"Who's Hot?" Interview
By: Omar Cook
This week's "Who's Hot?" Artist of the week is Atlanta rapper, Cellus Hamilton! Rapping since the age of 8, Hamilton has travelled around the country and a few cities internationally, declaring his message of hope to the world. In 2014, he released his debut album “The Most Beautiful” which was followed by his sophomore release “We Are and We Shall” in 2017. Both albums have peaked on the Hip-Hop charts solidifying Cellus in the Hip-Hop world. Hamilton currently lives in New York where he serves at his local church and tours on weekends. If you haven’t heard of Cellus Hamilton, make sure you get familiar!
We talked with Cellus Hamilton in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
QUESTION: How long have you been making music and how did you get started?
Cellus Hamilton: I’ve been making music since I was 8 years old and I got started by watching my mom who inspired me because she was a rapper.
QUESTION: Musically, who has been your biggest influence in helping you along your journey and who are your favorite musicians?
Cellus Hamilton: My biggest influence is Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. I love Kanye’s creativity and boldness to be himself despite what the world thinks about him. I love Lupe because he is an intelligent lyricist.
QUESTION: What artists would you like to collaborate with and why?
Cellus Hamilton: I would love to collab with Saba because he is one of the greatest up and coming artists of this generation. I’d also love to collab with Jackie Hill Perry because she reminds me of nostalgic Hip-Hop.
QUESTION: What do you feel is your best song/project ever released and why?
Cellus Hamilton: My best project is “We Are and We Shall” because it was the first time I consistently captured a theme. I think my best song is “East of Eden”. My best song opinion changes every day.
QUESTION: What projects can we look forward to in the near future?
Cellus Hamilton: You can look forward to a bunch of joint albums with some of my best artist friends and a lot of new music coming from me. I also want to make a love album.
QUESTION: How do you generate new ideas for your music?
Cellus Hamilton: I usually get high off the Holy Spirit and then begin recording whatever He tells me to say. To get high I read my Word or spend a couple of hours in prayer.
QUESTION: What motivates you and how do you define success?
Cellus Hamilton: I think success is accomplishing a goal you set in advance. I’m motivated by listening to the radio and realizing that these young people are only doing what they hear, which means that I must make a change.
QUESTION: How do you describe your music to people?
Cellus Hamilton: I describe my music as street poetry with a hint of aloe vera leaf because it’s soothing to the soul.
QUESTION: Do you believe there is a formula to being a successful artist?
Cellus Hamilton: Sadly I do believe there is a formula but I also believe God has already written my future. The rules don’t apply to me. I do what I want.
QUESTION: Who is your greatest inspiration?
Cellus Hamilton: My greatest inspiration is Michael Jordan.
QUESTION: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Cellus Hamilton: The most influential and successful artist in my genre is Drake because he is mixed and is able to appeal to many different ethnic groups. He also is an amazing rapper.
QUESTION: Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Cellus Hamilton: My music is currently driven by passion because I desperately want the listener to feel what I feel.
QUESTION: What sacrifices have you had to make, to make your dream a reality?
Cellus Hamilton: In 2012, I consumed $400 worth of oatmeal so that I can afford to drop “The Most Beautiful” album in 2014. I also quit 2 full time high paying jobs to move to NYC and sleep on a couch where I had free time to follow my dreams.
QUESTION: What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Cellus Hamilton: The fact that I have the opportunity to say words that will awaken God in the hearts of people excited me the most about the music making process. The most discouraging thing is that I have to be very intentional about my delivery in order to be effective.
QUESTION: Where do you see yourself and your music in 10 years?
Cellus Hamilton: In 10 years I see myself retired and a mentor to younger artists in the Hip-Hop genre.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to other up and coming artists or people looking to break into the music industry?
Cellus Hamilton: The advice I’d give is to always stay true to yourself and make the music that you would love to listen to.