Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One met at a Seattle rap show in 2006 where they exchanged mixtapes of what they referred to as ‘jheri curl funk’ and after realizing how similar their tastes in music were began collaborating, making tracks inspired by this early-80’s sound. The side-project was initially supposed to be a way of escaping from the monotony of their everyday work, but they quickly recognized they were making something special.
The two e-mailed back-and-forth for several years, experimenting with their disco/boogie-funk style and giving it a modern twist. Their effort resulted in the 2013, ‘Tuxedo Funk’; a 3-track EP that immediately left critics and listeners wanting more of the music that nobody else was making.
2 years later, Tuxedo returns with their debut album ‘Tuxedo’, loaded with 12 of the same type of feel-good dance tracks we’ve come to expect from the disco duo. In a description of the record’s conceptualization, Hawthorne explained to Medium.com, “The entire record is about partying and having fun. It’s about dancing, really. The cover of the album is a couple dancing… I wanted to be a departure from what I normally do. And for Jake as well, obviously this is a crazy departure from he usually does. I mean he’s known for making the hardest gangster rap beats for Drake, Rick Ross, Wiz and Snoop.”
Those that have had the chance to see the 7-piece live edition of Tuxedo are in a very exclusive club as the band has only performed a handful of times. In an interview with Billboard.com, One clarified, “The band show is pretty elaborate. It’s a production. It’s a spectacle, so it’s not a cheap thing to do.”
Tuxedo’s members are often busy working on their own solo projects, but have already announced plans for ‘Tuxedo 2’. Their first album was 7 years in the making so it’s a relief to know the wait won’t be nearly as long for the sequel.
With no shows currently scheduled, keep your eye out for any surprise tour dates so you can see the full band in all its glory. Below you can take a peek at their video for ‘Number One’ and their latest – ‘So Good’, the fourth track off their full-length (shot on VHS).
Tuxedo – Number One