Rising indie-pop-electronic artist Maddi “Mad” Hawkes and self proclaimed “babe rocker” is coming into her own. With a cooler-than-you vibe and an edgy-yet-carefree sound, you can just hear the confidence in her voice. She uses music to unapologetically face the world and to conquer her fears one by one. If you’re into St. Vincent, Photocomfort, MUNA, or Best Coast, then step into the world of Mad Hawkes.
Firstly, how did you come up with your name, Mad Hawkes?
Well my name is Maddi Hawkes and one of my nicknames has always been ‘Mad’ or ‘Mad Hawkes’ so it naturally evolved into the band name.
I love that you label your sound as “Babe Rock.” What other artists would you add to that label?
Ha! Thank you! I would definitely add Amy Winehouse to ‘Babe Rock.’ Same with Debbie Harry, Karen O, Jessie Reyes, King Princess and Missy Elliot. I could go on. Basically any badass female artist with something to say.
Your first single, “Fantasy,” dropped almost a year ago, and “FACE PNCH” followed soon after. What’s the story that you’re trying to tell in your songwriting?
The story varies from song to song. But there seems to be a common theme of tension and discomfort. I think it’s a result of growing up and truly experiencing adulthood and making the inevitable mistakes you thought you could avoid. “Fantasy” stemmed from a place of self sabotage, but not understanding why I felt the need to ruin a good thing. “FACE PNCH” tells the story of two sides of myself. Which I think most people have. For me it’s almost like good vs. evil. And how to cope with not liking yourself sometimes.
What is your favorite thing about living in LA?
The ocean. I grew up surfing so for me that’s the main attraction. And of course, the weather.
You were first discovered while interning at Parts + Labor Records, what was it like to work for a record company before launch your career as a singer?
When I first started I was so nervous. I so desperately wanted to be there that I was afraid of doing something to mess it up. I showed up early and left late, doing anything and everything I could to be of use. It was intimidating and I felt out of my league for sure. But I am so happy that I experienced working for P+L Records before diving into my career. I learned so much about songwriting and artist development. I learned how to interact with artists as an intern, and then how to speak my piece as an artist myself. I am very lucky to have had that experience. And to continue to work with them!