top of page

Harry Hudson Is Entering His Best Era Yet

For the latest cover, the singer and songwriter sat down with MUD to discuss his latest music, running the NYC Marathon, and his charity, "Hey, I'm Here for You."

In the spring of 2019, Harry Hudson released his 15-track debut album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. The most popular song of the album, "Yellow Lights," reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart. Most recently, he released his song “Emotional Hangover.” Harry Hudson has been working alongside his foundation “Hey, I’m Here For You” to support teens battling in cancer, and just opened a teen lounge alongside Kylie Jenner.
Photo: @cristigtzname

Two days before he crossed the finish line at the 2023 New York City Marathon, Harry Hudson was attempting the perfect jump for a photo. Country was blasting in the studio per his request, and no matter the direction our photographer threw at him, he gave it his own twist and wouldn't give up until it satisfied his vision.


Most people know Harry through his music, although he's under the impression that very few could point him out in a room full of people. His reasoning? People connect to his work, and he likes it that way. In the spring of 2019, Harry released his 15-track debut album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. The most popular song of the album, "Yellow Lights," reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart, a feat that any rising artist would kill to achieve, yet I get the sense that Harry doesn't care much for accolades or awards. Don't get me wrong, the guy is probably one of the most grateful and loving people I've met this year, and everything he creates is backed with the utmost intention. But after chatting about his journey to this very moment, it's clear that his perspective always focuses on the bigger picture.


When he was just twenty-years-old, Harry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects a part of the immune system. Following his diagnosis, Harry's life began to take place in hospitals. From going through chemo to frequent doctor appointments, he spent the following months battling a disease, while at the same time, growing aware and zealous about his experience as a teen with cancer. This ignited a passion to change things, not just for himself but for the many teens across the country who also fell through the gaps of the healthcare system.


In the spring of 2019, Harry Hudson released his 15-track debut album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. The most popular song of the album, "Yellow Lights," reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart. Most recently, he released his song “Emotional Hangover.” Harry Hudson has been working alongside his foundation “Hey, I’m Here For You” to support teens battling in cancer, and just opened a teen lounge alongside Kylie Jenner.
Photo: @cristigtzname

Now, as he commemorates 10 years since he beat cancer, Harry is entering his most exciting era yet. He just ran the New York City Marathon with his charity "Hey, I'm Here For You"as well as New Balance. This unique situation paid a lovely full-circle tribute to his dad, who also ran the NYC Marathon. At the moment, Harry is writing music he is proud of, and releasing it as he feels inspired rather than just for the sake of charts and going viral. He is also spearheading his own charity, which is en route to opening 90 teen lounges across several hospitals nationwide, and fulfilling Harry's mission to change the healthcare system.


Before he laced up his sneakers to run across the city, Harry sat down with MUD to reflect on the biggest moments of the year.

 

Hector Gutierrez: I know it's weird starting with an ending, but I feel like this year has flown by. I wanted to know what has kept you inspired through it all?


Harry Hudson: I think just being the most present. I feel like every year has been about self discovery, right? I did a lot of self help work, I put out some music with meditation versions to every song. The way I put out music is not like a constant thing. I release it when I feel inspired to put it out, and if I feel like I'm in the mental space to put it out. This year had a lot of healing, a lot of meditation, a lot of going within myself to understand who I am and who I want to become.


I just turned 30 this year, so that was the big chapter for me. Being diagnosed with cancer at 20, starting my 30s, it's like, I didn't even know if I was going to make it this far. Now it feels like a new decade. This year I moved states, I built my cancer center, and now I'm working there, and we're building this charity. I think I've been the most inspired and most happy this year because I’m grasping onto who I am.


HG: When you decided to run the NYC Marathon and build the center, do you have your old self in mind, or are you just focused on the future?


HH: Both. The main reason I started the charity is because I knew my younger self wanted to feel seen and heard. I was very blessed with an amazing family, friends, nurses, and a fantastic doctor, but I still felt alone.


When I was 20, I was doing chemo with 60, 70, 80 year olds because I had just beaten the pediatric mark. If you’re 19, you’re doing chemo with 3 year olds. Young adults in the cancer world, especially teenagers, are forgotten about. I told myself that once I beat this and I got through my shit, I needed to figure out how to help the kids who feel the same way I did. For the last ten years, I've been figuring out how to start a charity, and it's been very difficult. I'm really excited to start implementing the programs that I have in my head into real life. I’m constantly inspired from the past, because that's how I built this, and at the same time, I’m understanding what the future looks like because I want to change healthcare. I want to change the way hospitals are being run. That's where I'm at right now, and I'm excited to dive into this new journey.


In the spring of 2019, Harry Hudson released his 15-track debut album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. The most popular song of the album, "Yellow Lights," reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart. Most recently, he released his song “Emotional Hangover.” Harry Hudson has been working alongside his foundation “Hey, I’m Here For You” to support teens battling in cancer, and just opened a teen lounge alongside Kylie Jenner.
Photo: @cristigtzname

HG: Now I get why, when I listen to your music, every song feels like it's telling its own story. When you talk about that journey, it makes sense. What do you want this new chapter to be defined by?


HH: I think I'll discover it as I go because I'm not someone who plans things. We're human, right? I want to release music when I feel good, but that’s rare because most of my music is sad or healing. I find healing within myself, and that's why I put out music. Whoever listens, listens. I'm not someone who’s putting it in people’s faces constantly. It's there if you want to hear it.


