Mayer Hawthorne

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Mayer Hawthorne
Mayer Hawthorne.jpg
Background information
Birth name Andrew Mayer Cohen[1][2]
Also known as Haircut[3]
Born (1979-02-02) February 2, 1979 (age 37)
Origin Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States[1]
Genres Soul,[1][3] neo soul[4]
Occupation(s) Singer, producer, songwriter, arranger, audio engineer, DJ, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist[1][3][5]
Years active 2008–present[6]
Labels Stones Throw Records,[1][3] Universal Republic

Andrew Mayer Cohen (born February 2, 1979), better known by the stage name Mayer Hawthorne, is a Grammy-nominated American singer, producer, songwriter, arranger, audio engineer, DJ, rapper and multi-instrumentalist[1][3][5] based in Los Angeles, California.[1] "Mayer Hawthorne and The County" is a name Cohen often uses when performing or recording as Mayer Hawthorne with other artists. In Cohen's words, "The County" is basically anyone who plays an instrument or sings on his album. It is also his band when he performs live.[3] Cohen also performs and records hip hop under the stage name Haircut, sometimes as part of the groups Jaded Incorporated, Now On, Tuxedo, and Athletic Mic League.[3][7]

Early life[edit]

Cohen was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[1][5] In his junior year he replaced his class photo with a photo of Elvis Presley. His parents, Kathi and Richard Cohen, were always very supportive of his love of music. He has two younger sisters, Becky and Kelly. The stage name "Mayer Hawthorne" is a combination of Cohen's real middle name (Mayer) and the name of the street he grew up on Hawthorne Road in Ann Arbor, MI.[2]


Mayer Hawthorne performing on April 18, 2012 at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia.

Hawthorne moved to Los Angeles in 2006. He was signed to Stones Throw Records by label head Peanut Butter Wolf.[1][5] Originally the Mayer Hawthorne tracks were meant to be just side projects for pleasure, but upon hearing them Peanut Butter Wolf insisted they be made into an album. Hawthorne has had no previous vocal training.[1][5]

His debut single, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out"/"When I Said Goodbye", was released on a red heart-shaped 7" record on Stones Throw Records on November 4, 2008.[6] His second single "Maybe So, Maybe No"/"I Wish It Would Rain" was released on a 12" record on Stones Throw Records on April 19, 2009.[8] His debut album, A Strange Arrangement was released on CD and LP on Stones Throw Records on September 8, 2009.[9]

The song "When I Said Goodbye", was featured in the Kanye West/Spike Jonze short film We Were Once a Fairytale. In 2011, Hawthorne performed guest vocals for the Sebastian song "Love in Motion" featured on Sebastian's 2011 album Total On July 15, 2011, Mayer Hawthorne was a guest, along with famed Memphis/Stax Records keyboardist Booker T. Jones, on Episode 43 of Daryl Hall's Live From Daryl's House webcast. Hawthorne, Hall, and Jones combined with Hall's house band on "Strange Arrangement", "Green Onions", "No Strings", "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out", and "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'" and Hall's "You Make My Dreams" and "Private Eyes". During Hall's dinner for the group, Hawthorne stated that, when working as a hip hop DJ, he began recording his own Motown-style tracks to avoid paying fees for sampling other artists' work. He also played all the instruments on each of those tracks, in addition to recording all his own vocals.[10]

Mayer Hawthorne and The County were musical guests on the Conan TV show on October 17, 2011, and the Late Show with David Letterman on October 25, 2011. On both shows, the group performed "The Walk", their first single from How Do You Do. In 2012 Hawthorne released the six-track live EP KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, as a part of Record Store Day's Black Friday.[11]

In late May 2013, Hawthorne released his latest single "Her Favorite Song" from his latest album Where Does This Door Go. It is noted that the album is a departure from his throwback style in his past three albums.[12] Later that year, he received a Grammy nomination for "Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package" for his album How Do You Do.[13]

Hawthorne performed at the 2014 NHL Winter Classic hockey game in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2014, Hawthorne joined 14KT to form the synth-pop group Jaded Incorporated and they released their debut album The Big Knock exclusively on vinyl and digital on June 17 2014.[14]

Musical influences[edit]

Mayer Hawthorne is influenced by the music of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry, Barry White, Smokey Robinson and the legendary songwriting and production trio of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Edward Holland, Jr. (known collectively as Holland–Dozier–Holland).[1][5] Taking umbrage at the notion that his is a purely "throwback" soul sound, however, Hawthorne also cites more contemporary artists, such as J Dilla, as significant influences.[15]

