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“beautifully displayed… pop inspired dreamscapes” – No Country For New Nashville
“A vast pop ballad” – Surviving the Golden Age
“[Hamil] fights his personal battles with words and music, and Weights is an album of self-awareness and conflicts.” – Elmore Magazine
“Whenever I write a song, I always imagine a scene with it,” says Nashville based songwriter Hamil Rich. Born to a mother with a background in music, Hamil was involved with music from an early age. At 20, he enrolled in Trevecca Nazarene University to major in Commercial Voice. The following summer, he formed songwriting as a habit. “I was always really insecure, I’m my worst critic,” he says, “I didn’t start living until I came to Trevecca.”
At age 10, Hamil’s life changed immensely as he began developing compulsive thoughts and behaviors to cope with fear and negativity. After almost 10 years, he was diagnosed with severe OCD through the help of therapy and taking an antidepressant.
When he began college, the negative thoughts became voices, unfamiliar and disruptive to his daily life. “I would be in class and there would be this booming voice coming through the ceiling shouting things from my past that would be embarrassing. I would look around thinking no one else hears this?” The voices intensified over time, to the point of threatening to kill him as soon as he’d fall asleep.
“The best thing I could ever do before medication, and while it was working, was listening to music,” he says. “One of the only times I wouldn’t hear things was when I was playing music or trying to write a song. As soon as I stopped, they would come back. Writing became my way of escaping it to find some peace.”
At age 24, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was during that time that the song “Dark Moon” developed. “It’s about the things we don’t see in ourselves that are keeping us from being the person we’re meant to be,” he says. “What are the things that are hiding beneath me? Is there such a thing as demons or evil spirits?
Out of Hamil’s self-awareness came songs. The title track “Weights” poured from his vision of being stranded and walking into the ocean, entranced by the moon as it looks like a pair of eyes. “Sometimes when you look into someone’s eyes you take on everything that they’re
going through,” he says. “You just go to that place with them no matter what. I imagine walking out into the ocean until your head is underwater. You drown with them in whatever you’re going through.”
On “Roam With Me”, he talks about realizing “the best way to live is a selfless life.” He imagined being lost in a jungle with the only visible light coming from the distance, calling to join in discovering “what you’re here for so you’re not lost.” On “Time Rolls On”, he writes about relationships falling apart easier than being put back together.
On the single “I Won’t Forget”, he writes about doubting love while on “I Only Wanted You” he writes from a character speaking to her deceased, divorced husband that she never stopped loving.
Whether it’s about psychologically dressing up oneself to appear normal (“Little Red Dress”), someone in your life that loves you no matter what (“All Night”) or “Walk Away” to cope with space, Hamil writes in pursuit of true love and selflessness.
On the album closer “Stay Lovely”, he writes, My heart is a wishing well. He says, “The most purest desire we can have is to want to be love. It’s not something you can achieve, you have to let go of yourself and let it live through you because if you try to hold on and control it, you’re just going to fail. We have to rely on a faith in this existence, if you don’t believe in God, at least believe that true love exists. Stay lovely, always be on the search for what life should be like.”
The 10 songs on Weights were written over the course of a year and a half. Hamil carefully chose musicians make his writing come to life in the studio at East Side Manor in Nashville.