Article by Lexi Moore - AB Newsletter Reporter (PR Major @ Texas State University)
Hudson Berger, a reoccurring artist at Aquabrew's Sunday Brunch Serenades sat down with me - of course with an Ape-pricot Wheat in hand - to talk music, tours, life and inspirations.
This past Sunday I was thoroughly impressed at Hudson's performance. The flow of every song was seamless, and hearing/seeing him was a very personal and moving experience. I even noticed the crowd completely entranced, as if everyone was enjoying their most favorite artist.
Hudson moved from Upstate New York to Austin in 2018 for better opportunities and warmer weather. His stage name is Willow Speak, based off a “song that came out of nowhere, Kind of a visual scene I saw in my head and it was like a story but no context so I just wrote a song inspired by that and at the time that was my favorite song I’ve ever written. I kept coming back to it. It’s like super cool to expand on this sort’ve glimpse in the story, so I've been working on writing other songs based on this fictional story I’ve been writing. So Willow speak is basically a form of communication in that.”
This story was originally created during his time in college and is the overall theme of the music. This gives Hudson's music a sense of originality and passion that's usually not found on the top 40's. His beginnings in music were at age 13 with the bass guitar, his first love; he then joined the jazz band at his high school where he continued developing his passion for music, which propelled him to pursue music performance studies at college. Hudson also performed at SXSW in 2014 with his previous band, Joywave. SXSW was Hudson’s first time visiting Austin; he was very fond of the aesthetics of the town and knew he had to return.
“I was doing some traveling about a year and a half later (after SXSW), came back to Austin for a week just to be here and experience it and I think that kind of planted the seed like yea I could definitely see myself here. After another year or so and we passed through Austin one more time and I decided at that point, this is the place for me” said Hudson.
Being a full-time musician is not easy work but Hudson explains he has been able to manage by spending a good amount of time networking and e-mailing, “it just kind of paid off by the end of last summer, one time I had 9 gigs in one week. I was like, I guess I could make a living doing this, so I do this full time. Always in the process of writing and hopefully recording another album either the end of this summer or early Fall.” Hudson also explains the importance of supporting local music and the hidden gems found within them.
Hudson Berger’s progress to become a household name is steadily climbing and the never ending work to become a famous musician will become a little easier. Be sure to look out for the upcoming album, and tour dates. Also, on Aquabrew's website there's a calendar of events for the month so be sure to support local music as much as you can!