Eric Hudson: The Funky Technician
When talking to him further, you can tell that the humility isnt an accident, whether it was instilled in him from watching the industry as a youth or was his father requiring him to take the road less traveled. He wasnt allowed to sample in his development, and if he took an interest in a specific piece, he had to use his ear to gather the correct sound. The road to the top isn't paved in ease.
Although he isn't getting the mentions of co-production that DJ Toomp or DJ Premier got for their hands in Graduation, the 21 year-old has a track record, literally, paved in Grammy gold. Having produced for Mary J Blige, Ne-Yo, as well as instruments for Nas, 50 Cent and The Game. Now a leader of the band, so to speak, Hudson plans a busy 2008 with work for Danity Kane, Usher, Jamie Foxx and his Ciroc-pouring single "Flashing Lights." Short on words but big on music, Hudson gives HipHopDX a look at how you go behind the front as tomorrow's next big beatsmith.
HipHopDX: So how did you get your musical start?
Eric Hudson: My pops was a song writer and producer himself so I just grew up in it.
DX: So you were raised around music?
EH: Yeah, when I was born, I had a studio at the house; my dad is a really talented producer himself.
DX: Most your inspiration came from home and old records?
EH: Definitely old records, and my dad is a musician, so I played everything. He had a rule for no sampling. I would hear records and want to learn how to sample, but my father instilled in me to do real instruments. He told me I would stay around a lot longer if I did the music myself. Its paying off now because I own all of my music [publishing].
DX: You are young but were raised around the industry, how was that growing up?
EH: It was fun, man. I was around my pops most of the time in the studio. Trying to learn and pick up different things. I made my first track when I was seven years old.
DX: Who do you want to work with if you had your chance?
EH: Quincy Jones, the knowledge he could give you on how to make a record is amazing.
DX: You once said that Quincy Jones was a huge inspiration for you. How so?
EH: Its just the instrumentation he uses. You Got Me Workin' Day and Night definitely comes to mind. He creates a clean sound no matter the amount of instrumentation he uses. He has the ability to give you a hit record while having something for the musically inclined to appreciate.
DX: You also said, Music is more than listening to me, I breathe it. What do you mean by that?
EH: Music is a process, an everyday thing for me. Every Sunday, Ill wake up and play in church. Or when I am not producing Ill go to a music store and listen to different musicians or jamming on the piano or bass. Its more than just listening, its apart of my everyday life.
DX: So you consider music freedom?
EH: Music is a lot of things. Music is likevery uplifting. When you go to the studio mad, you I can put that on a track and end up coming up with something crazy. Whenever you hear some old school music, you can feel what they're saying. There may be some mistakes, but its evident that its real.
DX: You think Hip Hop music will have the same lasting appeal?
EH: Most definitely, Jay-Z will always be around, because his music touches everybody. The soulful music he picks, his delivery, he will always be around.
DX: Who are some of your favorite producers?
EH: I worked with Swizz [Beatz], he just brings an energy to the music. Pharrell because he is really talented. Kanye, because he took sampling to a whole new level. I cant forget about Timbaland because he is an inspiration to everybody. Some veterans Rodney Jerkins and Teddy Riley, and Lauren Campbell, I respect all of them because of what they bring.
DX: Who has been your favorite producer to work with?
DX: You have moved around a lot working in more than Hip Hop, what did you pick up working in other genres?
EH: Simplicity. There isnt a lot going on in the sound. Thats why they blow up, because they are real simple. There is just piano, bass and drums. They are catchy.
DX: You find beauty in the simplicity?
EH: Definitely, they are cool. Take Ne-Yos So Sick of Love Songs. It's really simple. There was nothing but drums, claps, and a harp. It's catchy and flexible.
DX: Anything you want to experiment with your craft?
EH: I want to create a Jazz album.
DX: How do you see yourself getting to that next level as a producer?
EH: Putting out hit singles, and getting my own artists to build my sound around.
DX: Where do you want to be in five years?
EH: I want to work with everyone. I dont want to pigeonhole myself in Hip Hop. I want to step outside. Take Timbaland for example. He works with every artist there is to work with, having Number One records all over the world. I dont want to be looked at for just one thing.