Sometimes you get a whiff of people who say, sing or do things that give you goosebumps. You know the, the good kind that you want to run to the mountain top and share with anyone who will listen. Other times you meet people overflowing with talent, that you question the legitimacy of what industry officials are pushing through, as the smaller, lesser known talent wait their turn. I’ve met someone who fits in both these categories, Caleb Hawley. All the way from Middle America, Caleb Hawley has southern boy cuteness, a sexy, soulful voice, with a message we all can relate to.

Making waves when he first auditioned on American Idol, Hawley has come a long way since his departure. Recently releasing his first single “Little Miss Sunshine,” written for his niece, he has continued to play venues across the states capturing one heart at a time. Lucky for me, I was able to sit down with Caleb to discuss his start in music, his inspiration and have him school me on US Geography.

How did you get started in music?
I come from a kind of musical family. My parents would play libraries and stuff when I was I kid, and so I always knew I was interested in music. I started playing the guitar at 12, probably for the same reason most guys do, to get attention from girls. Then gradually got into it. I’ve always been a fan of soul music and this is my first bunch of recordings with that are strictly in that vein.

So where are you from? Are you from the south?
Nope, I grew up in… do I have southern accent?

Nooo. I think it’s when you sing, it sound more innate than anything.
As long as I don’t sound like Kenny Chesney, it’s all good (laughs). But I grew up in Minnesota. A little bit of Fargo, which is not Minnesota. No one knows where it is anyway.

It’s in North Dakota.

(Laughs) Yikes!
No, it’s all good. There’s only one state in between, but I’m basically from Minneapolis for the most part. It’s a great music city. Prince is from Minneapolis, so you can’t really beat that.

So you’re latest single “Little Miss Sunshine”…
It’s kind of an anti-bullying anthem. You know it was inspired by a lot of things but the main inspirations was my niece. She’s 7 and a little bit of an oddball. One of the lyrics is “You don’t have to be a bombshell beauty blonde Barbie” and I think a lot of kids start looking up to all these things. Where I think as an individual is a true thing that sticks out. And when you get older, as soon as you get through all the middle school and high school bullshit, I think that’s what makes you cool.

Has it been well received?
Yeah, yeah. I mean when I write a song, I never know what it’s going to be any good or not, until I play it for people. And I remember playing it for people and people reacting well to it. Like it resonated with them since people have gone through random shit in their life or feeling like they need to be something that they aren’t.

And the inspiration behind “Bada Boom, Bada Bling”…
It’s fun. It’s meant as a joke, kind of. To tell you the truth, it was half inspired by the Video Music Awards when Beyonce performed “Who Run The World (Girls)” and did this incredible dance. It was amazing. I was like dang man. Ouch. When she was singing “Women! We run this mother!” and pounding it. And I started thinking, “actually, it’s pretty true.” (laughs) But I also think it’s too bad from the guys perspective, you know, to put a serious twist on “Bada Boom, Bada Bling”. Obviously it’s satirical, but I think a lot of people do find a Sugar Mama. Or it seems that girls are the ones making shit happen most of the time.

So when does your album come out?
My album will be out in the album will be out in the Fall. I don’t have an exact release date.

Are you releasing any singles before then?
Yeah, I’ll be releasing one or two more singles over the next few months.

Who are your musical inspirations or people you look up to?
Nowadays, my favorite musician right now is a guy named Jamie Lindell. I think he is incredible.  I mean he’s super under appreciated. He’s amazing. I mean I always really dug D’Angelo. And just to go back a little bit, obviously Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway. A lot of soul music. Which is kind of weird because my family always listened to folk, but I think that’s where I got my lyrical story telling from.