Mayer Hawthorne just likes playing music. Originally a producer and multi-instrumentalist, the throwback vocalist isn't formally trained and never really planned on singing.
Drawing influence from Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Smokey Robinson, and Curtis Mayfield to name just a few, Hawthorne dances in an eerily other worldly falsetto over his own production, featuring all instrumentation by who but homeboy himself.
Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf couldn't believe what Hawthorne played at their first meeting were actually new songs. He thought they were "re-edits" of older tracks. The signing basically happened on the spot recounts Wolf.
"I think Mayer is the only artist in the history of the label that I’ve signed after hearing only two songs," he said.
Garnering attention from BBC Radio One's Gilles Peterson and famed producer Mark Ronson, the Ann Arbor, Mich. native has been taking the scene by storm. He was featured on countless showcases during the South by Southwest festival in Austin recently, including a special feature performance at the extremely popular Levi's Fader Fort.
Not quite like any artist out right now, the singer's unique vision bands together the old school with a bit of new. Moving forward with this progressive revivalist will be an exciting journey to witness no doubt.
Mayer Hawthorne & The County open for Passion Pit at the Warfield this Thursday.