Day 218: Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne
Photo courtesy of Mayer Hawthorne

Not since Motown, arguably Detroit’s most famous musical movement, has Michigan produced an artist with as much soul as Mayer Hawthorne. The Ann Arbor born Hawthorne, in fact, touts Detroit as generating some of the best music in history.

Mayer Hawthorne
Photo courtesy of Mayer Hawthorne

Indeed, Hawthorne counts artist Smokey Robinson and famed production team Holland, Dozier, and Holland as some of his major musical influences. But don’t categorize Hawthorne as an artist simply recycling the sounds of Motown. Mayer Hawthorne’s sound is incredibly eclectic and unique: he is creating a new brand of Detroit soul.

Though still early in his career, Hawthorne’s sound has already begun evolving. In more recent Mayer Hawthorne tunes, there is more variation, and an element of 1960s pop that was not as noticeable in earlier songs.

Upon listening to Mayer Hawthorn, you may not believe that his intention was never really to be a singer. Influenced by his father, he played instruments most of his life, but Hawthorne never received vocal training, nor did he sing in any of the bands he was a part of.

Mayer Hawthorne
Photo courtesy of Mayer Hawthorne

Although his vocal resume was lacking at the beginning of his career, the roster of artists he has since performed with and done duets with is impressive. Not to mention eclectic; Mayer Hawthorne has performed with artists like as Amy Winehouse and did a duet on his most recent album, How Do You Do, with Snoop Dogg (a song the two co-wrote called Can’t Stop). Snoop and Hawthorne even performed together at the South by Southwest Music Festival in March.

To accompany the October release of How Do You Do, his third album, Hawthorne is also preparing to embark on a worldwide tour. And if audiences are anything like critics and those who have worked with Mayer Hawthorne, the tour is bound to be well received.

Indeed, many are starting to recognize the talents of Mayer Hawthorne (he has made appearances on such shows as Conan and The Late Show with David Letterman) and you would be well advised to do the same. So check out his website to see upcoming tour dates and to pick up a copy of his albums! ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer

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Hi, all! A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Awesome Mitten creator Alex Beaton at one of my favorite Michigan landmarks: Michigan State University. Aside from my indulging Spartan roots with trips to East Lansing, I spend most of my time watching movies, cooking, hanging out with my family, and counting down the days until summer, when I can spend a few more days on any of the beautiful lakes of Michigan. Email me at: hayley@awesomemitten.com