Cancer survivor. Musician. Best friend of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Under whichever guise you most recognise Harry Hudson, it’s fair to say there’s a story behind each. When we talk on the phone, Hudson sleepily admits that his anxiety induced insomnia has led him into spending the nights watching films — most recently Girl, Interrupted.
But when he’s not firmly fixated upon 90s flicks, he’s focusing his attentions on his burgeoning music career. As he prepares to drop his debut album later this year, we grab a moment with the musician to talk his first meeting with Jay-Z, the influence of his cancer and how Jaden Smith wanted to cure it.
First off, tell us a bit about your youth?
I was a very strange kid growing up. I had a group of eight or nine of us that were very close. It’s funny because one of my best friends had this mansion, and we didn’t really have money growing up and he fortunately did but his dad was like some schemer and had to get out of LA, he pretty much left us this big house through high school. We just started making music and it was just like a collective of us. We all sat in this big bath tub and just made music because we were all misunderstood and we all came from broken homes and so we all found friendship with each other!
You’re still doing music in your adult life and you’re now signed to Roc Nation — how did that come about?
It kind of goes into a crazy full circle, but when I was 10 years old, I rapped to Jay-Z! I was at the Four Seasons and I was infatuated with celebrities and by money, I was like ‘why do they get better treatment than everybody else’. I knew Jay-Z from his music and my babysitters and my brothers would always play me rap music, so I went up to him and I was like ‘I love your song’ and I just started rapping the whole hook to him. He was like ‘what do you want to do when you’re older?’ and I was like ‘I want to be a rapper’ and he was like ‘If you truly believe it and you work really hard, anything is possible’ and I remember taking that, and I was like ‘I’m just going to work really hard at whatever I want to do in life’. It’s really funny to look back and think about
And where did things go from there?
Me and my best friends started a record label called MSFTS Music [which consisted of] me, Jaden Smith and Willow. We started this little group and just wanted to do good in this world. We’re all best friends [who] genuinely wanted to help people in this world [so] we kind of came together and through passion, we [fulfilled a] purpose. We all [aim] to train people towards happiness, towards light [and] we’re all taking different directions to go there but we’re all going to the same spot. So we did a partnership with Roc Nation last year!
What are Jaden and Willow like to work with?
It’s more of a family, [easily works] and the work ethic of everybody is so amazing! When I had cancer, Jaden was about 14 and he got so upset, because I didn’t want to live with him because he wanted to cure me from cancer! He was like ‘I know how to cure you’ and I was like ‘you’re fucking crazy dude’ and that’s just the type of person he is. He’ll go above and beyond and put anybody before himself.
Speaking of your battle with cancer, has that influenced your upcoming album in any way?[During] my first chemo there was this woman named Bonnie sitting right next to me. She was such a beautiful soul and she had pancreatic cancer. I think she had two months to live and that was a for sure fact! She grabbed my hand and she’s like ‘it’s not going to feel good but don’t worry, you’ve got to be strong’. She was like “don’t be afraid of anything! I wish I could tell my twenty year old self that” and she said “I also wish I knew what I was doing when I was 20” because as she got older, obviously from chemo and being sick, she forgot everything from her 20s! She was like ‘go get a journal and every day write in your journal, every day, whether it’s ‘fuck today’, whether it’s ‘I met this girl’, whether it’s an intricate story that fills up twelve pages or five lines’. The next day I got a journal and ever since then, since 2013, I’ve been writing my journal, and I’ve got five books filled up!
So did you use the journals for the album?
As I started watching more film, I started to understand the composing of a film and how music and visuals make the perfect baby. I got a call from management and I was like ‘I want to start making music again, but only if it’s with a film composer but he also has to produce like Jonny Cash and like Kanye West and Phil Collins’. They gave me a call a month later and they’re like ‘yeah we have a film composer’ and I got the first ticket back to LA and met with this producer whose name is Tim Suby. We sat down and I told him my life story and I brought my journals and we were like ‘damn we have the whole album in these journals, we have the whole story from front to back’ and and he literally scored every one of my stories that I had in my journals. Obviously there’s so much that we took 12 main points out and wrote my album!
That’s incredible! Tell us about some other projects that you’ve got lined up for 2018 and your wider goals!
I do have a visual coming out and that’s what I want people to know! [In the future] I want to build hospitals and schools, I have that mapped out and pretty much ready to go. Through passion you find purpose!