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Music Beats Cancer: Harry Hudson

Music Beats Cancer

Harry Hudson

Harry Hudson is an American recording artist, songwriter, and musician of folk-rock and pop music. He was born in 1993 in Englewood, New Jersey and moved to the west coast at a young age.

Early on, he was interested in rap music, joining a group with friends and recording music with a laptop in a bathroom. But a chance meeting with John Atterberry, the former vice president of Death Row Records, changed the course of his career. The executive encouraged him to sing, saying that he didn’t feel like Hudson actually wanted to rap.

Soon enough, Hudson began to write his songs and sing them. Although he tried to make it in the world of pop music, the heavy influence of country sounds that he was raised on and his ensuing battle with cancer redirected his creative powers. The music of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams, as well as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, became his principal sources of inspiration.

Hudson released his first song, “World Is Gone,” online in 2013, however, during June of that year, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and set his career aside to undergo treatment.

“It was this entirely surreal moment,” he recalls. “I was about to sign a record deal and make music and be famous and do all sorts of cool stuff,” only to be told his future was uncertain. He had to face his biggest fears – cancer and death – head on.

“My first chemo treatment, I sat next to this woman named Bonnie. She held my hand, and she told me, ‘It’s all going to hurt. But it’s how you get through it.’” Then, she asked Harry what he wanted most in life, and he said it was to make music.

Inspired, he spent his treatment days journaling as a means of distraction from the grim reality. This helped him figure out who he was, musically and personally. After eight months of chemotherapy, he overcame the illness and spent the subsequent year battling with depression, rediscovering his inspirations, and working on his debut album.

The album titled Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night was released in March 2018, featuring breakout singles “Yellow Lights” and “Cry For Love.”  Prior to this release, Hudson debuted his 17-minute short film, “Can Cowboys Cry,” featuring his friend Jaden Smith.

The short movie is a tribute to his father, who died just three weeks before the debut album’s release. In a statement about the project, Hudson said, “The themes in this film are very nostalgic for me because I grew up watching western films with my Pops and listening to Johnny Cash. My whole album was inspired by the music my Dad introduced me to, so it was only right that I paid homage by creating my own western.” He also wrote a beautiful piano-driven track titled “Love, Dad,” commenting on how the song made him feel “like he channeled him.”

During that period, Hudson worked with Teen Cancer America, spearheading a fundraiser with the organization to build a treatment center at Vanderbilt University. Feeling like he got another chance at life, he became an active philanthropist, with a goal to only spread positivity in his everyday life. “I realized I’m here to help people. I know that’s my role on this Earth.”

With all that happened to him and everything he has done, Harry Hudson is nothing short of inspirational and a real agent of positive change. We can’t wait to see and hear more of this bright, talented young man!

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