Discussing How Do You Do, Hawthorne says, "I found my own unique sound on this album, which I'm excited about." The album has a vintage sound, which involves twelve '70s inspired tracks, filled with orchestral pop and funky bass lines—"I've taken what I can from the classic heroes of soul and updated it with the music I grew up listening to and loving like Public Enemy and Juan Atkins and Cybotron." He first found his musical voice in hip-hop and rap from his father, who plays in a band in Detroit, Michigan.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

In July 2009, Hawthorne was featured on the cover of the third anniversary issue of Beyond Race magazine (BRM).[17]

Hawthorne's song, "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'" was featured in the fourth season of Ugly Betty in its finale episode, "Hello Goodbye". The song begins in the scene at Betty's goodbye party when Marc asks Troy if he would like to dance.

Hawthorne's track "Do It", released under the alias 'Tuxedo' with Jake One was sampled on Pitbull's track of the same name from his 2013 studio album Global Warming.

The title track from Hawthorne's album, "Where Does This Door Go" was featured over the closing credits of the season one Masters of Sex episode "Thank You For Coming" in October of 2013.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certifications

2009 A Strange Arrangement  – 134  –  – 184
2011 How Do You Do 52  –  – 70 28 96
2013 Where Does This Door Go 30 81  – 92  – 58
2014 The Big Knock (with 14KT, as Jaded Incorporated)
2015 Tuxedo (with Jake One, as Tuxedo)

Live albums[edit]

  • Direct to Disc (2011)

KCRW FM - Morning Becomes Eclectic 2012-06-14 (Released: 2012-11-23 Label: Republic Limited release on Vinyl)


  • "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out"/"When I Said Goodbye" 7" single (November 4, 2008, Stones Throw Records, STH7028)[6][21]
  • "The Ills"/"The Ills (instrumental)" 7" single (2009, Stones Throw Records, STH7035)
  • "Maybe So, Maybe No"/"I Wish It Would Rain" 12" single (April 19, 2009, Stones Throw Records, STH2212)[8]
  • "No Strings" 10" single (April, 2011, Stones Throw Records, STH2265)
  • "A Long Time" digital single (May, 2011, Universal Republic)
  • "The Walk" (August, 2011, Universal Republic) #45 US Rock Songs
  • "Thin Moon" (2011, Stones Throw Records)
  • "Dreaming" (2011, Universal Republic Records)
  • "The Walk" featuring Rizzle Kicks (spring, 2012, Universal Republic)
  • "Get Ready" (2012, Universal Republic Records)
  • "Her Favorite Song" (2013, Universal Republic Records)
  • "Reach Out Richard" (2013, Universal Republic Records)
  • "Cosmic Love" (2016, Universal Republic Records)


Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hammerstein, B.J. (May 17, 2009). "Chatting With… Mayer Hawthorne". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  2. ^ a b Cohen, Andrew (May 17, 2009). "Mayer Hawthorne: URB Next 100". URB Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "A chat with Mayer Hawthorne". Future Vintage. 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Mayer Hawthorne". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b c "Introducing: Mayer Hawthorne & The County". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  7. ^ Jones, Kevin. "Mayer Hawthorne's Chance Arrangement". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  8. ^ a b "Mayer Hawthorne "Maybe So, Maybe No"". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  9. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne - "A Strange Arrangement"". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  10. ^ "Episode 43: Mayer Hawthorne :: Live From Daryl's House with Daryl Hall :: Current Episode". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  11. ^ Saeger, John (2012-11-24). "Mayer Hawthorne Brings Early Morning Funk In Record Store Day EP". Long After Dark. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  12. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne: Where Does This Door Go review". Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne - Official Site". Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne: MB Evolution Tour Artist Spotlight - Billboard". 1 July 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Fuchs, Ben (November 9, 2009). "Mayer Hawthorne: "I'm Not a Throwback Artist"". Dunce Cap Quarterly. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  16. ^ Mistry, Anupa. "Mayer Hawthorne's New Good Days • Interviews •". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  17. ^ Cohen, Andrew (July 2009). "Mayer Hawthorne: The Soul Man". Beyond Race. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  18. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne - "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out"". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  22. ^ "Mayer Hawthorne Collaboration". Indie Shuffle. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 

External links[edit]