Described as Marvin Gaye meets Michael Jackson, Dante Hawkins’ music embodies elements of the soulful, conscious social commentary of “What’s Going On” with the sultry, soothing and sagacious introspection of “Man In The Mirror”. Refusing to confine his creativity to a singular context, Dante has challenged himself in several musical arenas including Hip Hop, R&B, Neo-Soul, Pop and Gospel.
Dante Hawkins has worked with super producers Devonte Swing, Missy Elliot, Timberland, P. Diddy, Mario Winans, Scott Storch and others. He has shared the stage with Erykah Badu, Dru Hill, Ginuwine and Tyrese. He has opened up for the legendary Temptations, Four Tops, O’Jays, Frankie Beverly and Maze and Latin artist Zuccahero. Dante was chosen by Gerald LeVert to assist in the building of Global Soul Records in Clevland OH. Dante further extended his expertise as an artist to the Jimi Hendrix family label, Hendrix Records in Seattle, WA. In the studio, he has collaborated with Heavy D, Dr. Dre, Akon and Drake. He has recorded with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, and Joel Ortiz, who also gave Dante the opportunity to record the #5 song for President Obama on Billboard.
Dante was inspired to pen and record the haunting a cappella harmony, “Nation Is One.” In this era of global turmoil, natural disasters, gratuitous violence and senseless killing, his track is a timely reminder that, “No matter what you’re going through, the nation is one.” It is a plaintive plea for peace. On his follow-up autobiographical song, “Journey,” he states, “Papa was a rolling stone, mama never ever was home, my brother left on his own, my sister got too damn grown. Now’s my turn, I’m on my Journey.”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Dante Hawkins has already taken his first steps, now he takes a leap of faith! Join the journey of Life Music.
1. Ok for starts … we assume Dante Hawkins is your real name, rather than an artist name right?
Yes. Dante Hawkins is my real name.
2. You have a pretty extensive resume and we see you put in a lot of work with Joell Ortiz. How did you link with him and what is your favorite record you knocked out with him?
I met Joell Ortiz through Dj Green Lantern. Green Lantern produced the track and called me into the studio to write & record the hook and Joel Ortiz wrote the verses and the song became “Letter to Obama”. ” This is my favorite song with Joel Ortiz because of the message and it helped to get our president elected. Through this song we brought awareness & it was one of the top 10 President election songs on the Billboard charts.
3. Are you and Joell still in touch?
4. You have a really soulful voice. We hear a lot of emotion and pain in it when you sing, do you have a hatred for autotune?
Theres room for everyone to create but there is a clear distinction between the real singer and the auto tune singer. I ain’t mad at them, shout out to Roger Troutman!
5. What do you say about the R&B genre?
Real R&B is still there, it ain’t going nowhere. It takes somebody to blaze the trail and pull everyone from following the trends and reintroduce music that touches the soul- real life experiences not pretense & ego. Real R & B came from love & pain translated in many ways. I am an advocate for real R&B. Shout out to all of my “Real R&B TV” fans! We’ll be back Spring 2016!
6. Not a lot of people can say they been on a record with Nas! How did that track come about and did you catch any flack for him making such a controversial song at the time?
The track came about through DJ Green Lantern. He was his head DJ at the time and also had a chance to produce some records. Nas released the song, “To Be A Nigger Too”. DJ Green Lantern did the remix and asked me to do the hook for it and it was actually better than the original.
7. So where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I’m originally from Rochester, NY. I currently reside in NYC.
8. In this modern day era what other artists do you lean towards for inspiration?
Drake and Pharell.
9. We heard your “Nation Is One” track on Digital Dynasty 38 (Hosted by Madchild). It gave us goosebumps. What a deep and powerful record. What inspired you to pen and sing such a great song like that?
To be honest I wrote nation is one during a time when Haiti was going through their crisis. With the consistent issue of violence, injustices and suffering worldwide, “Nation Is One” became a timeless record . I wrote it to bring awareness to everyone that we all go through the same struggles and pain as countries but were really all just one nation in our humanity.
10. Any new projects on the way (mixtape or albums)?
Yes, my debut single “Journey” can be previewed at dantehawkinsonline.com. My upcoming album “Life Music Vol. 1” is set to be released early February 2016.
11. Your song with Lil Wayne & Jay Z “Pimp Stroll” dropped a few years back. DJ Green Lantern put that together right?
12. You put in a lot of work with Green Lantern too. Any new plans to work with him again anytime soon?
Yes, I’m always Team Invasion!
13. You been crazy busy grinding out in 2015. What’s next on the agenda for you with the New Year on the horizon?
New videos, new songs, great music!!!
14. What’s a regular day like for Dante Hawkins?
Get up , eat breakfast, think about what needs to be done and do it! Daily, I’m creating music 24-7, training voices, rehearsals, production sessions & studio sessions.
15. Are you looking for a major deal or want to take the Indy route?
Currently I’m independent but open to working with major labels to help expand the vision.
It was great chopping it up with you bruh. We look forward to hearing a lot more from you. Its refreshing hearing unautotuned vocals nowerdays and just raw talent. With that said the floor is yours. Give any shout outs, plugs, etc…
I want to shout out to The Mix Tape Kings family, The Advocate , all the Dj’s that helped me thus far and to all of the real R&B and Life Music fans out there, this is our time 2016 & beyond. #DANTEHAWKINSSAIDSO