This exclusive interview comes to you from Elements Music & Arts Festival in Lakewood, Pennsylvania - a magical place of wonder and amazement that stole my soul last weekend and hanging with Ardalan was part of it. His diverse set at the Fire Stage kicked off what would be the best festival I've ever attended...
This is your first time playing elements Lakewood, what do you think of it so far?
I love it. It's so green I've never been deep in the woods on the East Coast and I appreciate it more now that I see it. Ya know, on the West Coast we have Red Woods but this is pure summer. It's crisp. I love it.
What about the festival? I know you played a little early...
I got here at 5:00 but my set got pushed a little because the generator was being a little diva and was like "I need to clean myself." It was perfect, it was great. I usually love playing early sets cause I get to play a variety of music. I don't usually like to just bang it. I live playing music, ya know? So I love getting the chance to be able to play different colors and different pallets. Just go all over. So it was great. I really enjoyed it.
Who is your biggest mentor in the music industry right now?
I have to say my ex roommate Justin. Justin Martin. I lived with him for 5 years and we were always bouncing ideas off of each other. I'd make music and he'd be like "that's good, you should finish that" and so I learned to be disciplined in the sense of finishing my work. I'd say it's still Justin Martin.
What's one track of yours that your proud of that people might not know about?
My remix of Justin and Christian Martin's [Leroy Peppers] "Riding Spaceship." I started playing that again after awhile and I'm really proud of that. I made that right when I moved in with Justin. I know I'm saying Justin a lot but it makes sense. Besides that, I have to say the b side to my "All Night Long" EP which came out last year. The Fat Larry's Band edit of "Act Like You Know." No one knows that track but it's one of my favorite ones.
We're getting it exposure right here..
Yeah it's a really dope one and it's the Miami 80's vibe with the new house bass so it's like the perfect mixture.
So, I think we're all anxious to know about this new project with Walker & Royce, Escapade. How, when and most importantly, why?
Well actually it all started in New York - Brooklyn. We had a gig at House of Yes and me and Gavin were like, "Why don't we go back to back the whole night, open to close?" So we went open to close and bounced off so well. And then I had Sam and Gavin in my studio and we just made so much content and so many jam sessions and we created "Iz the Shit" and "Turn it Around." And now we're doing more stuff so it's good. It's fun ya know? And I love those guys, they're so awesome. We get along so well. We're on the same wavelength so it worked out really well and I'm looking forward to our new stuff coming out. We have our debut set at HARD Summer. It's really exciting!
I gotta say just those two tracks were so good. So fresh. Looking forward to hearing more Escapade.
Absolutely. Thank you.
So now that it's summer, what are your plans?
Yeah tomorrow I'm going to SMF, Sunset Music Festival in Tampa and then after that I'm going to Detroit, Movement. I'm playing a live hardware set in the festival and then I'm doing and after party at OK Cool and TV Lounge and then I'm just gonna be hanging out with my homie Navid, and yeah know getting records, then I'm back home. Next weekend is the Dirtybird BBQ in Oakland.
Oh yeah! And the one in Austin was last weekend.
Oh yeah that was a lot of fun. I had a water fight with Justin.
Awesome, well anything else you'd like to throw in there?
I wanna give a shout out to my homie Sepher. He's my homie from high school. He's a dope producer and musician. He made "apple bottoms." This one goes out to you brotha.
Photo by Ashlyn Fulton Photography