Rudolf was born and raised in New York City. “There aren’t many of us who survived!” he says jokingly. “A lot of the kids I grew up with, we experienced way too much way too soon. Some od’ed, some peaked too early, and some just got lost along the way.” Rudolf’s mother, a singer in local rock bands, would bring him to sound checks where he would sit at the bar nursing a Shirley Temple, popping quarters in the jukebox, and scanning for great tunes, or “anything that had guitar in it”. At age 11, Rudolf picked up his first guitar, “ I just knew I had to have an electric guitar even if I never learned to play.” Soon after, playing became an obsession for Rudolf and he started recording, writing, producing, and playing all of the instruments by himself.
Word quickly got out and Madonna signed Rudolf to her Maverick Records imprint only to be dropped from the label soon after. So Rudolf hid out in Miami, working with legendary producer Timbaland, playing guitar on records from Black Eyed Peas to Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. “I just felt like I wanted to be behind the scenes for a while.” Rudolf recalls. But was on those late balmy nights, Bentleys in the parking lot of the Hit Factory, diamonds, and the excess of hip hop in the mid-2000’s that formed the landscape for his next vision; Rudolf’s first solo album, In The City.
It was also where Rudolf met Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Baby” Williams, the brothers who founded Cash Money Records. It was Slim who understood Rudolf’s vision and so they struck a deal one night at 3am in the parking lot of The Hit Factory. Rudolf became the first non hip-hop artist on the Cash Money label.
The album’s seminal first single, “Let it Rock,” which featured rapper Lil Wayne was released in June 2008 and immediately exploded. The song became a Top 5 Single around the world, going on to sell over 5 million singles and arguably become one of the most definitive songs of that year.
Another album To The Sky followed and so did the hits, including the gold certified “Welcome to the World,” and, once again teaming up with Lil Wayne, the platinum single, “I Made It.” After two years on the road Rudolf found himself in Los Angeles as a suddenly, very in demand producer and songwriter. As such, he crafted songs for Cobra Starship, FloRida, Selena Gomez, Gavin DeGraw, and Leona Lewis.
As fate would have it, a one-night layover in Nashville would shape Rudolf’s destiny once again. “I was stuck in Nashville and ended up in the studio with some country writers and came out with a song called “Little Bit Of Everything”.” Country superstar Keith Urban heard the song and knew immediately he had found the first single for his album, Fuse. Released in 2013, the song reached #1 at Country radio, and after spending more time in Music City, Rudolf decided set up shop there.
“I was suddenly surrounded by guitars all over again and I knew that it was time for me to put out another record. I could hear my 14-year-old self telling me that those old dreams I grew up with were my new dreams again.
After parting ways with Cash Money Records, Rudolf’s first independent release is the otherworldly, psychedelic single, “That Other Ship”. The track draws from British classic rock influences and fuses them with an urban, lyrical sensibility that feels right on time for the summer of 2015.