By Jana Angeles
Since his journey with rock band 56 Hope Road, Chicago musician, Mr. Dave (aka Dave Hamilton) has always had a passion for music. With years of experience being on the road and immersing everything Rock N’ Roll, Dave has always known the ins and outs of the music industry. While 56 Hope Road have had opportunities to tour with big acts like Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, and The Allman Brothers Band, he always had an interest in working with children and sharing his love for music. From there, this inspired him to start his own music school with his wife, Christina Hamilton, emphasising the vision of bringing the joy of music for children, adults, and families.
“I’ve always had a connection with kids,” he said. “Younger kids always gravitate towards me and I have always been musical – the two just kind of came together. I definitely get a lot of good energy from working with kids; it just helps me live my life in a cool way. Music has always been my passion and I just found a niche that’s been working and now I’ve been able to write kids music, which I dig.”
With his positive attitude and years of experience, Dave emphasises how much he has learnt about music since being part of 56 Hope Road. Since starting his own music school, he explains how his approach with music has shaped him as a songwriter and a musician. He mentions that he was “able to take those skills I learnt on the road and put it into my own business.” He then shared that as a songwriter, he needed to take on a “go out and find yourself type of deal” when it came to writing songs.
While running his own school, Dave has successfully released children’s albums for kids to enjoy. In 2014, he released the record, Come On In, with critics praising his “relatable” and “laid back” approach to music. His upcoming record, Feeling Good (releases June 9, 2017), he was able to snag a deal with Grammy-nominated producer Jamie Candiloro and work with him on the songs. Candiloro has worked with musicians like Ryan Adams and Willie Nelson as well.
Despite working with a high profile producer, Dave was humble and shared his enthusiasm for children’s music. “I love working with kids the most cause they’re just the most honest people around and if they don’t like it, they don’t like it,” He continues. “They’re not going to fake the funk if you know what I’m saying.”
Even with his busy lifestyle of running a business and writing songs on a daily basis, Dave is thankful for all the experiences he has had so far. With many big adventures to come, he’s beyond grateful that he’s able to share such wholesome music to little ones all round, helping develop brighter citizens for the future.
“Opening the school was huge, marrying my wife was even bigger and I hope that someday, we will have kids, so that will be the future,” he said. “Other than that, being a professional musician has been very, very rewarding for me as a whole.”