Anthony Ramos on His Debut Album and How His Fiancée Inspires His Music
The singer and actor talks about his debut album The Good & the Bad and what's next in his extremely busy career.
Whether you know him from the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton or the Netflix series She's Gotta Have It, it's hard to forget the name Anthony Ramos. Now, the 27-year-old multitalented Brooklyn native is taking a leap away from acting and into the music world with his debut album The Good & the Bad, available everywhere on Friday.
Growing up in the Bushwick projects, Ramos started writing music in high school with his cousins, but didn't take it that seriously until his time on Broadway. “When I got to college I started writing again, and a couple of my friends were writing and playing guitar and I taught myself how to play,” he tells People CHICA. After he made his debut as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in Hamilton, producer Will Wells asked if he'd ever be interested in making an album. “He's like, ‘Yo man, everybody in here is talented, but you special, bro,'” Ramos recalls. “We made our first EP, The Freedom EP, which came out in 2018, and now my first album.”
After Hamilton kickstarted his career, Ramos started appearing in movies like White Girl, A Star Is Born and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but he kept working on music, too. In 2017, he reunited with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for the song “Almost Like Praying,” which helped benefit Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. This summer, he announced his signing to Republic Records on his YouTube series It Takes a Village, which also documented his proposal to fiancée (and fellow Hamilton cast member) Jasmine Cephas Jones.
Cephas Jones has been a great support system for Ramos, as well as the inspiration for some of the songs on the album, like “One More Hour,” about their first kiss. “[It's] about being out with somebody that you are having such a good time with and you don't want the night to end,” he explains. “You hear the piano kind of goes into the distance … it's like a dream world, and you hear the birds chirping at the end of the song because the sun's coming up.”
Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent, and his culture has played an important role in his career. Though The Good & the Bad was recorded in English, he's working on making it in Spanish, too. “It takes a little time, but we're doing it,” he shares. “Some of the songs sound better in Spanish. I think most things sound better in Spanish!”
Because he seems physically incapable of taking a break, he's starting a tour for the album next week and next month will start production on the movie The Honest Thief, which also stars Cephas Jones, Liam Neeson and Kate Walsh. He just wrapped the film version of Miranda's musical In the Heights, which stars Dascha Polanco, Stephanie Beatriz and Jimmy Smits, and is taking Spanish classes at night so he'll be able to take Spanish-language roles, too. He says he'd hit the stage again as well, if the right role presented itself. “I would go back to Broadway, for sure. I would go to off-Broadway. I'll do it in a basement if the script is great!”
While it might seem like a lot of work for pretty much anyone, for Ramos, this is a dream come true. “I'm just so grateful,” he says. “It took a lot of people to believe in me and it took a lot of people for this to happen — to get signed and get with the right management, all the things, the agents, everything. But it's a blessing that it all came together, and this album … I'm hype to just give it to the world.”