SB: Of the songs that are on the album, which would you say is your favorite?
AH: “Tis the Season” is an original song. It feels like an Anthony Hamilton ballad. It’s just a beautiful R&B holiday record. I think it will be played for the rest of time. That one is really true to my heart. Also, “Home for the Holidays” featuring Gavin. Before I even put him on that, I just thought it was just a beautiful song. So many people travel, when you have a career like mine or anybody else who travels a lot, you only wish that you could be home around the holidays. That song was special to me. And for the remakes, I like “What do the Lonely Do At Christmas” and “The Christmas Song” with Chaka Khan. It’s just real mellow, it’s just nice. It feels good, it’s sexy. I’m gonna have a sexy Christmas.
SB: The last time that you appeared on something Christmas themed was when you were on The Best Man Holiday soundtrack. You did a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “As” with Marsha Ambrosius. How did that collaboration come about?
AH: Well, the producer of the movie is a big fan of mine. We’re buddies. They looked for me to be a part of it. They asked me if I would be a part of doing that song with Marsha Ambrosius. I was like, “Yeah, I’m a fan of hers as well.” I’ve been knowing her for years. It’s always good to collaborate with people you have a genuine respect for.
SB: What was it like re-imagining something so timeless from Stevie?
AH: Well, you know that song, man, it’s just an amazing song and for them to produce it in such a way, I don’t know, it was just genius on their part. I think people really, really had a chance to let the words sink in and the emotion of the song fit that particular part of the movie so well that I think it brought even deeper emotion. Stevie Wonder, just his lyrics. C’mon, need I say more?
SB: You also got to appear in the film. What was it like filming that scene?
AH: The whole room, everybody…I mean so many great actors and actresses were in that room, man, and everybody was fully engaged in that moment and it felt so real. I was like, “Is this a real funeral or what?” I had to look back at the casket. Terrence Howard can make himself cry on the drop of a dime. Real tears. So, with all that emotion and great acting, and that room, being away from home. We filmed it…Yeah, the room, everything, contributed to that and it was a really heavy moment. It was really easy to go in there and sing the song with that type of raw emotion.
SB: I know when I watched it in the theater, there was not a dry eye in the entire house. Everybody was bawling.
AH: Yeah, I watched the movie by myself in the theater -- just only me. Thank God it happened that way because I was in there snottin’ and crying. Yeah, it was great.
SB: What songs are you most looking forward to performing on the road?
AH: All of them. It’s all about putting the show together, not the songs for me. That doesn’t do anything for me. It’s the show that makes it happen for me and for the people. Definitely.