MUSIC

Mr. Hudson Talks Isolation and Billie Eilish

Atmospheric dreamscapes, catchy pop melodies and sci-fi moodiness.

Mr. Hudson recently dropped a new album, entitled When the Machine Stops, featuring Vic Mensa, Taylor Bennett, Goody Grace, Petite Noir, Josh Dean & Schae.

Hudson describes the music as "sad robot music," an exploration of isolation in a digital world, enhanced by Hudson's decision to produce and mix the album on his laptop computer.

When the Machine Stops is his first album since 2009's Straight No Chaser. Since then, he's released a series of collaborative singles: "Zombie Love," "Screwed," featuring Zoe Kravitz, "I See Love," featuring Joe Jonas. He's worked with Kanye West and on Kid Cudi's album, Kids See Ghosts.

Popdust sat down with Mr. Hudson to find out more about feeling secluded even when surrounded by people and Billie Eilish's influence on his sound.

Mr Hudson - CHICAGO feat. Vic Mensa (Official Lyric Video) youtu.be

How would you describe yourself?

I'm a musician: singer, producer, writer, and, at the moment, an Englishman in L.A.

What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into?

I was once chased through the streets of Camden by the police. I didn't realize they were chasing me. I was just jogging to the studio. They thought I'd stolen a bag.

What's your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?

Probably "Life On Mars" by David Bowie.

Who is your favorite music artist?

David Bowie.

How did you get started in music? What's the backstory there?

I was lucky to have older brothers who were passionate about music, so it was normal for me. We had a piano and guitars in the house. My parents were very tolerant of our heavy metal experiments.

Why make music? I mean: What's the point for you?

It's been my life since I was 8. I was a small kid for my age, so sport wasn't fun. Music made me feel ten feet tall. It's the closest thing I have to a religion.

Rumor has it your new album, When the Machine Stops, was influenced by Billie Eilish's moody style. What do you find intriguing about her sound?

I just loved how quiet the vocals were to the point of claustrophobia. Quiet is the new loud, it seems. Finneas' production is silly good. I love the fact that they made the record in his room on Logic.

The new album was crafted on a laptop rather than in a glitzy studio. What motivated you to move in this direction?

It just felt more in keeping with the times. It's so much quicker, and the software is catching up with all the big expensive hardware. Plus, you can work anywhere rather than saying, "I'll do it when I get to the studio."

There's a remote, secluded savor to the songs on the album – a feeling of isolation. What induced this "lonely" mood?

I spend a lot of time alone and the record was mostly made in solitude, often with headphones on at the airport or in a hotel room. I produced it and mixed it, so I just had to lock myself away with my laptop and get it done. To be honest, the life of a musician can be isolating. Even when there are lots of people around, you're not necessarily with your people.

What's next for you, musically?

I've been working on music for others, which has been refreshing. It's been a pleasure working on new songs with John Legend, and I'm excited by a new artist called Duckwrth. Get familiar!

Will you be doing any touring?

I'll do some shows towards the end of the year. Probably quite a minimal setup. Piano, suit, good bottle of wine.

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