Nate "Smooth" Hudson was born in Lansing, MI. Raised by a single mother, Smooth did what most young boys who lack a father figure do, he took to the streets. In his teenage years his mind became focused on business, with sites set on owning an enterprise one day. He got involved with acting as a child, performing in numerous plays up into his early teens. He had aspirations of directing or being in the movies. His uncle, DJ WHO, produced and starred in a public access show called "Crazy But Organized". Smooth was featured on a few episodes as a pre-teen and gained an even deeper love for entertainment. This would establish him as an entertainer. One day, at the age of 13, a young Smooth got on the public bus and headed for the library. That visit would change his life. He got online and looked up information about movie production. This search lead to him reading about ways to make money online. Fascinated by the concept, he would continue sneaking off to the library, not telling his friends why he was going. "I think they just thought I liked to read. And I let them think that. They wouldv'e probably thought I was crazy if I told them I was going there to learn how to become rich", Smooth said in a 2009 radio interview. The following year, as his love for music grew, he started writing lyrics. Those lyrics would turn into songs, which would turn into albums. Dozens of albums worth of material and no means to record, Smooth sought out others who needed songs, giving them away for free. As his love for music grew his love for both computers and the digital world also grew. He studied ways to tie the power of the internet with the music. This resulted in him meeting a rapper online from England. He recorded a song on his boom box (under his alias Crazy Cuzz), added the vocals of the British rapper and sent it out to people. This established him in the 'music world'. He felt he now had his foot in the door. He took it a step further by creating UnderGround Family Entertainment, borrowing the name of his group. Over the next 4 years the company was almost non-existent to the public eye, and Smooth used this time to soak up every piece of information he could get on the inner workings of the music business. To help sharpen his computer skills Smooth enrolled in a business management class where he studied A+, Cisco and Microsoft. He also took the time, during class, to develop a website called Hot Spot USA. This site was designed to sell products from anyone who had something that needed to be sold. This established him in the digital world. Having planted his feet in entertainment, music, computers and the internet, it was time to devise a plan to tie the 4 together. He became a regular presence on all of the major music forums and message boards at the time. His goal was to make sure everyone knew his name. This lead to him meeting the CEO of Raptor Entertainment Group, who signed UnderGround Family Entertainment to a business management deal in 2000. It was then that Smooth gained knowledge of contracts, how to draft them, royalties, copyrights, all of the things he never knew he needed to know. One of the biggest lessons he would learn from this deal was distribution.
At a party in 2000, Smooth had a conversation with another up-and-coming entrepreneur, Lakaz. Lakaz told him he was in the process of starting a record label called Mask Musik Entertainment. He told Lakaz of his plans to start a record label too. Soon after that conversation Smooth signed on as a BMI songwriter. Some time went by and one day while reading the newspaper he turned to the Business Section and saw a new business formation listing for a Mask Musik Entertainment, with Lakaz listed as the founder. This is the day that Smooth became 100% focused on music. That was the inspiration he needed and on July 2, 2001 he incorporated his new company.
Wanting a fresh start, and to get away from the image that the company's current name portrayed, Smooth decided to incorporate as UGF Entertainment. The decision to use no periods in the name gave the impression that the letters were not an abbreviation.
He started promoting and selling music online, working with artists from around the world. His first group was Canadian dup Sean B. & L. Griffsta. He used the internet to market their music, leading to interest from many labels, including Sony Music (Canada). In 2003, when the iTunes Store went live, UGF was in line and was part of the first wave of independent labels allowed access to iTunes.
Smooth created UGF Entertainment with one primary goal: Help aspiring artists get their foot in the door.
In 2003 Smooth relocated to South Carolina. He began warehousing and distributing CD's and vinyl. He joined many record pools, established relationships with retail store music buyers, and taught himself the business of consignment, shipping, fulfillment and street marketing. He signed a publishing deal with Chicago-based Sonic Wave International, and quickly built relationships with many of the label's artists. In addition to developing his songwriting skills during this time, he also co-founded a religious newspaper, Three Fold Cord, after teaming with his spiritual mentor, who was a deacon and minister, at his church, and a few members of the church. Now Smooth had established himself as a writer.
Over the next 6 years his knowledge of the business continued to grow. He engaged in dialog with the heads of Warlock Records, Symatar Entertainment and The UnderGround Network, all of which offered some type deal. These talks further inspired Smooth and he would go on to obtain distribution through The Orchard & Alliance Entertainment Group. He then signed a separate deal with C.E.D Entertainment. When C.E.D went out of business his catalog was then absorbed by Bayside Entertainment, Select-O-Hits, and Sony Music's distribution arm RED. While on Bayside he enjoyed dialog with its diverse roster, which included Dolly Parton, The Outlaws and Knoc-Turn'al. He then returned to Michigan and began working with local artists for the first time. The knowledge acquired from his previous deals would eventually lead to the formation of UGF Digital. UGF Digital was formed in 2009, as the digital division of UGF, handling distribution for UGF Entertainment's roster. In 2010 UGF began offering services to the general public. In addition to UGF Entertainment vast network of stores and services, the company also utilizes the power of Sony Music via its deal with Sony Music/The Orchard.
Smooth is currently a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (The Recording Academy), The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the National Association of Record Industry Professionals.
He also writes music industry-based articles for Hood Illustrated Magazine (Michigan), Haute Louisiana Magazine (Louisiana) and RYF Magazine (California).
For speaking or writing engagements, personal consultation and music review, Smooth can be reached at:
(for Recording Academy members)
"Setting New Standards In Digital Marketing & Distribution"
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