What’s your story as an artist?
I’ve been on a musical journey since I was 12 years old. I was in my first music class and the music teacher said that music is supposed to be fun. Not just for those who are listening to it but for those who are playing it, and it was at that moment I was immediately hooked. I wanted to make my living having fun. My dad always used to say, “Find something that you love to do, and then find people stupid enough to pay you to do it.” Now, I don’t consider people who are fans of mine to be stupid, but the sentiment still stands that pursuing your dreams is just that. Finding a way to live off of what makes you feel most alive.
I started playing trumpet when I was 12, I started playing in bands when I was 15, I started singing in bands when I was 18, I started playing as the artist Hudsy around town in 2006 and I moved to London in 2015 where I street performed and played in pubs. Street performing has been the single most effective training as a musician I’ve ever experienced. You have to be so engaging that you stop people from moving just to look at you. It’s incredibly grueling, tiring but most importantly fulfilling to finally attract a crowd.
The weird thing is that I always wanted to pursue music but in 2014 I was diagnosed with MS. This didn’t change my goals, but it did change my timeline. I became very focused on moving forward because though I’m doing well, there’s no cure and any moment, without warning I could lose my ability to walk, talk, or use my arms. The disease is unpredictable and because of that I have to move on the assumption that I don’t have time. I have to live life now.
What do you want your music to communicate?
I want to give people permission to feel joy and not be suspicious of it. I get distracted sometimes and forget to focus on feeling joy in the moment even when it’s a truly happy moment. I look at my phone, or my brain wanders and starts worrying about what’s next. I write music with that flaw of mine in mind. I feel like others have it too. I have to search for those moments, hold on to them while they’re happening and let them go when it’s time to move to the next. Each song has its own story and style but my music as a whole and how I perform is a reflection of that idea for me.
What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?
My wife has bipolar disorder and I have multiple sclerosis so a lot of my recent writing is focused on how we live and live together. We all have our bag of hammers to carry but I just feel like writing about it helps to process and give perspective to the difficult situations while also glorifying the beautiful times
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
My favorite band is Arkells. They bring a lot of life to their records and shows. I’m also a big fan of people from home (Manitoba, Canada) doing well like Boy Golden, Roman Clarke, The Bros. Landreth and Field Guide.
What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I think it would be more of an assortment of my hero’s that made me who I aspired to be. I loved AC/DC all through high school, but in University I loved Tool and Incubus but not I love Arkells, Fleetwood Mac, the Tragically Hip and John Mayer… all of these combined inspired me but as for where I started I kind of just loved writing music and performing. I don’t think I sound like any of them but writing, it just felt right.
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about
“Life Is” was inspired by an argument with my wife and I just realized all arguments we’d have were silly. During the arguments she thinks I’m crazy and I feel the same about her. But after I always see her point of view clearer and she does mine. So it felt kind of like life was the crazy one.
What inspires your sound?
Life in general inspires my sound, I start making noise with my guitar, or singing, or making up lyrics and whatever I make up starts to take me in a certain direction. I’m a guitarist and used to love ripping solos and loud guitars but I started realizing that the songs don’t always need that. Sometimes it does, but after I write a hook and a verse and listen to it I hope I can hear what it needs. My only goal is to let the song steer itself and not get in the way of it. Recently my songs have been coming out as Jason Mraz country sounding tunes but I’m not tied to a certain style if it’s what the song wants to be.
What’s your favorite tune of yours?
“ Life Is” is my favorite release. I’ve got more songs coming but I’m really honestly proud of this song and I think it’s my fave for now.
Where are some things you really want to accomplish as an artist?
I would like to make a living playing my songs for the smiling faces of people who want to hear them. I love performing and it’s all I want to do.
Favorite lyric you ever wrote?
From Halfway Tree:
“My headlights reflect the silence of the night \The engine rumbles and vibrates through the light \ But as I drive along I wonder if you wonder where I am”
Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up?
I was a street performer in London. When I first started, walking back to the train station with maybe 10 pounds of gear after 3 hours of playing was humbling. You wonder if you’re worth it. If you’re being stupid for trying. But I just kept going. You get fuel from a smile as someone passes, then someone puts in a 20, and then people start dancing and gathering. At the end I drew crowds and went home with a lot more. Enough to pay the bills.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
My dad said do what you love. The money will come.
Where do you think the next game changer will be in the music industry and entertainment scene?
The game changer will be from an unexpected source and place. That’s why it’ll be a game changer.