Hudson Thames on ‘How I Want Ya’, Hailee Steinfeld and New Music: Interview
It's safe to say Hudson Thames has had a solid past few months.
Not only did our latest PopCrush Presents star on the rise just ink a major label deal with Republic Records and drop his Hailee Steinfeld-assisted party jam "How I Want Ya," but he just wound up featured on the must-listen handwritten mixtape curated by a little known talent named...Taylor Swift.
With an EP on the way on November 6, we caught up with Hudson while he's been riding high on a string of recent wins to talk about his new single, teaming up with Hailee in the studio, dream collaborations and what he's got planned with the rest of his music.
PopCrush: Can you tell us about the story behind the making of "How I Want Ya?”
Hudson Thames: Most of my songs come from real life experience — at least the good ones do. The story of this song has a pretty unusual path. The label reached out saying they had a hook/chorus that they thought was fantastic, but they hadn’t been able to find verses they were happy with. So I sat down and banged out a couple verses and sent over a track an hour later. I didn’t think about it again until I was asked about using it on the show Grey’s Anatomy. The song kinda took on a life of its own, and here we are. Some people can tell you when they feel the hit coming out of the pen. I guess at this point, I’m not one of them.
How did Hailee come into the picture, and what do you think of her inclusion on the track?
The label reached out about adding Hailee on the hook in place of Dev. I love what Dev did originally, and her performance helped inspire what I wrote for the rest of the song. But because of the timing of Hailee's new music, and the different style that Dev has been vibing...it all just kind of came together. It was really crazy, though. When Hailee and I got set up together, it turned out we were both Valley kids, and one of my family members is one of her family's closest friends. We hit if off right away. She's definitely a homie.
When did you first start making music, and what finally led to getting signed?
I was too young to remember when I first started making music. I feel like I have been playing music all my life. I used to sit on my dad’s lap as he played piano and don’t really have a memory of moving from his lap to the bench — I just see myself on there as far back as I can remember.
Does the single represent your overall sound? How would you personally describe your sound?
I think everything I sing represents my sound. Would I describe this as a core Hudson Thames track? No. I love to sing and add my sauce to anything anyone will let me, but my real love is sharing those songs that require people to take a little more time with. When I feel I have the audience's attention, I look forward to sharing some of those songs.
What can we expect to hear from your debut EP?
EPs don’t really give you a lot of time to say what you want to say. You kinda gotta get in and get out. It’s more designed to be a single plus, if that makes sense. The songs on the EP are some of the songs I have written and recorded that are — how would you say? — songs that are easier to “get” on a first time listen. They have a little more familiarity to them than some of the off-the-path songs I have.
Dream collaborations in the future?
Robert Glasper, John Legend, Jack White, Mark Ronson.
Who's making music that excites you right now?
Anyone I believe.
Hudson's EP will be released on November 6.
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