Harlem-based Caleb Hawley is an American soul singer and songwriter originally hailing from Minneapolis. Often compared to the classic sounds of early Stevie Wonder as well as savvy throwback crooners like Mayer Hawthorne or Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Hawley comes from a family of preachers and therapists, complimenting both his on-stage charisma and perceptive witty lyrics. Hawley grew up in a church free of instruments where he sharpened his vocal chops surrounded by a cappella gospel music until, sometime in his teens, his grandfather hooked him on an old Ray Charles record. This discovery led him to the music of the sixties and seventies that pervades his music today. In what he refers to as his “former music career”, Hawley spent his early 20’s touring the country, just him and his dog, racking up hundreds of gigs and multiple songwriting awards with an acoustic guitar showcasing an original folk-infused rock'n'soul sound. For his new EP “Side 1”, he straps on old Harmony electric he found in an Alabama garage, and leans into the rock and the soul, introducing his old school influences and putting a fresh spin on on a classic sound. On Hawley’s two part EP, he mixed it up with Dan Molad, drummer and producer for Lucius, melding contrasting backgrounds to help create a unique take on a vintage trend. "Side 2" of the EP is set to be released in the fall. Caleb is currently independent, playing shows all over the US with his band.
Long before the first volume of his recent 2x4 EP series, everything about Chicago based soul/pop sensation Aryk Crowder has been about building a sturdy, tangible structure on which his unique vision can thrive. From his early four-track recordings in a studio apartment to recent grass-roots efforts in crowd-sourcing and charity work to the hand-stamped artwork and distribution of 2x4 it's all innovative, creative and certainly DIY, but Crowder's ethic also hearkens back to a time before DIY was hip or underground. With his own two hands, Crowder isn't building walls in order to stand-out, so much as bridges.
Though comparisons to Jeff Buckley, John Mayer or Ben Harper aren't unwarranted, Crowder sports more love for true soul music than any of the above, as evidenced through the rustic tones of acoustic plucks. Whether solo or joined by his infections live band, Crowder has wow'd audiences as an opener for national touring artists (Yuna, Jordan Knight,Mat Kearney,and more) as well as at a sold-out, debut appearance at Angels & Kings (owned by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz). Crowder has also racked up several stunning live on-air performances on WGN 720AM, WBEZ 91.5FM, Vocalo 90.7FM and Fearless Radio, reaching worldwide audiences listening over the internet.
Crowder's connections to his fans and his city are far from done when the final note is sung or the last instrument cable is wrapped up for the night. He's bringing human emotion (and handmade keepsakes in which to collect them) back in an age of a point-and-click music industry.