Mad Hawkes, a smooth synth-rock purveyor hailing from the South Bay of Los Angeles, recently dropped her single “FACE PNCH” on October 12th. Killing it with her self ascribed “babe rock” – in the vein of strong and confident women such as Karen O and Amy Winehouse – Mad Hawkes used her experience interning at the Venice Beach-based label Parts + Labor Records to kickstart her own musical exploration. With an opportunity to have Maddi herself give some behind-the-song enlightenment, we are beyond stoked to let her dish on the amazing opportunity to work with the Parts + Labor owner/producer Jimmy Messer in creating her newest track:

“When I was 20 I started interning for Jimmy Messer. I spent 3+ years in the studio everyday eavesdropping on his process of writing and recording, soaking up as much information as I possibly could. Seeing him work with other artists and the way he went about writing was so interesting to me. I worked up a real admiration for Jimmy, so when I showed him a couple of my songs and he actually liked them… I was losing my shit inside. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life to have someone that I looked up to so much wanting to work with me and put his time and efforts into my art.

Check out the disarmingly uplifting “FACE PNCH”.


My songwriting has grown tremendously since meeting and working with Jimmy. When he sent me a demo of ‘FACE PNCH’ a couple years ago it was just a guitar part he was messing around with and thought I might wanna write to. So one day when I got home from work I hooked up my phone to the speaker in my room and started mumbling lyrics and melody.

I was in a weird mood that day, super emotional. I sang the lyric ‘I love myself, say it every day. I hate myself, punch me in the face’ and instantly felt that this song was going to be different than anything I had written in the past. The rawness of that one lyric inspired the honesty of the rest of the song. When I took it to Jimmy I wasn’t sure whether or not it was any good. But we kept moving forward with it so I figured there must be something he likes about it.

Jimmy is a genius in the studio. Most of the time I have no idea what’s going on and then all of a sudden there is a badass track bumping through the speakers with my voice on top of it. I don’t know how he does it, but I feel very lucky to be a part of his process. I think we make a good team. Neither of us can do what the other does and neither of us are too proud to admit that. It’s a pretty special thing, and completely necessary in order to give a piece of work its own pulse.”