Pride Month Spotlight: Vardaan Arora
If you're not already listening to Vardaan Arora's music, you should be. On May 16th he dropped his latest single “thirty under thirty,” and earlier in the year he released a track entitled “January.” Whether you're looking for a song to dance to, or a song to get you through an existential crisis, Arora has you covered.
The track “thirty under thirty” is an upbeat bop with lyrics that will have you rethinking your entire existence. It's a relatable trek through your twenties, accompanied by a pleasant electronic pop sound. “January,” on the other hand, is a poppy ode to love. A song perfect for celebrating the beginning of a new relationship.
On brand with Vardaan's previous releases, both “thirty under thirty,” and “January” are catchy, upbeat songs with raw, and meaningful lyrics. He utilizes the natural soft rasp in his voice perfectly to convey emotion, while the music lightens the songs keeping them danceable. There's an irresistible angst to the tracks that will leave you wanting more. And perhaps we have more to look forward to?
For Pride Month, Song Plug is featuring LGBTQ+ artists, and we were lucky to connect with Vardaan. He's an out gay musician, and he was generous enough to give us an insight to his experiences in the music industry, as well as music recommendations. Check out Vardaan Arora's music below, but not before hearing from him directly in an exclusive Q&A.
Your latest single thirty under thirty is incredibly relatable. What would you say to a young person who's concerned that they haven't accomplished enough in their lives?
A: Thank you! Glad you think it's relatable. That was my goal. It's hard, because on paper you want to be happy for the success of your peers, but the human mind is a lot more complex than that. We often end up feeling a little jealous. It's not something we usually talk about, so I was nervous releasing the song. I wish I could take the advice I'm about to give - but I guess, as cliché as it sounds, just trust your path. There is no time limit, there are no right or wrong decisions. Stop wondering what you could have done better and start dreaming big. Continuing to try despite being told, sometimes by yourself, that you're going to fail...is not easy, but it's all we can do.
Which of your songs mean the most to you, and why?
A: I'd have to say Feel Good Song. It was the first song I ever wrote, and it was life changing. It opened a door for me that I didn't know I had access to. Being able to express myself through a medium I hadn't ever explored before. I only have happy memories associated with releasing that song.
In your opinion, what's the best way fans can support LGBTQ+ artists?
A: Buy our music! Stream it! Tell your friends about it, tell your family about it, tell your Tinder dates about it - I don't care. We live in a capitalist world that exists within an oppressive system, and we have to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to lift each other up. It's the only way to break the ceiling.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
A: This changes every week, honestly. Such a difficult task for me to pick favorites - I don't even have a favorite movie, actually. I've been a fan of pop music all my life. I always found myself idolizing women, which I guess is true for a lot of gays. Been really into Nordic pop lately - Astrid S, Benjamin Ingrosso, Zara Larsson, Tove Lo etc. Mabel's stuff is cool too. Too many to choose from!
As an out gay artist, what advice would you give to aspiring gay artists?
A: I want to say "just be yourself", but I know it's such a loaded statement. What does that even mean? I really feel lucky to be out and use my small platform to help lift others up in our community, but I know that not everyone has that privilege. I just want people to know that there's no pressure. If right now is not the time for you to come out publicly, there's no need to. Just focus on what inspires you, what makes you happy, and keep making the art that brings you joy. People are going to tell you you're being unrealistic, that the world isn't ready for you, but you gotta keep going. I know I am.
Currently, what's your favorite song by a fellow LGBTQ+ artist?
A: Ah! Again - so hard to pick a favorite. Lately I've been listening to Tom Aspaul's 'Back 2 Earth' a lot. So many other great songs too though! I have a 'queerbops' playlist on Spotify that I'll shamelessly plug. Go listen to queer excellence!
What's your favorite way to celebrate Pride month?
A: I guess I use Pride month as an excuse to treat myself even more so than usual. Go to the spa! Shoot your shot with that person you have a crush on! Take that extra shot of tequila! Just do whatever you want to do without feeling guilty. So much of our lives have been spent feeling guilt. Let's make up for that.
Do you have any projects or upcoming shows you'd like to plug? Feel free to drop links to all of your social media accounts!
A: I'm going to be working on some stuff this summer that I can't talk about yet because it's not set in stone, but I'm @vardaanarora on Twitter and Instagram - so stay tuned for updates!