Share This





Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.


By Kevin English
Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

(video/editing: Bobbi English)

On the first crisp autumn night of the year, I had a chance to sit down with alternative R&B crooner and fashion stylist, Peter Hadar. As we watched people scurry about their busy Friday evening, we joked about the changing seasons. Peter was bundled up like a veteran street performer and I was, well…misinformed.

PETER HADAR: Excuse the scarf, man.

THIRSTY: What do you mean excuse the scarf? I’m the one out here with a t-shirt and some jeans on. I feel underdressed.

PH: Yeah, you’re bugging. The scarf is to protect the throat. Where are you from?

THIRSTY: I'm from Somerset (NJ). I should know better…

PH: Oh wow. I lived there for awhile as well. My mom is an Elder at Abundant Life [a tight-laced Pentecostal church in the neighboring town that had a congregation full of the best and brightest gospel musicians around].

Peter had an air of humility and praise to something larger than himself, no matter how deafening the buzz was growing.

THIRSTY: What does your mom think of your music?

PH: Well…she can only listen to like two songs. [We laugh hysterically] For awhile she wasn’t supportive at all. She would tell me to get a job. Honestly? I’d rather jump off of a building.

Instead he spends his time writing, recording and performing some of the most beautiful R&B records I’ve ever heard. His soul lives within minor chord progressions and insatiable melodies, but Peter’s mind has been on a long arduous journey.  

THIRSTY: Where did you go to college?

PH: I went to Southwestern [in Oklahoma City]…thinking I was going to be a basketball star. Being from Jersey, I thought they were going to be too slow for me. I went out there and quit the game man. I did get a little scholarship though.

THIRSTY: Oh yeah?  So you're pretty good. What position did you play?

PH: I'm terrible now. I was a point guard. Down there they take your game away. East coast game is all flash.

(credit: Bobbi English)

THIRSTY: Then what?

PH: Then I decided to go to school for Fashion and Marketing. That’s a very sad story though…I really had my heart set on F.I.T. [For 65 years The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC has housed the crème de la crème of fashion designers from around the globe.]

THIRSTY: Why didn’t you go to F.I.T.?

PH: I needed a couple of credits and my mom and I were moving to the outskirts of Trenton (NJ). So she found this school in Philly, called The Arts Institute. It was wack. It was SO wack.

His personal manager and friend, Shayna, reminded him that he was being recorded, but that didn’t seem to concern Peter at all. He was determined to speak his mind.

PH: The Arts Institute WAS wack! I thought I was going to go there, get a few credits and transfer to F.I.T. But when I graduated (the school) was like…these credits won’t transfer. So I couldn’t go to the school of my dreams. I mean I took a couple of classes, but I didn’t want to do those two years over. I'm not doing six years for a Bachelors Degree.

THIRSTY: So you went right into the job market?

PH: Yeah. I was a fashion stylist for awhile and then I managed a few stores. It was decent money for me at the time, but they kill you with taxes if you don’t have any kids.

THIRSTY: You still don’t have any kids?

PH: No sir. [Defiantly] I have to travel the world. Those responsibilities are nothing to play with.

A trusted industry insider turned me on to Peter’s music a few months back and I haven’t been able to get him out of my head ever since. My closest friends have now become fans of his work simply from the constant rotation of his song, “Sweat” at dinner parties and social gatherings at my house throughout the year.

(credit: Bobbi English)

THIRSTY: When did you make, “Sweat”?

PH: My producer and I did it years ago.  Sometimes when I feel a song is so good…I don’t want to rush it. So I'll usually get the melody and the hook and then I leave it until I'm sure I have some strong verses for it.  When we started to do She’s Four Months [Peter’s latest EP], we were looking for a song that made sense with the whole baby-making music theme.

THIRSTY: That song totally blew my mind.

PH: Thank you. I appreciate that. I try to stay away from songs that allow people to put you in a box. I just felt like me doing that song as a black singer, people would just think of it as a soul record. It’s bigger than that.

