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Using Her Strength Against H8
Erin Hamilton
Hopefully, "Strength" will bring some education to people out there who are ignorant about all the various issues. - Erin Hamilton
by Michael Shinafelt
Erin Hamilton
Erin Hamilton

Erin Hamilton was born with performing in her soul. As the daughter of actress/comedian Carol Burnett and composer/producer Joe Hamilton, how could she not be?

She first burst onto the dance club scene with a rousing cover of the Gary Wright song "Dreamweaver". It was a smash and Erin has been making sweet pretty music ever since.

Her last two dance/pop anthems "The Flame 2008," a cover of the Cheap Trick song, and "Control Yourself" both charted number one on the Billboard Dance Chart.

"Strength," her latest collaboration with DJ Bill Bouvier, will benefit the NOH8 campaign. NOH8 effects everyone and, like Ms. Hamilton's past efforts, it is poised to have the mass appeal of her last two singles and shoot to number one. I recently caught up with this talented artist for a Chorus and Verse chat.

MS: Hey, Erin, how's everything?

EH: I am good, how are you, Michael?

MS: Plugging along as usual (laughs), yourself?

EH: It has been an interesting year, to say the least (laughs). But I am happy about my latest single, "Strength," and I am thinking good thoughts for it.

MS: Me too! I saw the video of you performing it at Club XL. The song sounded great!

EH: The song itself is really, really strong. I was thrilled that Bill thought of me to sing it.

MS: Since this song will benefit the NOH8 campaign, let's address it. NOH8 applies to everyone, in my opinion.

EH: Absolutely, it does. It's about equal rights for everyone. Everyone's right to be able to be looked at as equal. The song is about getting the spiritual strength and guidance to keep fighting for what it is we believe in.

MS: A lot of straight people have jumped on the NOH8 bandwagon; part of the reason is the big picture. It's about taking away one group's civil rights and, if that can happen, what's to stop the government from taking them away from another group?

EH: Exactly! It's happening more and more with various issues and causes in our country. It's not OK. It's mind blowing to me, but I guess that's what makes our country so, uh, interesting.

MS: That's one way of putting it.

EH: Hopefully, "Strength" will bring some education to people out there who are ignorant about all the various issues. This song is such a small piece of it, but I am hoping to be performing it at various rallies and for different causes throughout the country. It's my small contribution and I am happy be a part of it.

MS: In my opinion, it is the strongest song you have ever done. How did the collaboration with you and Bill Bouvier come about?

EH: Bill is so wonderful. We have known each other since the beginning of time. When he started DJing he took a stab at doing some mixes of my last single, "Control Yourself." He then approached me do "Strength". We talked about it, part of the chorus is lifted from another song called "Guidance," and the whole song was built around that. Bill is very hard working. He has a vision and he knows what he wants, and what he wanted to do with the song. The collaboration was a real no-brainer. This is the type of project I would jump on in a minute!

MS: NOH8 is a high-visibility campaign. Is this the first time anyone has done a song for it?

EH: Yes. I was surprised that no one has really done a song for it before. So when Bill brought it to my attention, I said: "The time is now, let's do it!"

MS: Let's lay the track down and let's nail it! (Laughs.)

EH: Right! (Laughs.)

I really look forward to working with him on some other projects. He's so talented and when he says he's going to do something, he does it!

MS: Your last single, "Control Yourself," went to number one. This has all the makings of another chart topper. I bet it will be two for two.

EH: I am hoping it will be. We have all the right people behind us and the song speaks for itself. Once it gets out and everyone starts hearing it, it will be a steal for all the DJs that want to have something new. You can't help but get up and dance when you hear it. It definitely could go to number one. I go into things with no expectations, and am happy with whatever the result is.

"Strength," DJ Bill Bouvier featuring Erin Hamilton

MS: A portion of the sales of "Strength" go to the NOH8 campaign as well. I know I am more inclined to buy something when part of the money is going to a worthwhile cause.

EH: I'm hoping other people see it that way, too. When the word gets out, and its promoted correctly, let's hope that will be the case.

MS: Fingers crossed.

EH: Thank you so much, Michael!

MS: You are not the typical dance diva. You have this diva/anti-diva thing going on. You don't fit the mold.

EH: (Laughs.) Well, I have been doing a lot of other types of music with producers lately, too. I am a single mom. I also do intervention, so I am quite busy with other things. I try to get my creative side out when I can. Hopefully, I will be able to release some sort of crossover record at some point. I am not anti-dance, but it is not where I come from. There is a tremendous amount of respect I have for everyone involved in the dance scene. I owe so much to all of them for all their love and support. When I get up to perform I have a blast doing it. I am so excited just to be singing, that it's great! Dance will be something that I will never leave completely.

MS: Go where the flow takes you, the universe gives you what you need.

EH: Exactly! There is this whole fan base that grew up with me that looks forward to hearing what I have coming out next. With this new single there is a whole new crowd who probably never even heard "Dreamweaver". It's a beautiful experience. The other day someone in the biz told me I am considered one of the old-time divas. My first reaction was "Oh, Jesus!" (Laughs.) Then, I realized what a compliment that is, it means I have stood the test of time.

Stop the H8 and log onto www.masterbeat.com to get your copy of "Strength" and be sure to get your diva on by checking out Erin's newly-formed Facebook fan page or www.myspace.com/theerinhamilton.

Michael Shinafelt
Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.
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