What do a parade float, Mardi Gras beads, and a masquerade have to do with camping? When you are at Dirtybird Campout West Coast 2019 in Modesto, they come together to create the perfect traveling stage for a surprise album listening party as DJ/artist Ardalan took to the beaten campground paths to share his upcoming album, Mr. Good.
And just a few short hours before the Parade embarked from the Dirtybird Games HQ, I met with Ardalan backstage to not only chat about the San Francisco DJ’s upcoming album.
Ardalan and I spoke about the meaning behind Mr. Good and the masks people wear through life. We also talked about going on Escapades with Walker & Royce through New York City, experimenting with a new sound for a future album inspired by his Persian heritage and childhood in Iran, attending his first Dirtybird BBQ at 17, and releasing his first Dirtybird track with Justin Martin at 19. Last all, we talked about what it means to him that Mr. Good will be the final Dirtybird release ever made in the San Francisco home he shared with his label mate and mentor.
So excited to play The Great Northern on Saturday to celebrate my album release AAAAND my birthday! 🥳 Be sure to grab tickets before they're all gone!Tickets – https://bit.ly/2ps4mH0
Posted by Ardalan on Wednesday, October 30, 2019
You have an album coming out on November 1st. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
My album is called Mr. Good. I called it “Mr. Good” because I wanted to basically talk about the idea how we as people always somehow wear a mask… hiding our mistakes or flaws. And this album is basically saying] We all should just be ourselves. You know. And not give a Fuck. But be a good person. In some ways. It goes deeper than that but… that’s what it represents.
Is there any particular event that inspired that message?
I guess that what really inspired the idea Mr. Good] is just the fact that musically I had a period where I wanted to play different stuff but I felt like I couldn’t. And I felt like people didn’t know who I really was. What music I play or what type music I make. So I feel like I had an identity crisis and this album I wanted to do something that was completely me. And I just wanted to accept who I am] and make the weirdest music ever. And also the most musical music on the dance floor. Works for the dancefloor but also music so you can listen to it at home or anywhere else.
Is there a genre you would put it in?
I guess it is like house and techno. But I do have like a hip hop/drum and bass track on there that I made. Walker and Royce closed out with it last night. Which was really awesome. I have trouble picking out one genre] But it’s between techno house with a little bit breakbeat and drum & bass.
***the track Walker and Royce closed out with is “Lifted.” Check it out below. Know there was a lot birdies hunting for this after Campout. Be sure to check out the rest the album at the end the interview.
My friend told me you got started with Dirtybird on Holy Ship. But I’ve heard a couple different versions that story. Which one is the real story?
I started with Dirtybird… I started way before Holy Ship actually. It was when I was 17 years old. I went to my first Dirtybird BBQ ever at] Golden Gate Park 2007. I met Justin Martin], Barkley Crenshaw], Christian Martin], and I met Fernando Rivera].
Were you already making music at this point?
Kind . That party changed my life. I was like I want to be a DJ but I want to be like this. That was my first ever experience partying. Because I wasn’t 21. So I’d never been to a nightclub. I started f with my own little rave experience with the Dirtybird BBQ. I’m like this randomly and you know everyone’s just got that awesome San Francisco vibe. And I started going to Sunset Parties at the same time as Dirtybird. And that really is who made me. I’ve learned it from those guys. I’m so blessed to be part the experience that… energy.
So you started young!
I started when I was 17. I had my first release when I was 19 with Dirtybird called “Mr. Spock” with Justin Martin. And then I moved in with Justin. He really did help me. In so many ways. And I’m really grateful to have him as like my brother.
Did he teach you more the technical DJing] stuff or like life lessons?
We were just working and we had] our studios in our house. We were living on Church Street where he lived for 17 years. Where he made his two albums: Ghetto Gardens and Hello Clouds. That part San Francisco has so many memories. So many good spirits. You know? I feel really proud making my album in that house]. It’s kind symbolic in an emotional way for me]. I ended living there with my album and no one lives there anymore. We all moved out. So Mr. Good is the last album coming out there. It’s a kind closure to that time.
A lot Dirtybird artists have also gone on to create their own label. Is that something you are thinking about?
Eventually, I want to do that. But I want to focus on finishing the music and just releasing it on other labels and Dirtybird. And doing more music with friends. So that’s definitely the pipeline but I’m just waiting for the right time. I’m doing my own party right now. Ardy Party. Parties everywhere and some with Walker and Royce as Escapade. Now, this album is over the next step is some more experimental stuff as well.