"Who's Hot?" Interview
By: Omar Cook
This week's "Who's Hot?" Artist of the week is a singer from the DMV, Narde! Narde hails from Richmond, Virginia and was raised by her mother and music, which took the place of her father. While attending college at VCU, she began making music that she felt wasn’t like anything she heard before, and started to take it more seriously once people began listening and showing interest. After graduation, she left everything she knew and traveled out to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. Narde has a sound unlike any other artist out, authentic to her own style. “I describe my music to others as smokers music, very groovy and thoughtful. Nothing to twerk to. Just something you can vibe too, it’s calming, hypnotizing.”
We talked with Narde in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
QUESTION: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING MUSIC AND HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Narde: I have been making music since I was about 17. All my friends made music and I wasn’t any different. It would be a bunch of us in a room just creating, making music, writing, shooting videos, that was what we did for fun. I didn’t start taking myself seriously as an artist until 2 years ago.
QUESTION: MUSICALLY, WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE IN HELPING YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY AND WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS?
Narde: I would say my biggest musical influence is Outkast, I love anything that is just downright different and goes against the mainstream. I am naturally inspired by helping others, I am a giver and I want my music to reflect in a positive helpful way. Helping me along the way, I have some friends who are in the same boat I am, making music and hoping the world loves it. Seeing them not quit is a huge motivation for me. Narde’s music includes an R&B and indie vibe mixed with a futuristic sound.
QUESTION: WHAT ARTISTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH AND WHY?
Narde: In the future, I would love to collaborate with Sango, Little Dragon, The Internet.
QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR BEST SONG/PROJECT EVER RELEASED AND WHY?
Narde: It’s interesting, what I think is my best song isn’t always peoples’ favorite. The fan favorite right now is “Lover’s Dream”. Which is the first song I wrote taking music seriously. It resonates in a positive way with love and growth. My favorite however, is “Black Diamonds” or “Higher” which have a bit more somber moods.
QUESTION: WHAT PROJECTS CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Narde: In the near future, you can expect some very eclectic yet futuristic sounds that I am very proud of. I wouldn’t make music if it didn’t offer a different sound. So, you’re going to be getting a splash of newness real soon.
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU GENERATE NEW IDEAS FOR YOUR MUSIC?
Narde: Most of my ideas from music come from experience, either from myself or others. I am an empath, so it is very easy for me to put myself in other people’s shoes and try to understand what they are feeling. That’s my favorite place to make music from, the perspective of others.
QUESTION: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Narde: I am motivated by the art of it all. Fame scares me, it isn’t natural. I’m not necessarily trying to be noticed, I just want to offer the world a new perspective and some good music. Success for me comes when I know a person has been affected by my music in a way that gets them through there day or out of a bad mood or through heartbreak or even helps them fall more in love.
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC TO PEOPLE?
Narde: I describe my music to others as smokers music, very groovy and thoughtful. Nothing to twerk to. Just something you can vibe too, it’s calming, hypnotizing. I always do what I want with my art, it’s also pretty deep at times, I try to stay away from trends and that’s possibly what sets me apart.
QUESTION: DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A FORMULA TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST?
Narde: The formula for being a successful artist should always be do what you love and do it well. The world will catch on.
QUESTION: Who is your greatest inspiration?
Narde: My biggest inspiration is my future self. I want her to look back and have no regrets.
QUESTION: IN YOUR OPINION WHO IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND SUCCESSFUL ARTIST IN YOUR GENRE TODAY AND WHY?
Narde: There is no one out here doing what I’m doing exactly. I haven’t placed myself into a genre so it’s hard to say, who is leading.
QUESTION: WHICH EMOTION MORE THAN ANY OTHER, CURRENTLY DOMINATES YOUR MUSIC?
Narde: Passion drives my music, next is love, then hardship and injustice. I want my music to matter. I want it to be a product of the times and I would love for it to make people think. A lot of music today lacks thoughtfulness. I get that music is an escape, but it has the power to change everything.
Question: What sacrifices have you had to make, to make your dream a reality?
Narde: I have made many sacrifices to pursue music. I left everything I knew in my life back on the east to get the tools I needed to do what I love. Sleeping on couches, in cars, homes with no A/C for months at a time. The hardest thing though, is being away from my family but technology has of course helped with that.
QUESTION: WHAT ASPECT OF THE MUSIC MAKING PROCESS EXCITES YOU MOST, AND WHAT ASPECT DISCOURAGES YOU THE MOST?
Narde: I love the writing process of music, I love hearing a beat and it takes over my entire essence. It’s like time traveling to a place or time and then from there I let that space become me and I just write what I feel. Sharing the music can be discouraging because the vulnerability but that’s also the beauty in it.
QUESTION: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR MUSIC IN 10 YEARS?
Narde: In 10 years, I see myself having done several tours and hopefully at least 4 more albums. But overall, I see myself as a happy being, spreading love.
QUESTION: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER UP AND COMING ARTISTS OR PEOPLE LOOKING TO BREAK INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
Narde: I would advise anyone coming into the music industry to realize, if music is not something you love to the core, then it might not be worth it to you. It takes A LOT of work, dedication and consistency. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and make sure it always remains a labor of love.