Junior broadcast journalism major Hampton Lamar performed as one of two openers before B.o.B at Eaglepalooza on Oct. 27.
Lamar, who grew up in Dallas, Texas, began his music career when he was in ninth grade and taught himself to play guitar. He learned by singing and playing to his favorite songs at the time, like “Gravity” by John Mayer and “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson.
Once his parents discovered that he could sing, Lamar said they would make him sing for company at their house.
“At first I hated it,” Lamar said. “I wasn’t sure if I could really sing or if I was like [some] people auditioning for American Idol who couldn’t hold a note.”
However, after singing in front of others so often and receiving encouraging feedback, Lamar says that his confidence grew and that he began to genuinely enjoy performing.
Lamar started writing his own songs during his senior year of high school, co-writing his first song with his sister. He eventually began rapping, and by the end of the school year, he was performing at big parties and local clubs.
Since he graduated from high school, Lamar has been making music in his home studio, recording and editing tracks. According to Lamar, this is the year he started making tangible progress as a performer.
Lamar was able to perform at this year’s Eaglepalooza when an Eaglepalooza committee member suggested him. After reviewing some of his material, the rest of the committee was on board and invited Lamar to perform.
“It was an absolute honor to perform at Eaglepalooza,” Lamar said. “Only a few years ago, I was attending Eaglepalooza as a spectator. I remember telling my friend that I would one day be the performer. And now, for it to have come full circle before I could even graduate is just amazing to me.”
With around one thousand attendees in the coliseum, Eaglepalooza was Lamar’s largest performance yet. Lamar said the audience was very responsive, even singing along to many of his songs and finishing the “Southern Miss, to the top!” chant that is iconic to USM.
“Opening for B.o.B was pretty dope,” Lamar said. “For me to have been singing his songs for so many years made [opening for him] kind of surreal.”
Lamar also complimented the hospitality crew. “They had probably 30 bottles of room temperature water for me, police escorts if I needed to go to the restroom, and there were the most amazing people constantly making sure I was okay,” he said.
Going forward, Lamar said he wants to keep pushing and share his music with the world, citing that performing at Eaglepalooza has motivated him to continue down this career path.
“I’ll get there by continuing doing what I’m doing and staying grounded,” Lamar said. “I feel that with any amount of success, we can start to lose sight of how we achieved it. It was God that gave me every talent that goes into my craft. Without God I wouldn’t be able to walk, talk or breathe so I believe that if I just remember where the blessings are coming from, I’ll eventually make it to where I want to be.”