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by Zoya Raza-Sheikh

Inside the mind of pop-punk’s newest breakout star.

You might recognise Huddy (Cole Hudson) from TikTok. Known as a member of the Hype House and for his recognisable e-boy aesthetic, the social media creative amassed over 45 million followers online. Becoming the flagbearer for the video app’s new movements, Huddy garnered a platform others could only dream of. As views poured in and he began to live out his dream in a shared house with other like-minded creatives, the 20-year-old realised he wanted something more. “I took a step back from the social media scene to try and develop myself as an artist,” he told me over Zoom. “You have to let it transition smoothly and show the people that followed you in the beginning that you’re taking them along with you.”

As the young artist ventured on the frontier of a new creative industry, he was mindful of how his transition could look from the outside. “You have to make it look effortless,” he admits candidly. It’s midday in LA and the Don’t Freak Out Singer is feeling optimistic about his next steps. Even with speculation on his move, Huddy doesn’t see his switch-up platforms as a negative, but as an opportunity to artistically grow. “When people do industry hopping, it’s seen as you’re just trying to get all the different bags that you can get’, but when you’re able to step into a [different] world, really trying to let the people know what it is that you want to do.”

Dismissive of any claims of industry planting, Huddy’s focus is on the music, first and foremost. The ‘America’s Sweetheart’ artist wants his linear path from social media to breakout musician to serve as an inspiring message to aspirational content creators. “And to follow through with that, I think that anything’s possible for people,” the singer adds. “I don’t think that their dreams should be too small or too big. if there’s something that you’re really passionate about, you should never let a label on social media hold you back from where you want to be.”

If Huddy’s creative brand has taught him anything, it’s that reinvention is possible — no matter how small. “When you want to change, and you want to go in a new direction, everything starts with your commitment towards what you’re trying to let people in on,” he shares. “For me, if I was gonna do music, I [wasn’t] gonna [half ass] it.”

After being doted as one of the top influencers on social media, it wasn’t long before Huddy signed with Interscope Records in 2020. Now, almost two years into his latest venture, the Gen Z pop-rock singer wants to so a new dimension to his identity, one that didn’t get to surface on social media. “Writing songs has helped me find who I am, what I want to say and how I want to portray myself,” he explains. “Lyricism always plays a role and really what you want to say in your message, and then that message sort of contrasts with the artistic value that you find in expressing yourself.”

“When I write songs, it's helped me find who I am, what I want to say and how I want to portray myself"

With his debut album, Teenage Heartbreak, under his belt, Huddy feels emboldened to push his creativity to new lengths. “I have been able to say so much more and I feel more attached to the music and able to be real and honest — I love that,” he tells tmrw. After the milestone release of his studio record, the singer admits he is starting to “understand” the dynamics of the industry “a little bit better”. After a busy couple of years, the young artist is grateful for the support and starting to see the results pay off, which includes learning first-hand from industry heavyweights Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker.

“[Travis] taught me things in the studio just by watching him work. It’s creatively inspiring because of how fast he moves and he leaves you floored. It’s really cool energy to be in the room with,” Huddy recalls. The Blink-182 pop-punk icon was heavily involved in the production side of Huddy’s first project. “It’s always a collaborative effort with whoever I’m in the studio with. I’ll bring up ideas of what I want to do going into the session. Sometimes they’ll have a reference or two to match the energy or the vibe that you’re trying to go for. Everything starts with a chorus and then I just backtrack.”

With Huddy tracing out what he’d like his future imprint on the industry to look like, he’s also taking time to reflect on the now. “I’m really excited for the younger artists of this generation,” he smiles. “Everyone had the same kind of nostalgic feeling [of pop-punk] that they wanted to bring back with their music all around the same time.”

And, so, with this shared generation drive, Huddy is determined to make his mark, but only on his own terms. “I’ve talked about my last album and a lot of the relationships that have happened throughout all of my life, and I never really gave people songs based on my personality or just feelings,” he says. Now, with experience on his side and new tracks up his sleeve, Huddy is ready to find his sense of self in his next project: “ I’ve been doing more listening to myself now to figure out what that sort of sound is. I’ve got some huge singles coming up in the works.”

Press play on Huddy’s latest single ‘All The Things I Hate About You’ below now…

Creative Direction
Olivia Wright
Savanna Ruedy
Marc Eram
Kristen Shaw
photography assistance
Eliza Jouin
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