JONATHAN “Ziyon” Hamilton, of Liquideep fame, made us fall in love with him with his rhythmic dance love songs.
But he never did return to Nashville, Tennessee, where he comes from.
And now it’s 10 years later.
“My stepdad and I went to the airport to watch my flight leave, we actually made a joke of it,” he laughs.
Hamilton isn’t much of a talker. He’s reserved and shy, which, he says, most people mistake for arrogance.
Music is his way of speaking, specifically writing about love. This is evident in his new solo album, Audio Alchemy.
“My music is mainly about love and motivation, because these things mean a lot to me,” Hamilton says.
“I make my music for people who want to feel, people who don’t necessarily want to be at a party, people who just want to be at home and listen.
“People who actually want to take the time and listen. But, honestly, I write for myself first.”
The Liquideep duo split last year, but Hamilton says there is no bad blood between him and Thabo “Ryzor” Shokgolo. He says it was a mutual decision.
“A solo album for me shows growth. We did a lot of house and dance music, but this album is more me, it’s lot more soulful,” says Hamilton.
The studio is his favourite place, but he can’t say the same for the stage.
“I write, produce and sing and I really prefer to be in the studio instead of being on stage.
“The stage has one take, you can’t go back and fix. But I am learning,” he says.
The 33-year-old has worked on numerous projects, including Mzansi Magic’s reality series Clash of the Choirs.
“Clash of the Choirs was amazing. I learnt a lot about performance especially from SugarSmaX.
“His concepts and execution were brilliant,” he says.
Though his choir didn’t win, Hamilton says the experience helped him to break out of his shell.
“Hopefully, the show got people to see a different side of me. I wouldn’t compete again – I am not into creating music for competition because I think it takes away from the reason I create,” he says.
The highlight of his career was Liquideep’s album of the year nod at the South African Music Awards.
“My stepfather would always take me with him to the Samas and I always wished that I could come for myself, for a nomination I had. In 2010 it finally happened. It was like a dream come true for me,” he says.
Hamilton lives a very private life. He’s hardly seen out and about, unless it’s for work.
“I have my friends, who are not industry people.
“I have very few industry friends, and I prefer just spending time with them,” he says.
He’s unfortunately not single, ladies. He’s been with his girlfriend for four years, but won’t say who she is.