Behind the Beat: Ardalan
Of Dirtybird’s impressive roster of artists, Ardalan is among my favorites. I first discovered him right when I started getting into electronic music in 2014 and was hooked from the start. When I was living in San Francisco, his sets at the Dirtybird Quarterly were always a treat that I’d look forward to. Last year I made it a point to see as much of him as I could; making it out to a grand total of 7 of his shows including on Holy Ship!, Dirtybird Quarterly in San Francisco, Justin Martin’s birthday party at Sound in LA, Bang Bang in San Diego, East Room in Chicago, Movement in Detroit, and finally at Dirtybird Campout. When the opportunity to interview him prior to his show at TheMID in Chicago presented itself, I was stoked to say the least. We had an awesome little sit-down in the green
room prior to his show. Like so many of the artists on Dirtybird, Ardalan’s personable, fun-loving, and engaging demeanor comes paired with an almost larger than life persona. There were times during the interview where I had to remind myself that I was there to do a job rather than catching up with a homie.
Only the Beat: How was ship?
Ardalan: Ship was majestic as fuck! Just beautiful. Shipfam all day! So much fun hanging out and getting to see everyone. I got to DJ on a private island!! It was like whipped cream on freshly on gluten free pop tarts. It was like when you’re cutting wrapping paper and the scissors start to glide. It just went went by so fast. Justin [Martin] did some amazing footage. He’s been doing a lot of video lately and made a whole Holy Ship film.
Only the Beat: What was your favorite part?
Ardalan: The Island was amazing. I did a B2B with Christian Martin. My set at the Manhattan room, TEED, and The Christian + Justin Martin drum & bass set was another highlight.
Only the Beat: At any Festival there’s always one or two tracks that inevitably end up getting played a ton. Usually it’s something big that’s not out yet. What did you hear a lot of?
Ardalan: I heard Jesse Perez – The Fake and Chris Lake’s Operator.
Only the Beat: How did you feel about the new boat this year? Did you
miss the Divina?
Ardalan: Day and night amazing! The last ship was like a carne asada supreme burrito. This one was like a fajita feast of fine brazilian steak. Like a sizzler. I’m hungry now.
Only the Beat: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever caught your roommate, Justin Martin doing in the house?
Ardalan: One time he was filming for this Drum & Bass blog. He grabbed me and was like “Hey listen Ardy, we need an elf in a costume. You need to be an elf. He gave me money and told me to find an ELF costume. I went andcame back with an ELF costume that was actually part of the ELF movie set! We shot for 30 minutes and it was ridiculous. I was hiding behind trees and popping out, doing all kinds of weird stuff. Then I had to go to a Christmas dinner so we had to cut it short and Retake it. They had to put Fernando [Dirtybird’s Tour Manager] in ELF Costume and in the video instead.
Only the Beat: Oh wow, what’s it like being Justin’s roomie day-to-day?
Ardalan: Justin when we’re at home is a somewhat serious dude when it comes to working and music. He’s a one man festival. He telepathically brings the vibes! *
Only the Beat: What is the best prank you guys have pulled on each other?
Ardalan: When we first started living together I used to sleep in until noon. Justin would come into my room with a megaphone to wake me up.
Only the Beat:How have you grown as a producer living with Justin?
Ardalan: It’s been profound on the way I make music. When he knows something is good he just runs with it. It makes me more assertive.