Smooth tunes: Singer Anthony Hamilton to bring soulful sounds to Chastain

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

Anthony Hamilton knows soulful music.

The Grammy Award-winning R&B singer said growing up in church in Charlotte, N.C., helped him learn to appreciate the emotion and feelings in songs.

"We had a lot of Baptist churches and radio played more stuff that was Southern driven like Al Green and Gladys Knight and all the good stuff," Hamilton said during a recent interview. "And with the church stuff -- it had a lot of heart and soul in it, so it was all easy listening and lots of emotion, so it allowed me to feel that feeling and be familiar with what people love."

Hamilton will bring his signature soulful sounds to Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Thursday, headlining the Budweiser Superfest Tour. Joining him on stage will be Jaheim, Raheem DeVaughn and Kem. Hamilton said the chemistry between all the artists has been great.

"We're all fans of each other," Hamilton said. "All of us have a lot in common, but the main goal is to come out and give the people a great show. I want them to feel like they're involved and like they're part of the package."

Hamilton is promoting his latest album, "The Point of It All," which includes the hit single "Cool" featuring rapper David Banner. Hamilton said the album is mostly a reflection of his relationship with his wife, Tarsha, whom he met in 2003 when she auditioned to sing backup for him. She eventually toured with Hamilton for five years and most recently contributed her vocals to one song on the latest album.

"She was an amazing singer way before I met her," Hamilton said. "She's not only a singer but she's a heck of a writer. We've written a song together called 'Home,' but we haven't put it out yet."

Hamilton said keeping family close is important. His three children are out on the road with him now and he said they love it (Hamilton and his wife are expecting twin boys in the fall). But it wasn't always so easy for Hamilton. His biological father left when he was young and his mother suffered from alcoholism. His mother eventually remarried and Hamilton said he got that father figure in his life that he always wanted. He has since reconciled with both parents and said he definitely draws from those experiences and puts it in his music.

"It's like I never really lost them, so I can speak about the pain from both sides and the joys from both sides," he said.

It's with those experiences that Hamilton feels he's been successful and so relatable to the public with his music. And with that, he said he plans to be around for a long time.

"I just do what I do and know that great songs can open up doors that wouldn't normally open up for you," he said. "So if you have a great song, whether it's R&B, country or rap, it'll open up a door because people want to hear a great song with a great story. Just staying true to that and myself -- it's been working."