Multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer and DJ Ben Hudson (a.k.a Mr Hudson) has a knack for major hooks, soaring melodies, bright synths and crushing beats. With two critically acclaimed albums under his belt, collaborations with everyone from Kanye West to Jay Z; Duran Duran to Nile Rodgers, and a globe-spanning DJ career; it’s no wonder why he’s one of the most sought after artists/producers in the industry. Tracing back over Mr H’s career in the past few years, it’s been diverse…in the best sense of the word!
In 2008, Mr H began compiling lists of producers in preparation for a follow-up to his debut album ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (under the moniker Mr Hudson and the Library) when he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. “I got called in to be told Kanye wants to executive produce your album.” “Happy? Sign here,” he was told, and thus commenced an incredible global culture clash adventure, in which a young man from North London became an occasional member of an A-list hip hop production team, resulting in Hudson’s 2009 critically acclaimed solo album ‘Straight No Chaser’ and Kanye’s #1 Billboard album ‘808s & Heartbreak.’
“Kanye is superhuman” says Mr H, “The amount he will get done in a day and the application to whatever he is doing is incredible. If he’s going to do something he has to do it as well as possible, which is alien to some people. He helped me realise it’s good to be passionate about what you do.”
He recently performed live with Kanye & Kid Cudi at two sold out Hollywood Bowl shows for Kanye’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ album.
In the time since, Mr H has collaborated with a number of other A-list hip hop stars & pop royalty, from the likes of Jay-Z, Future, Kid CuDi & Miley Cyrus in the US, to Duran Duran, Paloma Faith & Idris Elba in the UK and most recently France’s worldwide star DJ Snake. In late 2013 Mr H flew to South Africa to work on Idris Elba’s ‘Mi Mandela’ album inspired by the movie Idris filmed there ‘Mandela’. Idris had previously featured on a Mr H single called ‘Step Into The Shadows’
“’Mi Mandela’ is a unique album. To fly to Johannesburg to produce & write with Idris & his favourite South African musicians, plus Maverick Sabre & George The-Poet, was a privilege & a pleasure. We laughed, sang, cried & raised a few glasses. We came away with a brilliant, emotional & vital record. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it.”
Mr H spent most of 2014 in the studio with Duran Duran co-writing & producing the bands 14th album which debuted in the Top 5 in the UK & Top 10 in the USA. Duran Duran gained their highest chart places with the album ‘Paper Gods’ for the past 20 years. Mr H features on the title track, ‘Paper Gods’ & spent time late in 2015 performing with the band at their sold out shows in the US & UK & tv performances.
‘Mr Hudson was a very key character. He came along about a year in and helped us do some editing. He literally said ‘well I love that one, this one I think we could work on a bit more and why don’t we do something new?’.
He’ll play a little bit of guitar, or contribute to lyrics – so he almost became like our fifth member for the project.
I think we’re quite a tough room to walk into because we all have known each other for a very long time. Probably being from Birmingham helped a little, but he came for an afternoon and stayed for the best part of the next year.’ Duran Duran
Currently based in L.A, Mr H is working on a variety of other projects, including a follow-up solo album and collaborations with DJ Snake, Janelle Monae, Paloma Faith & other high profile writer producers