Let’s face it – these days everyone thinks they can make a record, and true enough, if you’ve got the money and the right equipment you can self produce a collection of your favorite karaoke songs in your living.
Many people share the same dream, but few artists ever succeed in climbing to the top spot of a music chart. Nowadays, with the Texas music scene more competitive than ever, a #1 hit is even more of a momentous accomplishment.
This week Burleson, Texas native Phil Hamilton did just that on the Texas Regional Radio Chart with his hit single “Bad” from his sophomore album Renegade Rock n Roll. ’Bad’ is the album’s second single. Hamilton’s personal favorite of the album, the song was penned in the studio while laying down other tracks.
Needless to say, Hamilton’s riding the top of the wave with a smile. “I can’t even describe the feeling of satisfaction and gratitude, it’s a true turning point in my career for sure.”
Growing up in Texas, Phil Hamilton has been able to experience and support some of the best the state has to offer, and in turn they’ve given him inspiration. “I’m a fan of Pat Green and always will be, he brought change to the music scene years ago and the spirit of his music will always be a part of what we’re all doing, and of course my favorite Texas country artist, Tom Petty.”
Hamilton’s own presence on the music scene has been steadily growing over the past few years. While fellow high school graduating classmate Kelly Clarkson took her music to the top down a yellow brick road, Hamilton’s path was down a long, well traveled red dirt road. His work ethic and perseverance has paid off, but along the way the landscape has changed. “It’s become very competitive, sad to say to say the camaraderie isn’t as strong as used to be. It’s becoming so challenging to break through in the business that everyone is scared and some feel threatened by another’s success.”
When asked what advice he’d give to those who are looking to break into the Texas music scene, his answer is straight forward. “I would say work hard, treat it like a business and seek out good people to work with such as management, etc. you have to work harder than any of the people or your band, only then do you get the respect and have a team willing to work along side you and follow you through the tougher times.”
That all said, Hamilton has persevered and kept his end goals in sight. He’s figured out what he’s had to do, and stayed focused. Being in North Texas, as opposed to Austin, has been especially beneficial. Although the Texas capital has been touted as the Live Music Capital of the World, its musicians struggle to make a decent living. Being able to make ends meet, allows for music to move from being a weekend hobby to a full time career. Hamilton understands this all too well. “It’s all about location, Austin TX is home to some of the most talented musicians and therefore there are a lot of great acts willing to play for cheap.” he shares, ”The key is to find new markets and build the fans, doing so you can control your own destiny and make more money each time you come back which in turn helps keep you on the road and finding more new markets.”
Business aside, Hamilton’s Renegade Rock n Roll is an album that has plenty of shelf life still in it. The current #1 single is the second release from the stellar red dirt rocker, and there are plans to release more to Texas radio. Based on the warm welcome all of his other single releases have received from the public and media, there will be plenty more opportunities for Hamilton to enjoy the view from the top of the charts. His songs are authentic and well written.
It’s an album he is feels proud of, and rightly so. Like a proverbial father of ten unique and special children, he has a hard time picking a favorite track. “It’s tough to choose one, that’s what is special about this record to me. It’s a collaboration of songs that I have felt and lived since starting this journey.”
Thankfully for all of us, Phil Hamilton has graciously taken us along for the ride.
So what does Phil Hamilton do to follow up a #1 song? By kicking back and relaxing on the Frio River, and inviting everyone to come and join him, of course. The 1st Annual Philthy on the Frio is set to take place Jun 1, 2 and 3rd in Leakey Texas. ”It will be just a great time to party, cut loose and enjoy the beautiful Texas Hill Country and live music,” he shares. “Floating the river is a Texas tradition and this will hopefully be the first of many Philthy on the Frio’s to come!” More details can be found on Phil’s website.