Credit: SJ Spreng
This year was a big one for singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Arden Jones. In January, Arden dropped his debut single, “Parallel Parking,” which has over 10 million streams on Spotify alone and remains his biggest song on the platform. From there, he went on to release more tracks with big hooks and irresistible melodies, quickly establishing his own signature sound and creating quite a buzz. Now five singles deep, Arden has made the perfect soundtrack to the year, depicting personal highs, lows, and everything in between. We recently had the chance to catch up with this “rising star” to talk about his music, his fans, and the gratitude he feels after such an amazing year.
Melodic Mag: Your background in music goes way back to when you were a kid, with your family being musical and exposing you to different genres and artists. Do you remember the first concert you ever saw, or the first artist you liked?
Arden Jones: My family is super musical, and I have them to thank for my passion today. The first concert I saw was The Avett Brothers; my parents really liked them. They were great live; I had so much fun, and it was amazing watching them perform. Even then, I was already thinking about performing and things I wanted to take away from the show and apply to how I wanted to perform in the future. I remember the first song I asked my parents to play in the car was “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz; I must’ve been in fourth or fifth grade at the time, and I really liked that song.
You were on the path to becoming a filmmaker, but then left school to pursue music. What made you decide to make that jump?
I was going to the Dodge Film School at Chapman University. I was thinking of going into commercials and advertising because I liked filming things and telling a story. Music was always my Plan A in my head though; I was sure I could make it work somehow. As soon as I got that opportunity, I jumped on it, and I knew I needed every second of every day to work on music.
Back in January, you released your first single “Parallel Parking.” How did you end up choosing that as the track for your official debut?
“Parallel Parking” kind of chose itself as the song; it got a crazy reaction from friends and family, and it led my manager to finding me on Instagram. It was the first song that caught everyone’s eye even before it was released, so I was like, “Hey, this must be the one to put out first as an artist.” I think the song spoke for itself.
You have been described as a “hook machine” and an “alt-pop wunderkind” – what is your creative process when it comes to making music? Do hooks come to you quickly?
[Laughs] I’ll take it, that’s very nice. Writing hooks and catchy melodies is probably what comes easiest to me out of the whole process and I think that’s because hooks are so satisfying to get right, and it’s always felt good to have that as a base of the song and what people are going to remember from their first listen. I’d say yea, hooks do come easy to me, although I’ve had to work through everything just like everyone else. It takes a lot of work and time to get good at writing a hook. I’d say I’m getting there, but I’ve got a lot farther to go.
With all of your success on TikTok and on music streaming services this year, is it weird to think that so many people know who you are and listen to your music?
Social media and Spotify numbers, as well as other platforms, have really blown my mind this year. When you try to conceptualize how many people those numbers are actually representing, it’s pretty mind blowing. That’s been crazy to me, and I’m so thankful. And honestly, I was doing the same thing when I had 10 people listening to my songs; now it just feels really fulfilling to do because of the messages I get and when I see people singing along, stuff like that.
Congratulations on your new single “either way.” Could you tell us more about how that song came together?
“either way” was one of my favorite songs to write because it was all about having a good time in the studio, and I was having a really good time in my life and I just wanted to get that on paper. It’s felt really good to have it out and see the idea come to life.
The visualizer for the single is so pure and captures that feel-good energy conveyed in the track. Did you have any other ideas for the visualizer or did you know that you wanted it to be something more homemade and natural?
That visualizer was done by my amazing creative director, SJ Spreng. She’s incredible, and we usually agree on nearly everything. She took charge on that visualizer, and I think she nailed it, as she always does.
Your bio on Spotify reads, “just here trying to make you smile” – are there any artists or songs out there that are making you smile right now?
I’ve been really into Justus Bennetts; he’s an incredible songwriter, as well as Tai Verdes and Oliver Malcolm. They have all been making me smile 🙂
As we just celebrated Thanksgiving, what are some things that you are grateful for this year?
Oh my gosh, the list goes on for things I’m grateful for this year. I’m so grateful for everybody that’s helped me make the music happen. I’m grateful for anyone who’s a fan of the music and listens to it often. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve gotten to meet in the industry, and I’m grateful for recording, my awesome girlfriend, and family.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
For the rest of this year, I’m going to get everything ready to go. Next year is going to be a big one, and I’m really excited for what’s to come. Going to keep working on finding my sound, and also will be spending time with family and friends.
Thank you so much for your time. Do you have any final thoughts or comments?
Thanks for having me. Was super fun hanging with you guys, hope you have a great day!