Gatton performs debut EP "When Scars Become Art"
Up-and-coming artist and junior communications major Gatton Hudson is making strides in the local music scene after the release of his solo debut.
On Nov. 9, a crowd of over 50 people filled Inman Street Coffeehouse to hear the full performance of "When Scars Become Art," Hudson's first solo EP featuring four original songs.
The road to this first EP was not an easy one. Hudson said inspiration for "When Scars Become Art" sparked from a rough season in life.
"It was almost a therapy session for me," Hudson said. "Then I recognized how many people could relate."
The name of the EP came from a very personal place, according to Hudson. The singer-songwriter said the title sprang from his hope to make his emotional pain something beautiful.
"Even if I'm in the pain now, I have to be strong and share with others to let them know they are not alone," Hudson said.
Senior music major Savannah Ogle hosted the evening. She said the concert's goal was to give Hudson the experience of putting on shows without the pressure of a hostile crowd.
"It allows people to see his heart behind the music and why he does what he does," Ogle said. "They can get behind him and support him, which means even more that just listening to his music."
That mission aligned perfectly with the newly reopened Inman Street Coffeehouse. Owner Joel Rogers said Inman strives to make itself a community spot, having hosted over 175 events since their opening seven years ago.
Rogers said he first heard Hudson a year ago at an open mic night and was impressed by his performance.
"Since then, he's jumped into the lineup of a few other shows we've had, and we've fallen in love with him," Rogers said. "He's so incredibly talented and has a gift of pulling in other people who are equally gifted."
Cold weather threatened the show's original plan, as it was to be held at an outdoor venue. Rogers said that although the event was moved inside the coffeehouse, Hudon's impact and musicality still showed through.
"We've seen over 1300 acts come through, and Gatton is a standout from the first time we saw him," Rogers said. "It was such a treat for us."
Hudson said his intent for the release show was to demonstrate that all four songs on the EP have different perspectives regarding pain and healing.
Hudson opened the concert with the first track off his EP, "Not Enough," accompanied with a full band called "Gatton's Closet." The track describes someone putting everything into one person and still not feeling like enough.
Hudson noted the importance of collaboration on this piece and wanting to encourage others in their artwork.
"I admire diversity and want to include some of my best friends in what I do," Hudson said.
"Gatton's Closet" consisted of background vocalists Jared Herzog, Abi Barnett, Chloe Hamlin and Cherish Varlack; electric guitarist CJ Owens; drummer Laud Vaught; keyboardist Jaron Utt and bassist Matt Witz.
For the remainder of his set, Hudson performed the EP tracks "Dear My Lover's Lover," "Playing Pretend," "When Scars Become Art."
This is just the beginning for Hudson, as he said he plans to move to New York to pursue his musical career and develop his own soulful style.
"For the longest time I thought I was supposed to be a worship leader," Hudson said. "I think I was wired to think if you have a [musical] ability, you have to be in ministry, but I believe that the secular music industry is the biggest mission field."
Despite the jump from Cleveland to the Big Apple, Hudson said he is unafraid of the challenge of being a Christian in a secular world.
"The Lord is using [your abilities], even if it's not Christian music," Hudson said. "I want to go into the secular industry and bring something different."
"When Scars Become Art" is currently available on Spotify and Apple Music.
Hudson is scheduled to perform at The Commons on Nov. 29 and at Bonlife for the Songwriters' Roundtable on Nov. 30, times to be announced.
For more information on Gatton Hudson and his music, follow him on Instagram.