Toronto producer Hudson Alexander never slows down
By Manus Hopkins
Originally from Winnipeg, 26-year-old musician and producer Hudson Alexander is making a name for himself in Toronto’s music scene. Surrounded by music since he was young, Alexander naturally picked up guitar as a teen. He’s come a long way from his original musical roots playing in high school bands.
“I would just record songs on my own,” said Alexander, “I’d do random guitar parts and then use MIDI and drum samples or whatever I could find. When I joined a band I kept making music like that until eventually that became more fun to me than being in bands.”
When Alexander was drafting up songs himself before showing them to his bandmates, he found a penchant for producing his own music and stopped bringing all his material to them. After high school, he got more serious about recording and started to explore what he could bring to the music scene. Since then, he has become more independent by pursuing his own passions.
Eventually, Alexander outgrew Winnipeg as a musician and decided that Toronto would be a better place for finding opportunities in the industry.
“It was a pretty snap decision...I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about it,” he said. “But I was just getting bored of Winnipeg. I was trying to do more DJing and playing more dance music and stuff like that, but there was no scene for that there.”
When it comes to his work process, Alexander said it’s usually pretty loose before ideas really come together.
“When I’m starting a beat, I’ll sit down and mess around with different notes and sounds and stuff to find something that I like,” said Alexander. “I get ideas out as quick as I can, and then if I’m really feeling something I’ll spend more time to expand on it, structure it, and arrange it.”
Alexander has worked with a variety of rappers and singers, making beats, tracks and handling production duties. He cites fellow artists HUSH., teddybear and his old Winnipeg friend smrtdeath as the “OG dudes” he first started working with.
Last October, Alexander and HUSH. released a seven-song album together, a project Alexander says he is particularly proud of. They spent nearly a year working on the record.
“We started working together when we were both pretty new to what we were doing,” said Alexander.
“It was right as I was making the transition from making electronic and solo music to doing more beats and working with artists, and it was when [HUSH.] was taking more of a front seat to music. He was becoming more of a rapper and more of a vocalist.”
The album is called You’re Just Miserable and can be heard on Spotify, Soundcloud and all other streaming platforms.
“It was really beneficial for both of us,” he said, “We’re both super happy with how the project turned out. In some songs you can hear the progression, going ‘these are the older songs’ and ‘these are the newer songs.’ It’s crazy.”
Alexander is currently working on his next project, an album in collaboration with rapper Boy Pape (formerly known as Brick), with whom Alexander has collaborated before. It will be released on April 5, and is also a short album, similar to the one Alexander made with HUSH.
“It doesn’t feel like an EP because we worked really hard on it and tried to make it an actual cohesive, well-sequenced, diverse project,” says Alexander. “I’m really excited about that. I’m currently in the manic stages, trying to mix it and listening to it a million times. I’m kind of going crazy about it right now, but I’m super excited.”
Alexander is producing the whole album, which was recorded in his bedroom.
“That’s how I do all my music,” he says. “I’m a super control freak about stuff like that. I like to record, mix, master and everything myself.”
The song “Madness” has already been released as a single.
“This year I’m trying to put out more of those little projects,” says Alexander. “Last year I was mostly focused on being able to drop a cool song every couple of weeks or so, and get a lot of content out.”
Alexander says releasing longer projects instead of singles is rewarding, and a better way to attract lasting attention.
“If you’re just doing one song every week or so, you’re putting out music, but it gets forgotten as time goes and you stack up more songs. These little projects feel more important, so I’m trying to do more of those.”