry that makes them such a strong group, Lee said.
“It was really like second nature. It really wasn’t like trying to stick to keeping a group together. It was more like working with your brothers, so it made it that much more potent,” Lee said. “Like how old groups used to be. They were together for four and five years before they even came out. We were first brothers and then we grew a love and a patience for each other.”
Hamilton Park was discovered in 2010 by legendary music mogul Andre Harrell, through his partnership with Radio One’s “Superstar Soul Search.” The group missed the registration deadline for the competition, but later had a chance to sing in front of Harrell and were invited to perform the national anthem at the finals of the competition. When their rendition blew the audience away, Harrell signed them as the first act to his new label, Harrell Records.
Harrell is credited with discovering Diddy.
On Oct. 11, Hamilton Park will release a self-titled, six-song EP, Hamilton Park, their first release since signing with Harrell Records. The EP includes Hamilton Park’s debut single, Thing Called Us with Computer Love as a bonus single.