With one of the most authentic '60s soul renaissance records to date in his instant classic A Strange Arrangement, Hawthorne has achieved on a whim what others have attempted as a serious career move, and you can thank taste-making Stones Throw kingpin Peanut Butter Wolf for lighting the man's fire.
"When I first started recording the Mayer Hawthorne songs, it was just an experiment on the side, and I was mainly focused on hip-hop," says the multi-faceted producer, DJ, and management company head. "I didn't take it very seriously [until] Peanut Butter Wolf asked me to record a full album of material. Prior to that, I didn't even have any plans to record an entire album."
From the two initial cuts that first caught Wolf's ear, the L.A. resident, who first found a taste for soul singing with rap trio Now On, has nailed his period piece exquisitely, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that it was all crafted in just six months.
"I'm definitely a serious student of the music, the kinda guy that will listen to a Smokey Robinson tune a hundred times in a row, and really try to pick it apart," he says. "But you know, I'm an indie artist on an indie label with a small budget, and I don't have state of the art recording equipment to use. I used pretty crappy equipment - I recorded a lot of my vocals for the album through a pair of old headphones instead of a mic!"