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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Nov 28, 2010
Before he was a soul crooner, Mayer Hawthorne started out spinning records as DJ Haircut in his hometown of Detroit. With an infatuation with vinyl records since he was a kid, this 28-year old wonder has recently been rocking clubs from Tokyo to Toronto. Currently traveling around the states showcasing his knowledge and expansive collection of rare funk to techno records, he manages to transport the dance floor through the decades. Catch him appearing at SOM on December 4th with DJ Shortkut, Mr. E, and Apollo.
SF Station (SFS): Where did DJ Haircut come from?
DJ Haircut (H): It came from my parents when I was a baby. Whenever I got my hair cut I would throw a temper tantrum. The only way to they could get me to behave was to buy me records. My folks still call me "Haircut" to this day.
SFS: What got you into DJing the soul and funk genres?
H: A lot of it came from hip hop music and the samples in my favorite rap songs. My folks had a lot of records and I had the collection that they used to give me when I was growing up.
SFS: Since you are still an avid record collector; did it stem from the haircut days then segue into your DJ career?
H: Yeah, my folks introduced me to records, and they both had big record collections. When I really started DJing in my high school and college years, thatís when I decided to step my DJ game up and become a real DJ that spins at parties and takes it seriously. I learned a lot from the older kids at school because I would hang out at places where cats like Disco D would DJ.
SFS: Who are some of your favorite DJs, personally?
H: I recently worked with one of the best DJs on the planet, DJ Jazzy Jeff. And rest in peace DJ AM. Thereís Peanut Butter Wolf, of course, and Pete Rock. But you know who is one that a lot of people donít know is the shit? James Pants. He is one of the best DJs in the world and highly slept on.
SFS: Alright, recently you collaborated with Jazzy Jeff on the track, "No Strings." Where would you idealize this track to be played?
H: It would be any party atmosphere where people come just to dance.
SFS: And whatís the record you play in your sets that will get people hyped?
H: Oh man, thereís so many.
SFS: Ah, how about one?
H: Okay, the guaranteed one is "Wood Brass and Steel" by Funkanova. That hits it every time.
SFS: Whatís your one essential DJ tool?
H: The only crucial thing to me is Technics 1200s.
SFS: When you have come to SF, I know youíve played SweaterFunk a couple times. What do you like most about this party?
H: SweaterFunk is one of the best parties in America. The reason why itís fun is because people come to dance. I feel like thatís something thatís missing at a lot of parties. When I go DJ in Europe, people come to the club to dance. For a DJ, thatís what makes it fun. SweaterFunk is one of the true spots where you know people are not standing around posting up on the walls.
SFS: Since youíre going to be in San Francisco in a couple days, what do you like about our little city?
H: San Francisco is one of the greatest cities on earth. I always have a phenomenal time. Iím really more of an Oakland guy because it reminds me of Detroit. And also Iím a huge foodie guy.
by Christina Li on Nov 28, 2010