“There’s no limits, there’s no ties — I feel like love is so important,” said singer-songwriter Harry Hudson in an interview with The Daily Californian. “It goes beyond work, it goes beyond career, it goes beyond what’s happening in the moment.”
It’s a mature insight coming from a musician who, at the age of 24, has already endured stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, depression and, most recently, the death of his father three weeks before releasing his now-touring album Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night. In the face of these events, Hudson has made the decision to make each moment “a dying moment” and is out on the road with his first headlining tour.
To create meaning out of pain, Hudson started making music by abandoning his insecurities and focusing on immediate pursuits. “I’m very true to myself. I was just talking to someone last night. … I was wearing some weird outfit, like I was wearing all green because I like green. … It was like this leprechaun green almost, a really bright green, … (and) she’s just like, ‘No matter what, you’re always your distinctive self, … and I f— with that,’ ” he said.
Living in the instant is a theme that pervades Hudson’s four-part visual movie, titled “Can Cowboys Cry,” which depicts romance on a modern, open frontier. The story journeys through the tribulations of young love and loss and ends on the song “Gone,” which signals a new chapter in life. Hudson hasn’t always kept such an optimistic outlook, however; after battling cancer, he faced depression. Bringing himself out of that depression was a matter of finding love within himself. Since then, he’s gathered influences for positivity and conscientiousness anywhere from “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho to Don Miguel Ruiz’s Toltec-influenced “The Four Agreements.”
Followers of Hudson on social media are aware of his overtly positive influence. Scrolling through his Instagram feed, one is likely to find the musician exposing a full smile, with encouraging captions such as, “Tomorrow is never promised. So live the life you want today.” A close friend of other young social media influencers, namely Kylie Jenner and Jaden Smith, Hudson has chosen to use his platform to increase mental health visibility.
“I just feel like I want to be a voice because I’ve never had that growing up, and be like, ‘Yo! It’s cool to feel this way. It’s OK to not feel OK.’ The most important thing is to find love within yourself, which is the hardest thing to do,” Hudson said.
Emphasizing the ubiquity of mental health issues, Hudson looks forward to having an open conversation about it. “I feel like everybody has mental health issues. I feel like every single person on this Earth does, you know, and so it’s just about embracing it and knowing it’s OK to not feel good sometimes,” Hudson said. “(It’s) learning it’s OK to feel this way, but you (still) need a voice to be a reminder (of) why you’re even on Earth.”
This is the ultimate reason Hudson decided to pursue music: to empathize with dispirited listeners and relocate their happiness.
“I believe they can identify with my voice. … There’s almost 8 billion people on this Earth, and each individual has their own distinctive personality and distinctive energy,” Hudson said. “We feel like we need to have followers, we feel like we need to look some type of way to get something that you think will make you happy, (but) by the end of the day, it still won’t make you happy.”
To some, Hudson’s words may seem out of tune with a largely technological generation. But given the many difficult events he’s encountered recently, Hudson prioritizes his attention for family and friends, explaining, “I think love is unconditional in itself and there are not limits, and there’s no attachment, and it’s genuine love like what my father taught me.”
He continued: “My father always showed unconditional love no matter what. He was very selfless and always just like was there for anybody in his life — he was always dropping anything to be with people, and that’s unconditional love.”
And at the current moment, it appears that he’s following by example. Already practicing some of the selfless behavior previously mentioned, Hudson has dedicated his album, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night, in its 45-minute totality, to his recently deceased father.
Fans of Harry Hudson can expect to see more albums in the future, but until then, witness his raw emotion and symphonic folk-pop melodies for yourself this Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco.
Contact Christopher Chang at [email protected].