Creative Spotlight: ARDN

by | Nov 5, 2022 | Campus, Culture | 0 comments

Edmonton-based singer-songwriter ARDN always felt a natural inclination toward music. As a teen, he picked up several instruments, from the drums to the guitar, but neither really stuck for him. 

It wasn’t until he began writing songs at the age of 16 that things started to fall into place for the young artist. “I knew I always wanted to go down an entertainment lane. I started writing (songs) and finding beats on Soundcloud. (That) is when it felt like, ‘Oh, this is my thing,’” ARDN explains.

The 23-year-old describes his music to be “genreless.” If you listen to a few of his songs, they vary from RnB to Rap to Hip Hop, but fans can’t quite put a finger on what his music sounds like overall. Just know that when you press play on one of his tracks, you’re in for smooth, effortless, and groovy sounds that will have you pressing the repeat button all day long. 

Not only is his music a whole vibe, but ARDN also touches on important messages about himself and his experiences through his music. “In my music, I like to touch on different topics and things I have been through; I talk about my faith. There’s a lot of spirituality in my music, and (it) reflects who I am as a believer in God,” he says. ARDN also touches on his romantic relationships and family matters. “I also like to talk about racism and social justice issues and incorporate that into my music as well,” ARDN says. Good tunes and insightful. 

ARDN made his debut in the music industry in 2018 with his GOODWILL album, and now he’s opening for big artists like Isaiah Rashad, who’s worked with SZA, Smino, 6lack, and many more talented trailblazers. 

In August, ARDN headlined for the first time at The Starlite Room in downtown Edmonton. It was a sold-out show with around 500 attendees. The energy was electric. ARDN never felt more supported by his fans and his city that night. “That moment was when I was like, ‘Wow, people are really showing up for me!’ I still can’t believe it when I think about it,” he reflected. “Selling out at The Starlite Room was dope. That’s my own community, and I feel like I did it at the right time because I was about to move out to LA. It was a good goodbye to Edmonton.”

Since releasing GOODWILL in 2018, ARDN has released eight singles and one new album called ALIEN, which happens to be the artist’s favorite project that he’s worked on so far. “The story behind the title is that I was born in South Africa, but I’m of Burundian descent; because of that, they wrote “Alien” on my birth certificate,” ARDN recounts. At this point in his life, he was in school and didn’t know if he really wanted to be a student. He felt lost. ARDN knew he wanted to make music but wasn’t sure how to balance everything. For his album title he used the metaphor of ‘if an alien came to Earth, it wouldn’t know which direction to go.’ “I really felt like an alien at the same time and being an ‘alien’ on paper, and it all made sense to make that the title (of the album),” ARDN explained. 

As of October, his most viral song, “Jupiter & Mars,” has 2,979,315 streams on Spotify. “That one (Jupiter & Mars) is inspired by a girl I was seeing, and it didn’t really turn out the way I wanted it to, and I channeled all of my emotions and put it into that. I would say that I’m proud of the writing of that song,” he explained, “The song comes in on a falsetto and I don’t really do that in my songs. Then it drops down and goes into rap. It’s so dynamic, and it keeps the listeners engaged.”

Right now, ARDN spends his time in Los Angeles working with big-name producers like Boi-1da and other up-and-comers in the industry. He’s also currently working on a mixtape. “Hopefully, I can have some key artists I could feature there. I like to see every project (that I’ve done) as an era. I feel like it’s going to be the best era of music for me so far,” he exclaimed. 

What’s next for ARDN? Europe, you better watch out! “I might be doing another tour soon. It’ll be a European tour. That’ll be really sick,” ARDN announced. “If it goes through, you can anticipate seeing me out there!” 

Follow ARDN along his journey, and listen to ARDN’s music here: 

ARDN’s Social Media

Instagram: @ardnmusic

Twitter: @ardn__

Aajah Sauter

The Griff

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