When Craig Hudson started making music at the age of 13 he didn’t expect to be on the verge of playing at the Download Festival just a few years later.
The 22-year-old uploaded his song, ‘More Than Most,’ to the Red Bull Studios competition and it is currently the 57th most popular tune, meaning a panel of judges will view his work and decide whether or not to offer him one of two great opportunities.
The rules are simple - any unsigned UK-based artist between the age of 16 and 25 can enter one of their songs into the competition. Then the public will vote for their favourite tracks and the top 100 artists are shortlisted. The judges then select 15 who will get a chance to record at Red Bull Studios and eight who will play at Download.
Craig has already recieved 353 votes and told the Citizen he cannot explain the feeling of doing so well.
“In one word... unbelievable. It’s all been a bit of a shock and a massive rush,” he said.
“Just to have the chance to record a track in the Redbull Studio would be a huge buzz. I’ve only ever had the chance to record a track in a studio other than my own around four times in my life. It’s always a great experience to work with other producers and better equipment.
“To play at Download? What a wonderful adventure that would be.”
When Craig first noticed the competition he decided to enter it for fun to see how well he could do, but he has exceeded his own expectations.
He said: “I saw a link that a few friends of mine had posted. They were all in bands themselves. I voted for them all and had a look through the site to find anyone else I might know.
“In the corner of my eye that big red button was drawing me in, ‘Register Band’ – I’ve never been a competitive type but I thought it might be fun to see just how far I could get.
“There are literally no words for how happy it makes me that everyone is enjoying my music so much and I feel so humbled and thankful to every single person that has so far taken the time to hit that big red button.
“Without you, I would have got nowhere.”
On May 1, Craig will be releasing a brand new EP ‘Memories Of Malta’ and it is nice to hear he will be letting the downloaders choose how much to pay for it.
Instead of caring all about money, he has a passion to show people his work because he enjoys making it.
“The music industry itself is very simply just a whole bunch of people who make music and a whole lot of people that love to make music,” he said.
“The assumption has been made time and time again that the industry is some kind race or competition when really it’s all just about people like me, making music, and the people that I make it for.
“As long as people keep listening and keep enjoying I’m as far as I’ll ever need to be.”
People will be able to download Craig’s new EP at craighudson.bandcamp.com or listen to ‘More Than Most’ and vote for him through download.redbullstudios.com/band/craig-hudson
The Milton Keynes artist finds it tough to put a marker on the genre of music he enjoys the most after listening to a range of music throughout his life.
“You see, I was brought up listening to reggae, new wave and northern soul, but spent most of my teen years listening to The Who.
“I started my own unsigned music radio station a couple of years ago which still runs today so I tend to listen to a whole range of different sounds from all around the world.
“My music tends to be influenced by just about anything that reaches out to me.
“For my latest EP I think the mood could be described as Jazz/Punk but there’s all sorts there.”
Craig started playing music during what he calls his ‘lonely’ school days.
“I was always the lonely kid at school. I never really had any real dedicated social connections so I spent a lot of time playing music along with my Dad.
“My school had a summer assignment for me and one of the choices was to write a song. I’d never written a song before but I’d tried poetry so, with a little help from my sister, I put together a song. A couple of weeks later the results came back and I’d received a gold certificate.
“It occurs to me now that the song may not have been very good, but to a 13-year-old with nothing else to focus on it was amazing. I started writing music more and more.
“It really gave me a boost and motivated me to express myself more and reach out to people. After a while I just didn’t want to stop.”
Whether or not Craig gets the opportunity to play at the Download Festival in June he has come a long way from that 13-year-old boy with a dream.