Thirty minutes into the interview we realized that we were so wrapped up in conversation that none of us had ordered anything from the menu. Peter’s manager, Shayna, and my wife, Robyn, ordered the Chilean Sea Bass. I ordered a crab roll and some fatty tuna. Peter was left undecided.

Waiter: I have to come back for you. Inside is so busy.

PH: Alright. I’m ready. [As he studied the menu again] I’ll have the Garlic Salmon. Wait. What’s up with that Wild Mango dish? Is it good? Does it take like sweet and sour chicken?

Waiter: [Emphatically says] No.

You must have Adobe Flash Player to use this function.

PH: Then let’s go with the Wild Mango.

Waiter: I don’t want to be rude. It’s just so busy inside.

PH: [Says under his breath]…and I don’t want to eat nothing I don’t want to eat!

When the meals finally arrived, everyone at the table could sense that Peter wasn’t completely satisfied with the dish he had ordered. As he reached over the table to test out the Sea Bass, we continued the conversation with mouths half-full.

THIRSTY: What was the inspiration behind the song, “Sleeping Pills”?

(credit: Bobbi English)

PH: I used to work at this store in Harlem and [one day] this girl that came in -- she was just my type…let’s just say that. I think she had a boyfriend so I didn’t think I would ever see her again. She gave me her email address, but in my mind I was trying to figure out why I would be emailing her if she had a boyfriend.

THIRSTY: So you saw her in your dreams?

PH: After that, the only time I could see her was in my dreams. She never came back to the store. She was cool in the beginning when I was emailing her. [I guess he got over the fact that she had a man] She probably had three or four kids with this dude, you never know.

Not only did his music strike me as refined and romantically mature, I’d also read that he’d done quite a bit of marketing for other well-known artists and corporate brands. It’s quite possible that this singer that looks like a rapper and acts like a business man is the new trend.

THIRSTY: Tell me about the Honors Program.

PH: Wow. Nobody has ever asked me that question.

THIRSTY: I did my homework.

PH: The Honors Program is my marketing company. It’s close to my heart because a lot of musicians don’t have a concept of running their own business, or label, or doing their own marketing. If a label gave you a marketing budget, what would you do with it?

THIRSTY: Spend it.

PH: On what though? We’ve done so much great marketing for ourselves that a lot of people come to us for help. I wake up at five or six in the morning to work. What artist does that?

As we ordered another round of drinks and spoke off-the-record about private family memories, Peter quietly conceded, “I’ve probably given him the most info I’ve given any interviewer”. I probed even further with my last round of questions.

THIRSTY: I listened to your entire repertoire last night. Every song is different.

PH: Thank you. It’s difficult because the layman mind wants to place you in one genre so they can understand you better. That just not me man. Tulsa ended up being the best thing for me.

THIRSTY: How so?

(credit: Bobbi English)

PH: There was no trouble to get into. If you wanted to get in trouble there, you really wanted to go to jail. I tried very hard to stay in school and graduate because I have a ton of family members that didn’t make it. I’m determined to make it at whatever I do.

THIRSTY: You’re on your way.

While our conversation drew to a close, Peter passionately discussed how he had studied every move of artists like The Fugees, D’Angelo, Biggie Smalls and media mogul Sean Combs. We both agreed that that caliber of artist hasn’t been introduced since the mid-Nineties. Just recently Hadar joined forces with rapper Slim Thug for a music video spoof on the effect the recession was having on the hip hop industry. The feature debuted on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart [another NJ native] and circled the internet like El Nino.

THIRSTY: Who’s the new Diddy? Who’s the next Berry Gordy?

PH: Peter Hadar

Such a bold statement from a determined, God-fearing man can never be ignored. Be on the lookout for more from Peter in the months and years ahead.

You must have Adobe Flash Player to use this function.




All opinions expressed by Kevin English are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

Become a Thirsty Friend:

Share This

Search Thirsty for:

© Stay Thirsty Media, Inc. 2006 - 2009
All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Terms of Sale | Contact | Site Map