If you walk past her in the streets of Boston, she'll be sporting a dope flat brim, tortoise shell rimmed glasses, a half-sleeve on her upper left arm, and some banging outfit that will look better on her than it ever will on you. Andréa Hudson is hard to miss.
A determined, ambitious, leader by nature, Dréa left an Account Management position at Sonicbids in 2014 to found Booger Money, and become her own goddamn boss. From Livenation to Google, to Contra Brew and now Marketing Manager for Lord Hobo Brewing Company, Dréa does not aim low, and she chooses what she digs. If you do know her, you must be fu%k*ng awesome. If you don't know her, you should keep reading . . .
LZ: What inspired you to start Booger Money?
AH: There was an opportunity to bring people together through curated experiences and as someone who loves music and human connection I started to think about how I could contribute to the culture. I'd done some previous work with brands in the past, including, Jansport, UBER, PEPSI, and Renaissance Hotels, all of which had shown an interest in working with emerging musicians and it sparked a strong interest. I wondered what it would take to bring my passion for experience to a hyperlocal, national and International level. It wasn't difficult for me to reach out to bands that I thought were awesome or brands that I had an affinity for, so it just happened to be a natural fit. If there was a band or a brand that was inspirational, I found out who the person was I needed to talk to and I found a way to talk with them. When Google Austin took a risk on me as my first client, after an intro and recommendation from my best friend Tiff, I knew I couldn't let her, them or myself down - so my thought process was, you better crush this shit.
"It made us feel good to support bands that we loved..."
"...it made us appreciate our friends for showing up."
LZ: What was your first project with Booger Money? Did you absolutely kill it?
AH: My first project was putting together a multi-genre show with TigermanWoah!, Casso, Micetro and Nemes. Anthony Lazarri curated the lineup with me, and Dave who was the talent booker for TT the Bears at the time (which is now Sonia) was the only venue that said yes to the pitch when the others didn't even reply. Joamil, the owner of Laced Boston was open to co-promoting it and Sean McCabe, a fellow 413 homie and one of the graphic designers for the Golden State Warriors designed our logo. The line up for our first show changed a couple of times - the original line-up included a band that we loved but was in the process of moving across the country so the scheduling didn't work.
It was the first time I had to scramble and I hated it. For a minute, I questioned what the fuck I was doing. Anthony and I bought 10 flyers and put them up in local places and on our FB accounts. Aaron from Underground Hip Hop was also super supportive when it came to letting us put flyers up and spreading the word. There was a $10 cover, and a we had to pay TT's a room fee but the feeling Anthony and I had when we paid the bands after our other venue related expenses was an awesome feeling. It made us feel good to support bands that we loved, it made us appreciate our friends for showing up. We had about 50 people at our first show and to us that was a win.
LZ: What was your first big learning experience in starting your own business?
AH: My first corporate project was for Google Austin, I booked their SXSW private party with some help from my boy Eric Shea who runs touring for SoFar Sounds (ay bay bay). At some point Google mentioned that they needed a production team for the event, which I didn't have but knew that I had people in my network who would be able to lead me in the right direction. I remember being at Render Coffee shop with Eric when I realized that I needed a production team. I was like, "they need a production team, is Booger Money that?" Eric's response was, "it is now...".
For that show I worked with Jabaar Sheffield of Lakota Regime, one of my go-to partners in Austin, and booked bands that I knew would be in Austin and Boston based bands would represent our city well which was none other than Moe Pope of STL GLD. I couldn't be in Austin for the event so I had to rely heavily on Lakota Regime to protect our vision.
The sound of the event got shut down because of the location of the campus and the roof sound constraints but Lakota Regime and I discussed worst case scenarios and they had a silent disco on hand. When I recapped with Google Austin, they invited me to come to Austin to produce their private Austin City Limits event and I was extremely appreciative, I booked PHOX as the headliner with help from one of my mentors Heidi Lasker. So long story short, the most important thing I learned and am still learning is, your network is your net worth, never ever think you can do this on your own. Build a circle of trust and be the type of friend that people want to help because they know you'd do the same.
"In my opinion, it's my job to make things happen."
LZ: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
AH: French pressed Contra Brew Coffee or Bustelo, Gayle King, and being the oldest of 5. In my opinion, it's my job to make things happen, my siblings look up to me and I'm inspired by them. The projects that I develop and execute when it comes to Booger Money provides an outlet to share with them to show them that they can create their own version of perfection as long as they're committed. That's the thing about being the oldest, you owe it to your siblings to show them the things that you only imagined...
LZ: It's 11pm on a Friday. Where are you?
AH: Depends on the Friday, if there's something going on in the city that resembles music, art or fashion I'm popping in and saying hi to show support. Last Friday though, I was in the Cape leaving the club at 11 because I was exhausted. To be honest, when I get to the end of my week, I'm down to just chill. Sometimes it's nice to take a minute and reflect.
"I've booked over 50 bands for Google..."
LZ: What’s been the most rewarding part of running Booger Money?
AH: The face people make when they first repeat the name once they've heard it.
I've booked over 50 bands for Google Cambridge, it's incredible to have introduced such incredible talent, to the Googlers though the program that I've developed and it's awesome to continue to build the program with the team there. I've been working with them for almost 3 years now and I do my best to ensure that every band feels taken care of and supported, and that every Googler feels like this is one of their favorite perks of working at the company.
Eventually I'd love to expand the program to multiple campuses. Some of the bands who have played the Live Under the Dome series are Julie Rhodes, Ripe, The Ballroom Thieves and Hayley Thompson-King.
LZ: Time machine yourself back to the 90s… What’s your jam?
AH: The Ten Crack Commandments.
LZ: What fuels your drive?
AH: The fear of failure.
LZ: What’s your ideal day in Boston?
AH: Light rain, fall day, 55 degrees, headphones on, on my way to a coffee shop with an awesome book.
LZ: Make me a drink…
AH: McCallan 12, rocks.
-Liz Ziebarth, Special Programs Coordinator
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