Copyright © 2004 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved.
Posted: June 23, 2004.
Everybody wants to know about Sarah Hudson's family.
Her father, Mark Hudson, along with her uncles, made up the Hudson Brothers, the
70s pop group and TV variety show hosts. Her cousin is movie star Kate
Hudson, who is featured in many movies including Almost Famous and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
These connections can be a
blessing, but it can also be a curse. Sarah Hudson always felt a
little out of sorts with her surroundings. She grew up in the
notoriously fast world of Hollywood. By day, she attended an all-girl
Catholic school. By night, she was partying, going to rock shows and
dying her hair funky colors. Drugs, sex and excess were everywhere.
As a sensitive girl with an artistic bent, it seemed only natural to her to
turn her experiences into art.
On her debut album, Naked
Truth, Hudson explores teen angst in startlingly frank terms. Just
take a gander at some of the raw lyrics from the album's title track.
"You can hate me but what do I care? Everything from the tattoo on my
wrist to the color of my hair. You create it like a seed in the ground.
You watered me down with anorexic superheroes and prozac popping clowns.
I've already slept with the captain of the football team. It was lame.
I've already kissed a girl on ecstacy. It's all the same. And I
already forgive you Mom and Dad, but how could you know anyway?"
Pretty edgy stuff. The
album touchingly explores her sometimes-rocky-but-basically-solid
relationship with her parents, along with her hopes, dreams and nightmares. It
is a very assured musical statement for a new artist. Perhaps some of
that ability came from being exposed to her family. And the wheel goes
round and round.
In the weeks leading up to the
release of the album, Hudson chatted with us about her life, her record and...
How did you first get into music?
“I come from a
musical family. My dad was in a group in the 70s, The Hudson Brothers. Now
he’s a songwriter and producer. So, I just kind of grew up with music and
it was something I always knew I wanted to do.”
Yes, your father and
uncles were in music and on TV and your cousin is a movie star. Do you
think that kind of environment fostered your need to be an artist?
I think it could have gone either way. I could have not wanted
to have any part of it. Or, I kind of had no
choice. It’s just in my blood. It’s what I’m passionate about. So, it was
definitely a support system. My whole family is very supportive and
encouraging. When I told my parents that I didn’t want to go to college,
that I wanted to do music, they were like, ‘that’s what we expected.’”
It says in your bio that you got your inspiration
for writing many of your songs going to an all-girl Catholic school. How
did that affect you?
Well, growing up in LA,
things are kind of thrust in front of you. You’re almost forced to grow up
pretty fast, with experiences and stuff. Going to that school there were a
lot of rich girls, a lot of partying, a lot of wild things. You’re put in
this environment where you’re forced to wear a uniform. It was all girls,
so you rebel naturally, I think. I don’t know, I just kind of got
inspiration from every day living and going to school.”
There are some very edgy lyrics on the album,
about suicide, alienation, drugs and sexual experimentation. When you are
writing, are you looking to be provocative?
“It kind of just
comes naturally. It comes out of me. At the same time, my intention was I
definitely wanted to poke at different areas. Be controversial lyrically.
Because I think that’s what has always made me interested in an artist or
inspired. When you say, ‘wait, what did they just say?’ I think that everybody experiences
intense things growing up. A lot of times it is looked over. I think it’s
important to express that.”
Do you worry that some people will say
Hollywood kid. How tough could
your life be?
Definitely. And I think that people judge very quickly if you have famous
relatives. If you grew up in that kind of show business environment. It’s
very easy to say, oh, ‘she’s got it easy’ or ‘she’s not really talented’ or
anything like that. But I feel confident enough that I can prove myself and
it’s just what’s inside of me. There’s no reason that I’m doing what I’m
doing, other than it’s just in my heart and in my blood.”
How did you get hooked up with your record label?
“I had managers at
the time. I did showcases for different labels’ A&R. Joanna
who is my A&R person, she signed me. We’ve been going on this journey
together. She made an amazing record of me. She really encouraged me to
dig deep and keep writing until I felt confident in a song.”
One nice thing about the album is that you
experiment with a lot of styles. “Girl on the Verge” is a rocker. “Unlove
You” is a power ballad. “Naked Truth” has a bit of a folk feel. “Little”
feels a bit psychedelic in the beginning. “Sentimental Saturday” is more
poppy. “Bad Habit” even has a bit of a bossa nova backbeat. Were you
looking to experiment with styles on the album?
I’ve always been a lover of pop music. Madonna
and Prince and George Michael. That’s what I grew up with when I was a
kid. So I’ve always loved pop music. But, at the same time, I’ve always
loved rock and roll. There are so many different styles I could see myself
doing. More rock, more pop, dancy. So, I really had to find a common
balance. Hone it all in and really write in one certain way. I feel like I
found that balance on this album. It probably has elements of everything,
but it’s similar sonically.”
One thing I really like about the album is that
you recognize the importance of a tune. So many bands think it’s a sellout
to have a tune anymore. Why do you think pop song craft is making a
“I think about it
like Diana Ross and the Supremes or Otis Redding. Those kind of songs, that
kind of music. Even Elvis and the Beatles. That was great pop music. You
walk away and you remember those songs. You remember the chorus in your
head. That is what has inspired so many people. It’s always at the root of
music. It’s always where music is going to come back to. It’ll go through
its phases, the whole heavy metal phase and stuff. But it always seems to
come back to that more melodic songwriting.”
What’s going to be the album’s single?
“We’re going in
January with ‘Naked Truth.’ Right now ‘Girl on the Verge’ we’re kind of
soliciting. We’re trying to get it out there in movies and DVD kind of
things. It’s a big part of the live show.”