This Spanish “Electro-Diva” Blends Subversive Humor With Queer Activism

How did it feel to become the center of a national controversy at such a tender age? “I was so aware that the problem was not mine and that I was doing nothing wrong,” says Hudson. “I was 15 years old and just having fun and being ironic and satirical, my intention wasn’t to start a war with the Catholic church!” Instead, Hudson explains that she took this period of intense scrutiny and turned it to her advantage. “I thought, okay, what is the most difficult thing to do when you want to have a creative career?” Hudson continues. “It’s to get attention from the media and to put yourself in the spotlight, and to get your name out in the industry. I realized I’d already done this—thank you, Catholic church!—and it was an opportunity I thought I couldn’t let escape.”

In the years since, Hudson has done all that and more, seizing the opportunities afforded to her by “Maricón” with both hands. “To think it all started with a controversy,” she says, in a jokingly wistful tone. She moved to Madrid after graduating in 2017 and continued to write and perform her slyly subversive tracks at queer clubs—their titles roughly translating as “Super Pregnant” and “Sweet and Baptized,” as just two examples—gaining the attention of film and TV producers along the way. She appeared in the hit show Veneno and the queer horror Cut! last year alone, and also recently launched a podcast for Netflix. All the same, her increasingly extravagant live show remains at the beating heart of who Samantha Hudson is. “It started getting bigger and bigger, and now I have two dancers and lights, so I finally feel like a B-movie Madonna,” says Hudson.”

Courtesy of Samantha Hudson

This sense of resourcefulness is one she ascribes both to her upbringing in the debauched resort town of Magaluf— “the birthplace of cannibal drugs,” she says, matter-of-factly—and to the alter-ego of Samantha Hudson herself, who came about after she and a friend began imagining their lives if they were born in a different country. “I’ve always been very obsessed with that stereotype of the U.S. suburban mother, that goes with the seven-seat car to take their child to karate, and after that goes to pilates,” says Hudson, real name Iván González Ranedo, citing some of her most formative references as ’00s American comedies like The House Bunny and Legally Blonde. “My friend was like, if you were a woman then, your name will be Samantha Hudson. Now when I think about it, I feel like the most controversial and twisted thing you can do if you are a very outrageous girl is to give yourself a name like anyone else. I find it funny, as it’s the laziest name ever.”

Hudson’s approach to performing is anything but lazy, even if she’s charmingly self-deprecating about her on-stage abilities. “I honestly dance awfully, but my dancers are professionals and I try my best,” Hudson says of her current live show, titled Euthanasia Deluxe, which is billed as being “raunchy, heretical, and very tacky.” “I think that’s the funny part of it, that actually having no talent could be your talent, and being able to represent that part of the population that is mediocre,” Hudson continues. “All you see in the media is success and money and fame and hot people, and I refuse to embody those archetypes. I’m more comfortable being a trashy underground figure. So I try to be professional, but still kind of a mess—to turn trash into treasure in a sense.”

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