Vardaan Arora Goes to Prom All Alone in ‘Heartbreak On The Dance Floor’ Video
The New Delhi-born New York-based actor and singer released his debut EP last week
Some of the best advice that New York singer-actor Vardaan Arora received about reaching out for collaborations came via his mother, who told him never to be afraid to send an email or DM to an artist. “As long as it’s coming from a good place, people will see that and the worst case is that you’ll get rejected,” Arora says.
His own gleaned advice from another source is also cited by the New Delhi born queer artist who just released his debut EP Heartbreak On The Dance Floor. “I remember this quote, ‘The answer is always no until you ask.’” While it’s certainly a world full of DM-for-collab artists on social media, Arora has found several of his producers, songwriters and featured voices via Instagram.
The six-track Heartbreak On The Dance Floor features co-writes by fellow Indo-American singer-songwriter Natania Lalwani, Korean pop artist MRSHLL (on the darkly seductive “I Don’t Wanna Know,”) producers such as Canada’s Kennen and Los Angeles producer Matt Ferree aka Not Famous. “It’s just three people in the room, which I prefer. I don’t love it when there’s like four writers in the room because then I get a little self-conscious.”
Watch the video for “Heartbreak On The Dance Floor”
While Arora has developed a longer and closer association with the likes of Natania and Not Famous ever since he started putting out music in 2016, Heartbreak On The Dance Floor is pretty much a DIY project for the pop artist.
He says about taking on music promotion activities, “I feel like 2020 is a time where you can do that, because there was a time where that was impossible to do all by yourself. But now I feel like you have access to all the tools that let you do that on your own. I mean, the world is shut down. So I have all the time in the world to be able to do it. It’s a bit of both; I want to be DIY by choice, but at the same time, I don’t want to work with anyone, unless they’re fully on board with me as an artist.”
Like with some of his best known songs to date – “January,” “Feel Good Song” – Arora also deals with heavy vulnerabilities on this EP, for which he had song titles first and foremost, even before the lyrics. “I feel like ’empowering’ is the adjective that I would use to describe how I feel when I’m writing these songs because a lot of the lyrics stem from a place of anxiety or depression. It’s almost like it’s always going on in my head and to be able to take it out of my head and put it on a piece of paper and make it tangible, feels empowering,” he says.
Arora explores confidence, anxiety, sexiness, self-doubt and aims to portray that all these emotions can co-exist. Diving into glimmering pop that swivels every now and then, Arora has a handle on catchy pop that still places the most importance on emotive melodies. Some of the song were written in 10 minutes (“Imposter Syndrome”) while others took just about an hour. The EP closes with the cheeky “Expensive on Me,” cowritten by Natania. “I think it’s a reminder to just sometimes not take things too seriously,” Arora says.
While the artist originally came to New York to study acting and it has also been a regular gig apart from music, the pandemic has changed some things around. “I did work on a film last year that was supposed to come out this year. I’m looking forward to that,” he says. Arora has definitely got his feet planted firmly in both spaces. “The great things about being a musician and an actor is that you have two things to be passionate and excited about. So once you’ve put your heart into the music, and it’s all done, you sort of feel that emptiness. Then you can turn to this other thing that you’re passionate about, just fill that void that you might feel,” he says.
Stream the EP below and more on platforms here.