New Definition of Irony: Mayer Hawthorne and I.
Still in the euphoria of Summer Sonic Festival, now I’d like to talk about one of my favorite neo-soul artists, Mayer Hawthorne.
He’s one of the artists that I believe has a great stage act and that’s why I really want to come to his gig so bad. But somehow every time he pays a visit to my hometown, I always have something up that I can not cancel. Until I saw his name on the line up list of Summer Sonic Festival, this face happened:
Since I can’t really find his song in any karaoke place, I was super excited by the idea of singing his songs out loud — with him in person— and dance to the bass lines and just be extremely happy. My friend who attended his gig before said it was really good and therefore confirmed my assumptions about his stage act. So yeah, I was really looking forward to it!
But of course, that’s my expectation
And so, in Summer Sonic…..
The day finally came. The day that I’m gonna meet the guy whom stole my heart and my ears (no he’s not an organ transplant mafia, he’s a genius musician). Suddenly there was a rainbow, the birds started to sing, and I saw a unicorn crossed in front of my hotel (no.)
So fast forward to the festival. My friends and I arrived fine. We were relaxed and of course excited (said this 12 times already). We were like this laid back group who were too chill, so we told each other “Ah, the time set must be late. No worries”. So we continued to joke around and kept the excitement alive.
Things changed when we got off from the shuttle bus. The wind carried the damn fine bass line and the pretty voice of Mayer Hawthorne to my ears. “Holyshit, Fuck” I instantly ran, and left my friends behind (sorry, pal).
When I was about to enter the stadium with lungs that almost blew up, I forgot to change my ticket to the wristband. I got a panic attack. Under the very slashing sun heat of Osaka, I ran to find the ticket box. I ran, I ran, I ran, I don’t run. (shout out to Evelyn from the Internet for this line). I could hear them playing ‘Love Like That’, ‘Do It’, and other songs that hurts me to remember while I’m on my own hunt for the holy ticket box. I was also ironically running and singing the song that was played at the same time, with that worried expression in my face. Yes it was confusing.
After I got my wristband and finally enter the stadium.. I heard this awful sentence
“THANKYOU SUMMER SONIC! I’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME”
My happiness torn apart. Instantly.
It was so close but yet so far. Of course I could hear everything through Spotify, but it won’ be that special because I can’t sing along with him. Yes I sang along when I was running around,but that experience didn’t count. Devastated was the only word that described me perfectly at that time.
My friends, I got news for you. I finally can talk anything else other than food, Rami Malek, SEO, Gucci Loafers, corgi puppies, and food . Now, you can talk about irony with me for hours well, because.. Mayer Hawthorne and I in Osaka was a pure and perfect example of irony.
But of course, we need to move on.
God created this smooth dude with the gangster groove for many possible reasons. Maybe to remind the generation Z that there are some other really good genres to dance to other than EDM. Or maybe as well to knock the memory door of our childhood musical memories from our parents when they listen to those 70’s soul music. As well to remind us that this soul funk Motown thing is timeless. Who knows.
This neo-soul guy started his musical journey way back when he was 4 years old, when his dad taught him to play bass. 18 years ago he started DJ-ing and he still is right now. In 2009, he released his soulful debut — A Strange Arrangement — and he started his journey on the boat of soul singers ever since. With that falsetto that could melt your heartcombined with Motown vibes, he could easily steal everyone’s heart.
I got to know him when I heard The Walk from his second album,and it was because I saw his gig poster in my hometown. So I was curious. “Who the hell is this guy”- I thought I fell in love instantly with his album, and ever since I keep myself updated with his music.
I love all of his albums, but the third album is my favorite. It really showed that he did more experience on this one compared to the previous two. In this album he added more pop which makes a lot of people compared him to Justin Timberlake. But for me it’s better than J.T! because that Motown and Barry White vibes still thick and it’s just very very Hawthorne and that is better than J.T (again)! and you can fight me on that!. This album sounded more flirtatious than the previous two which is such a YAZ.
He collaborated with several big names like Pharrel Williams, and Greg Wells when he made Where Does This Door Go. But on his newest album — Man About Town — he produced entirely everything by his own. He even called this album with the most Mayer Hawthorne album yet.
He also did some other side projects. Jaded Incorporated and Tuxedo. Well I have to say that Tuxedo is my favorite thing from all of his work. That disco funk feel… I just can not say no. It was just so refreshing because I rarely heard something like that from the present musicians for a looong time except for Chromeo, Miami Horror and Moullinex. I think no one can say no to this album. It is just so good and timeless and the most important thing is this album will make you dance by default and that is special case.
So now peeps. Drop everything you do or held or believe and start listen to Mayer Hawthorne, if you haven’t. If you have, keep listening to him!!!!. I’m hoping that your faith line with him will be better than mine.