Longevity in the music industry may be hard to come by, but Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Mason, Jr. have been working together for a decade and are nearly marking the anniversary with yet another collaboration, the anticipated animated musical comedy SING.
Having served as a producer on both Hudson’s self-titled debut album and the soundtrack for Dreamgirls (for which she won her Oscar), Mason reunited with Hudson last year when the two recorded music for the Broadway revival of The Color Purple (where she plays Shug Avery). Now, he's creating sounds for her again as the executive music producer of SING where Hudson provides the singing vocals of sharp-tongued sheep Nana Noodleman, a wealthy former star diva whose most renowned performance was the one that first inspired protaganist Buster's love of the theater.
REVOLT spoke to the duo about the word "diva" and its connotations, Hudson's worst studio habit, and their favorite (and least-known) Christmas songs. Hudson also predicts how her Color Purple cast would have handled having Vice President-Elect Mike Pence in its audience (as the Hamilton cast once did) and gives her final words to the Obamas before singing a bit of Bing Crosby's "Happy Holiday" for us.
Watch the full interview and read excerpts below.
On Hudson's "diva" character:
Mason: So perfectly-cast.... I don't know what it is about divas, they're just amazing singers and they're a little bit crazy.
Hudson: I always say, as long as you put "good" before "diva," I'm good.
On if Mike Pence had visited Hudson's Broadway revival of The Color Purple:
Hudson: We probably would've prayed.
On the goal of SING:
Hudson: It's introducing music that the new generation probably wouldn't know nothing about.... A lot of kids today, it breaks my heart to hear them say, 'Who's Stevie Wonder?' or 'Who are the Beatles?' We're sneaking it in on them.