Fresh off the release of ‘Are U Kidding’, the Canadian raised, South African-born singer/songwriter, ARDN, paves his own lane through honest storytelling and melodic flow…

What five words define your sound?

Authentic, distinct, genre-bending, timeless, spiritual.

Tell me something unique about your creative process.

I’d say the way most of my songs come to fruition; I like to focus on the flow and melody first so I usually freestyle whatever comes to my mind even if they’re not actual words. Then I piece it together later, it’s kind of like a puzzle.

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?

‘Wavin’’ or ‘Jupiter & Mars’ because I think those songs display my versatility, storytelling ability, plus willingness to experiment and try new and exciting things.

What inspired you to make that song?

A series of moments and life experiences that felt like what I like to call, “pinch me moments.” There’s been a lot of change in the recent years of my life that have led me to feel like my reality can’t really be happening and someone is playing a joke on me. Hence the opening line, “Are you kidding?”

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?

The most vulnerable I’ve felt writing and making music is whenever I speak on my deepest traumas and mental health, and how it’s affected me to this day.

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?

I’ve had a number of good moments so it’s hard to choose. But I’d say whenever I look out into the crowd and someone is singing along word for word or when people hold up there phones requesting certain songs. That to me is always crazy, nothing tops that feeling.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Probably ‘Jupiter & Mars’ because it’s a showstopper regardless of what crowd I perform in front of. Or ‘Plain Jane’ because it’s the most engaging song I’ve performed and it’s always a great moment whenever I engage the audience and allow them to perform with me.

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?

There’s a handful of artists who’ve inspired me to become one. But the actual moment I decided to pursue it was inspired by J.Cole and specifically ‘Love Yourz’.I watched the music video of it and it sparked something inside me and the rest is history.

What’s the meaning behind your name?

Ardon is my government name. When I initially chose ARDN I chose it because I wanted to keep it true to myself like some of my favourites have. About a year later I turned it into an acronym, “A Real Dope N****” so there’s now a main and alternate meaning to my name.

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?

I genuinely don’t know and that’s why I feel I was destined to be doing what I’m doing right now as cliche as it sounds. Before music I was still figuring it out, so I’d probably be graduating from university either in psychology or journalism.

What’s success to you?

Success to me is fulfillment and peace. As long as you’re at peace and fulfilled with what you do in your life you’re successful. Everything else is a bonus.

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?

The moment I realised I wasn’t happy and was living to please others. This was around 2019 when I was still in school, and every day felt mundane because I had no actual connection to what I was pursuing. Eventually, I took a break from school and as scary as the uncertainty of my future was, it allowed me the time to explore music and my creativity. Brick by brick I was able to build the confidence to completely drop school and chase after my true desires.

Where can people keep in touch with you?

You can keep up with my music journey on Instagram @ardnmusic, Tik Tok @ardn_music, Twitter @ardn and my YouTube channel @ARDN

Photo by Megan LP

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