Harry Hudson
(L-R): Henny Hendrexz and Harry Hudson

Jaden Smith and Kylie Jenner’s BFF is the breakout star of SXSW

Arguably the best part of SXSW Music Festival is walking into a venue not knowing what to expect and leaving feeling you just discovered the next best thing. Yesterday afternoon at the Pandora House that happened. His name is Harry Hudson.

Hudson, a 23-year-old from Los Angeles, took the stage wearing a red cowboy hat, a Rocky Marciano vintage t-shirt that was probably is not vintage but bought to look that way, tailored wide leg pinstripe pants and a denim jacket. He was accompanied by Yellow Rose Band.

Yesterday was Hudson’s first live show. He told a stunned crowd who at that point were already converted after hearing a couple of his eccentric, buoyant, and wondrous folk-turned-pop with a slight country twang, songs. Perhaps it was the adrenaline, but Hudson seemed like a pro. Like he had been doing shows all year long. Someone who excels in front of our crowd. Someone who does not care what anything thinks of him. He was authentically him, and the audience loved it.

Hudson took a moment to tell the crowd what his first show meant to him. He lost his father two-weeks prior. He asked the audience to say ‘I love you Pops’ to which we did. The audience was Hudson’s for the taking.

Harry Hudson

But who the hell is Hudson? It took one quick google search to get a fuller picture of this new-potential sensation. Hudson is part of the MSFTS, a collective of six music-minded collaborators out in Los Angeles. Two other members: Willow and Jaden Smith. In fact, Hudson and Jaden Smith are best friends and roommates. Additionally, Hudson’s other best friend is none other than Kylie Jenner. But perhaps that’s the least interesting part of this story.

Hudson is a cancer survivor. He beat Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. According to Billboard, beating cancer is what has inspired his music many of his lyrics “come from a journal of notes he kept during his time in chemotherapy in 2013, up until now. The journal was Hudson’s response to a fellow patients saying she has forgotten her 20s as a result of the treatments. Hudson says each song on the album includes some poor to the musings from the time.”

Hudson told Billboard, “You’re so prepared to die, and [then] they’re like, ‘Hey you’re not gonna die. You’re good.’ But for 13 months, you think you’re gonna die, and you’re throwing up every day, and you don’t know if you’re gonna wake up.  And after that, it’s done and it’s like, ‘What are you gonna do with your life? Are you gonna go back to school? Are you gonna get a job? Taxes?’ Like, I’d rather be dead.”

Harry Hudson

Hudson turned to heavy Xanax and Percocet following his remission. His friend Jaden Smith — who according to an interview with WWD tried to cure Hudson of cancer — was not having any of it and invited him to live with him in New York. While in New York Smith pushed Hudson. While Smith didn’t “cure” Hudson of Cancer, he certainly saved his life. With the help of Smith and Jenner — who connected Hudson to her brother-in-law Kanye West, and his overall persona, Hudson has amassed a massive following on social media. They haven’t heard all his music or seen him perform live, yet.

Based on yesterday’s performance Hudson is going to be a star in his own right, and we do not doubt that his ‘Pops’ was looking down yesterday with pride.


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