I always say it's like my journal turned into melody for people to hear. I'm a very open book, and I feel like everybody can relate to each other. As an artist, I just want to be a role model in the sense of ‘I'm just like you.’ I'm just going after it. Through passion, you find purpose. My passion is music, which led me to my purpose – building this cancer center and my charity.


HG: So you've spoken a little bit about sort of the message and the inspiration for the center, but what was the process like from the moment you were like, I want to make this happen to when you finally saw it IRL.


HH: When I was sick, I wanted to get involved. I worked with a lot of charities, but none that I aligned with. Then I went on Good Morning America, and an organization called Teen Cancer America reached out to me. They told me they stand for what I stand for. What they do is they go inside hospitals and build teen lounges.


If you're 19, you’re doing chemo next to a crying two-year-old. It's not enjoyable, and you feel sorry for the baby because they don’t deserve this, but neither do you. It’s easy to feel left out with no place to escape the madness except your room. Hospitals lack areas for teens to connect organically. Creating a space becomes crucial, breaking the isolation and allowing natural interactions.


We’re now on track to build 90 centers. Teen Cancer America is doing it all, and they are building out these spaces so teens can meet outside of chemo. For me, working with all these different charities, this was the one that I connected to the most. I also wanted to start my charity, and they've been helping me with that. “Hey, I'm Here for You” is going to be attached to the teen cancer lounges. It will allow me to provide mentorship, programming, and resources so these kids can feel heard and seen. The money that we raise will go straight to the kids. We’re the only charity that goes into a hospital to try to individualize each patient and figure out who they are, what makes them happy, and what they're passionate about. Through passion, you find purpose. There are millions of cancer survivors, and together, there's a lot of things that we can do beyond any dream. For one, I’m living my dream.


In the spring of 2019, Harry Hudson released his 15-track debut album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. The most popular song of the album, "Yellow Lights," reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart. Most recently, he released his song “Emotional Hangover.” Harry Hudson has been working alongside his foundation “Hey, I’m Here For You” to support teens battling in cancer, and just opened a teen lounge alongside Kylie Jenner.
Photo: @cristigtzname

HG: It’s wild to see all the layers you have, that I honestly didn’t know of before I met you. In fact, the song that introduced me to you was Yellow Lights, which I connected to because it felt like accessible poetry. Poetry can be so complex to understand, but that song spoke to me, and it was so easy to understand and just as impactful. When you’re inspired, how does the songwriting process take place?


HH: I have to be somewhere that's very comfortable for me. It's usually my house. I have this sunroom there; that’s where I wrote Yellow Lights. It just kind of comes naturally. It's funny because most of my songs are just, like, freestyles.


I look back at that night, and I'm like, oh, this is a song. I said everything. I had all the melodies there. It felt like my soul was speaking. I wasn't singing like that until after I got sick. Deep within, I think we all want to be seen and heard. I don't claim to know all the answers, but sharing my journey might inspire someone to live their truth. I’m not a fan of giving advice, just telling my story to spark reflection. Take risks, believe in a higher power, and things will work out. You won't know until you try.


HG: Is this what also influenced your decision to run the NYC Marathon?


HH: I always thought about it, but I never thought I’d do it. Then the chance presented itself. My dad used to run the New York Marathon wearing his New Balance sneakers. Now, I'm running it with New Balance. He passed six years ago, so it's this full circle moment. I had to do it.


HG: The stars aligned.


HH: Exactly. When you turn 30, you can either go down a dark and weird path or you can embrace a healthy way of life. I'm running for my charity, and I'm just so fucking proud of myself, to be honest. I'm patting myself on the back. I just started training eight weeks ago when some people have been training for over a year. I know I can do it, so I'm excited to do it.


I keep saying, if my body can beat cancer, my body can run a marathon, right?



HG: How is this shaping all the art you're making right now?


HH: In a beautiful way. There's a lot of stories I haven't shared through music. But I’m open and more in a space of, again, not being a teacher, but more of a role model. These next songs that are coming out show a more mature me. It’s my poetry, my heart, and my soul. Take it how you take it. But the main thing is building a community around everything. It's way bigger than music.


HG: It’s clear that whatever you're trying to convey, people feel it, and it carries and travels.


HH: I love people. If you come to a show, just let go. This time is for us. This is the time to feel inspired. I want to talk to everybody. I want to connect with people because I just want to be the reminder for the life that you already know.


HG: Not to be basic, but as a last thought, we’re almost into 2024. Is there anything that you're particularly excited about for next year?


HH: Just continuing to be present. Get the fuck off your phone. Walk around, meet new people, and have conversations. I think the world is your therapy, right? Just as running has become therapy for me, talking to people can be that for you. We're all here at the same time, spinning on this giant rock. If you're comfortable with yourself, everything will work out.


HG: Now I’m even more excited to listen to the new music, and get to feel this.


HH: The new music is fire. We're shooting some new videos. Kind of getting back to healing. So I’m extremely happy.


HG: I mean, "Emotional Hangover" has that beat that makes you feel good and vibe. Like when you were dancing earlier. That's what this song feels like.


HH: I’m just letting you into my brain, which is a weird brain. So if I'm ever going to give some advice, just be weird and be open.


HG: I love it. Be weird, be kind, be open.


HH: There it is. That's my mantra for the day, at least.

 

Please note this interview has been condensed for clarity.


Make sure to follow Harry Hudson and MUD on Instagram. You can listen to Harry's latest release "Emotional Hangover" on all streaming platforms. Learn more about Harry's charity, Hey, I'm Here For You (HIHFY) here. Photography by @cristigtzname. Make up by @dallas_ren.

Commentaires


bottom of page