Interview: PETER HADAR


With Valentine’s Day looming, what better time to have a long conversation over a green tea about Love? Pondering if there’s still space for romantic sentimentality in today’s ‘Do You’ society, SoulCulture caught up with Peter Hadar – a soulful New Yorker on a mission to make innovation mainstream. Bring on experimental music and creative relationships – time to dash those clichéd roses to one side, perhaps?

“A big part of me is a humungous romantic,” he says. “I probably threw my heart out there on the chopping board a few too many times and learned from it; searching for that right one that deserves to be loved a certain way and will give it back, will reciprocate it. It’s definitely out there but you have to choose what you want and be realistic – not hold it under a magnifying glass because it seems too good to be true.”

Quick divorces, relationship hopping, and ‘money over bitches’ mentalities seem on the increase in today’s society of go-getters. What made ‘forever’ become a laughable concept in relationships? Does it matter, if the getting is good? Perhaps not…

“I think that if it’s meant to happen, it’s meant to happen. Even if it’s stone cold hard love for [just] six months, it’s supposed to happen. I think that love is not always supposed to last forever,“ he muses. “Humans aren’t focused enough to do that consistently… A lot of people are into themselves and they think they can always get better.”

“Everybody’s petrified of putting their heart out there to be hurt. Relationships are built on infatuation and love but it’s really about friendship. It’s about a team. It’s about you can stay together for 24-hours and not wanna choke the hell out of each other – you need to pick that one!” he laughs. “I respect that ‘me me me’ attitude in the sense of being protective, but to me the biggest thing in my life is balance and I think we all need that balance and understanding.”

If today’s general attitudes towards love and relationships are shifting more towards prioritising the self, how are our demands of music, particularly the soulful – hence often love-inclined – genres changing? “I think [changing attitudes towards love] play a humungous part because I think people don’t know how to understand progression and art. If it doesn’t sound like something that they heard before, or have some elements that they’ve heard before, they don’t wanna call it for what it is.

“In a relationship, you’ve gotta let people grow. You might say ‘I didn’t wanna go to the ballet with my girl but I love her so much I wanna go now because it makes her happy and now I enjoy it’. Whereas people are not even giving some of the music a chance.”

They key in both love and music, according to Peter, may well be compromise.

“My father was an artist,” he says, “and his art teacher told him ‘give people a lot of what they like and a little bit of what you like.’ You kinda gotta sometimes spoon-feed people. I’m not the best person to talk about it because I just make whatever I feel. But at the same time I try to give it a commercial edge where people can understand it.”

He continues, “I think it’s ingenious to be able to do something innovative and creative and for the masses to like it as well. Berry Gordy knew how to market the music, but what they were making in the basement in that studio was not commercial music, they were making what they felt – I believe. It’s not easy – it’s one thing to do something that the underground loves, but it’s another thing to be able to sell the underground to the masses. That’s what Miles did, that’s what Prince did at one point, most of our kings and our legends – they sold the underground to the masses. That’s what I wanna try to do.”

His second and most recent album, Well Dressed For The Art Show, exhibits Peter Hadar “trying to tap into my weird side, and somebody else’s weird side.” He explains, “Well Dressed For The Art Show was basically me being the curator of my own art. It’s not a singer’s album; it’s an album about art. Every song is a portrait, a picture, a story. Most people that understand art know that you have to appreciate it for what it is.

“What I did with the first album [Memories Of The Heart] is to show I could do an array of different songs. I’m always trying to show my globe. It’s indie music and I’m not signed to a label and I can do whatever the hell I want.”

Whist Memories Of The Heart was a largely soulful album, Well Dressed For The Art Show voyages into a wider range of genres, incorporating more electronic and rock elements. He acknowledges, “The first album I was trying to figure out relationships, that was the album that kind of made me think ‘I’m doing noting but this music’ and I stopped everything but music. All of it was from a place of desperation for love.

“I would not call [Well Dressed For The Art Show] a soul album… It has electric production, but I think it’s art – and in art, pictures have a lot of different elements. This isn’t just one thing.” He laughs secretively, adding, “It’s definitely electric sex!”

“The transition was really to show what’s really me. The weird parts, the perplexing parts, to a different level. Who I am didn’t really translate in Memories Of The Heart to a lot of people. Well Dressed… is more me – and it actually gets a lot weirder than that!”

Peter Hadar’s album Well Dressed For The Art Show is out now on iTunes.

As a Valentine’s treat, his brand new EP She’s 4 Months is available for FREE DOWNLOAD from right now.

Listen to the first single, ‘All Mine’ right here:

[audio: All Mine.mp3]

Download She’s 4 Months Here