LILHUDDY FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview

Chest Plate- Victor Puglielli
Pants- Charles & Ron
Jacket- Unclaimed Vintage

Photographer / Creative Director: Raen Badua

Stylist: Dion “Bleu” Drake – @styledbybleu

Grooming: Johnny Stuntz

Photo Assistant: Angelo Agojo

Interview & Editor: Miles Holder

While we’re far passed the days of questioning the Content Creator to music stardom pipeline, the transition is still far from easy. 

LILHUDDY’S debut single ‘21st Century Vampire’ was met with rave reviews from his fans and pop-rock aficionados alike, however that cloud of industry doubt that surrounds social media stars attempting a break still loomed heavy. 

Subsequent releases Don’t Freak Out and America’s Sweetheart removed any doubt that music would be but a passing fancy for LILHUDDY and with his hotly anticipated debut album ‘Teenage Heartbreak’ set to release on September 17th – we caught up with him to discuss his musical journey, woes and of course, his FAULTs. 

What would you say was the key message you wanted to convey with your upcoming album?

The key message I really wanted to convey was that heartbreak really isn’t just one thing, it can be a lot of things. It can be really shitty, it can be really good, and I think there’s a story that can be told with love and heartbreak and I don’t think it has to be separated the way people like to separate it. I think sometimes some people just need to be honest, sometimes people need to show both sides of the story, show where they started and how they ended up. And I wanted to give my message on how my love life has gone throughout my life so far, I’ve been through many relationships that have been very good but I’ve also had very bad relationships. So I kind of wanted to give people both sides of that.

Suit- GrayScale
Shoes- Jean-Baptiste Natureau

What’s been the most emotionally challenging track to record on the album? 

Definitely ‘America’s Sweetheart’. I just gave it to everybody as a raw piece. I wrote it way late at night. It’s different to the rest of the album; a lot of it’s more upbeat and up-tempo, and even if it’s about heartbreak it’s describing it in sort of a fun punk kind of a way, so it almost takes the sad value out of the words with big guitar and drums. But on ‘America’s Sweetheart’ it’s just a lot more raw and sad and real. More stripped down and just me. 

While being a successful content creator has helped build your platform, do you feel there’s a section of the music industry that holds previous viral fame against new artists? 

I think people always try to dish on people that started somewhere else, or did something different before they started music, and I think I’ve seen that with a lot of Disney stars, obviously also with a lot of people that have done social media before and a lot of people that have done YouTube, Vine etc. People always get shit at first and everything kind of comes with you really proving yourself and really showing the world that you can do it, and it all kind of takes time. Nothing happens overnight. I think that I have shown so much already, but I still have a lot to prove to show the world that I can do it – that I can really have a lot of fun and have a lot of passion for what I do – and I’m really gonna show it over these next couple of years.

Jacket & Pants- COLLINI Milano
Shirt- BLK DNM

If so, how do you stop those sentiments from keeping you down? 

I’ve tuned out the negativity and have learned to be in tune with myself; I remind myself how far I’ve come and how strong I am and remind myself who I am and what i’m doing and why I’m here each and every day. Otherwise you can get lost in the comments, you can get lost in people’s negativity towards you. But if you just learn to say ‘screw that’, it doesn’t matter what anyone says. Once you stop focussing on what everyone else has to say, once you make peace with your own self, all the noise will stop affecting you so much. 

Jacket & Pants- COLLINI Milano
Shirt- BLK DNM

For most blossoming musical artists, this stage in one’s musical careers is full of missteps and bad choices – which helps create opportunities to learn from. As someone with such a big platform already, do you feel a lot of pressure is put on you to get things perfect the first time because your learning opportunities will be so public? 

I believe there’s a lot of pressure on me, for sure. I believe there’s a lot of people that want me to mess up. There’s of course people that really want me to succeed, but there’s a lot of people that really want me to fail, and want me to have a bad song or something that they can really grasp onto and make fun of, but I don’t think I’ve let anybody down yet. I haven’t done anything that’s given the haters what they want to see, I’ve really been working hard to try prove myself each and every day with each and every song that I put out, and take so much more time on my music, and that’s really what I did coming into this. I saw the pressure at stake and I made sure that I worked extra hard to execute everything that I have here because I care about music so much more than I care about all the other aspects of my life.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your musical journey so far? 

Definitely the tough music critics! Everyone wants to critique your music and tell you what they think is good or what you need to add, or ‘this needs to be in a higher octave’ or whatever. People like to take every little piece of a song and put you on a scale of 1-10 on how good they think it is or how good they think you are as an artist. And I think that’s lame, people need to lay back and just enjoy the music and not be so tough or challenging on artists, especially new artists that are just starting off or just starting to grow. Enjoy and watch them develop and feel glad that you’re watching and experiencing the journey that every artist is on. I think that’s a big thing that people need to realise, a lot of people are too judgemental and need to just enjoy it!

What’s one question no journalist has ever asked you, but is something you’d like to say/discuss? 

One thing journalists haven’t asked me about is what I do just in my free time! I do a lot of cool, funny, nerdy things in my free time. I like to play a lot of video games and I like to play a lot of games like pool and foosball, and pinball and ping-pong, and basketball. I like to swim. I like to just be a nerd sometimes and think people haven’t seen that enough or asked me about those types of normal teenage things I do. 

Jacket- Giorgia Maya Firenze
Shirt- Alexander McQueen
Skirt- CloCloude
Shoes- Jean-Baptiste Rautureau

Have you found time to reflect on how far you’ve come as an artist, or do you find your creative journey has passed in a blur?

Each time I record a song I reflect a little bit more about where I started, like where my first couple of songs were. I like to look back and see the improvement and the way my voice is always growing and changing, and it’s really inspiring to me seeing my own creative path and begin to reflect on a song like ‘21st Century Vampire’ compared to some of my newer stuff. It feels so night and day, and the writing and the vocals are so much better than they were a year ago.

What’s something positive you’ve done this year to protect your mental health? 

I’ve been working out a lot. I’ve been hanging around a very tight circle of people and keeping all of my closest friends closer. I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I think that’s been a big thing that’s helped my mental health a lot. I’ve been trying to worry less and trying to do things that I enjoy a lot more, like I like to go shopping a lot, I like to just relax sometimes, I like to watch movies and stuff like that, stuff that I didn’t normally get to do as much. I tend to just work hard and not care about anything else.

What is your FAULT?

My own fault would definitely have to be that I beat myself up over everything – I tend to get in my head when I do pretty much anything! I get in my head when I write music, I get in my head when I’m singing and practicing, I get in my head when I’m talking to people or when I’m having simple conversations. For some reason I worry about everything that I do. Recently the reason I’ve been eating healthier is because I’ve been getting in my head about having a shitty diet, and I did have a shitty diet, but I really beat myself up about that until I became a lot healthier. There’s just something about me in my head that’s not like ‘take it easy’, and is like ‘do this shit now’ or ‘fix yourself now’, and it happens so quickly so my brains always moving and telling me what to do. I need to chill, that’s my fault!