Originally from Birmingham, England, artist, producer and DJ Mr Hudson (Benjamin Hudson McIldowie) got his first legit taste of the music business the night he and some friends played a local club. There were few online resources at the time and the path to a music career was murky at best.
So when Darryl Watts, an A&R rep with Universal Music Publishing, left his business card for him at the gig, suddenly the path went from murky to manifest. “It was enough of a green light for me to give it a shot,” Hudson recalls. “When I called [Watts] the following Monday, he told me, ‘You’ve got it, you’re not ready but let’s keep in touch.’” Hudson has worked with many artists including Kanye West and Duran Duran. He guested on West’s 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak and signed to West’s label, Good Music.
In April, he inked a deal with One RPM, a rights management, distribution and label services company. “Jason Jordan contacted my manager, explained that he was working with One RPM and wanted to talk to me about releasing some new music,” Hudson recollects. “I’d already had a relationship with him from working with my publishing company so the love and trust were already there. It’s great to have someone come along and say that they believe in you, will invest in marketing and take away all of the headaches. They’re more streamlined than a label because they’re not pressing up CDs and vinyl.”
Hudson’s When The Machine Stops dropped on June 21. He wrote, produced and completed it entirely on his laptop and assumed mix duties for the first time. “Mixing something you’ve produced is a challenge because you don’t have fresh ears on it and you’re attached to certain performances or parts. You might not have as much objectivity as someone that’s not as close to it. But I gave it a shot, had people listen to the preliminary mixes and they seemed happy with them. I almost have a bigger sense of achievement doing the mix than the actual writing and production.
“I was kind of terrified to do it,” he continues. “But then I had a chat with producer Greg Wells and he told me how he mixed Mika’s Life In Cartoon Motion. He took it to [producer and mix engineer] Spike Stent who said that he was doing a good job and to just keep going. He also reassured him that a good mastering engineer would fix any mistakes; they’ll catch you if you fall.”
Hudson says, “I don’t want speakers to be too flattering. I don’t want it to sound great in the studio and then play it on the kitchen stereo and it doesn’t have that vibe anymore. My mix test was my rental Hyundai [car stereo]."
Recently Hudson released his single “Chicago,” with Vic Mensa. He is currently working with John Legend on his latest record. His song, “Supernova,” with Kanye West has amassed over seven million YouTube views.