Written By: Jayme Face
With his unique sound and his smooth vocals Vardaan Arora is rising to popularity and you can catch his new single ‘Poison’ out on iTunes now!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your new single Poison?
Vardaan Arora: To me, Poison is a metaphor for a toxic element in your life that you keep going back to knowing that you shouldn’t. That’s a relatable concept, and it can mean different things to different people. You know it’s bad for you, but you pursue it anyway.
upfrontNY: Tell us about your sound, style and where you draw inspiration.
Vardaan Arora: There are so many talented artists out there in the game right now. That being said, it’s interesting to note how eclectic pop music is right now – and I’d like to think that my sound is like that, too. With my debut single Feel Good Song, I wanted to go for a fresh summer-y tropical vibe. With Poison, I went in for a darker electro-pop sound. Because I’m releasing singles at the moment, I’m lucky enough to be able to experiment with a variety of sounds, instead of putting myself in a box thinking “I have to be THIS type of an artist, so I can’t do THAT”.
upfrontNY: What got you interested in music?
Vardaan Arora: I honestly think that being a huge fan of pop music helped me understand the mechanics of it, which then led me to pursue it. Paying attention to melodies, production, and what makes a song objectively ‘good’ is exciting to me. I’d always been very passionate about performing, and I don’t think I’ll ever exactly know why or how that came about, but I feel so incredibly lucky that I’m able to make the kind of music I listen to.
upfrontNY: Where do you see your music career going?
Vardaan Arora: I want to work on an EP this year, which I think is a natural next step for me. I’m taking a little bit of time to write before going back into the studio, but I want to release something in the fall. I’m kind of taking it day by day, before I start getting ahead of myself. I tend to do that a lot.
upfrontNY: You are originally from India, how was the transition moving to the U.S.?
Vardaan Arora: Easier than a lot of people would imagine, actually. I moved here to go to NYU, and everything just fell into place. I was surrounded by a diverse group of like-minded people in one of the best cities in the world. Moving to the U.S. has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I discovered so many aspects of myself, and I continue to learn so much from the people in my life here. Of course India will always have a special place in my heart – I was raised there – but life in New York sure feels like a dream.
upfrontNY: How does the music industry differ in India compared to the U.S.?
Vardaan Arora: Oh, so so different. I’m sure you guys already know this, but a large percentage of Bollywood movies are musicals. The radio almost exclusively plays songs from those movies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re good – it’s just a whole different culture. The songs are still telling a story, but I find the writing in them to be less personal to the artist.
upfrontNY: You are politically vocal on twitter; what would you say to people who think performers should stay out of politics?
Vardaan Arora: We’re living through a very strange, horrifying political climate right now. It’s scary. We have to use our voices. I’ve been told to be ‘careful’ about how much I say, or how aggressive I am with my political tweets – but I truly believe that resistance will create change. I absolutely hate it when artists are told to “put politics aside”. How can we do that when literally everything in life is affected by politics? If someone has access to a platform and is still staying silent, it’s either because they agree with what’s going on or it’s because it doesn’t affect them on a personal level. I’m not going to stand with any of those people.
upfrontNY: Outside of music what do you like to do?
Vardaan Arora: Well, I went to NYU for acting. That will always be a passion. But outside all of that, and this is going to sound kind of mundane, I love having friends over. It can literally be for anything. A party, a movie, dinner. I don’t even know anything about American Football and I had people over for the Super Bowl. Something about being surrounded by people who love and support you is truly like magic to me.
Check out Vardaan Arora!
Instagram: @ vardaanarora