Hooks & Waves: Q&A with Arden Jones

Hooks & Waves: Q&A with Arden Jones

With the world still at the feet of the pandemic, Arden Jones heartened listeners with fetching hooks and palpable narratives. At the beginning of 2021, his debut single, Parallel Parking, went viral on TikTok and amassed millions of streams on Spotify's Viral 50 charts and other top playlists.

Arden is a multi-instrumentalist, and ukulele recently became a key tool for his contagious songwriting and performances. Kala is proud to be his ukulele brand of choice, and we'd like to officially announce Arden as part of our Kala Artist Roster! We recently asked Arden to share more of his beginnings, creative approach and his relationship with ukulele:

Tell us a bit about how ukulele has played a role in your musical journey.

I used to pick up the uke here and there around the house when I was younger but guitar was always my focus. It wasn't until half way through 2022 when I picked up a ukulele from Guitar Center and fell in love with it. I just wanted something portable and simple to come up with melodies to.


What's your go-to Kala uke model, and why?

I love the KA-SA-T and KA-SA-TE-C models because the wood is so solid and beautiful. They create a really nice tone especially in the tenor size. I've had a few different types and I love all the ukes Kala makes.

Tell us more about your writing process— do you have a consistent method? Are you a music/melody first, or lyrics-first writer?

I usually write melody and lyrics at the same time over some sort of guitar or ukulele. I kinda just hum different melodies till I find something that I like, then fit the words in like a puzzle.


Being from the Bay, how would you describe the feeling of taking the stage at the Fox Theater (Oakland) this Fall?

It was unreal. I couldn't believe I got to play at such an amazing venue that I grew up going to. I can't thank Chelsea Cutler enough for having me along for the ride.


Did you see a lot of live music here while growing up? Any really memorable live shows that you attended?

I went to Outside Lands every year in high school and would go to shows at The Fox and other venues around the Bay. The Avett Brothers was the first concert I ever went to - my parents took me when I was around 8 years old.

We heard that really lovely cover of yours of "Riptide," which took us right back to hearing it from Vance Joy for the first time almost 10 years ago. What drew you to cover that song?

I think that's one of the best songs ever, especially out of songs using Ukulele. Vance Joy is incredible and I just wanted to add a little spin on his already incredible song.

Who have been some of the biggest influences on the way that you write and produce your music today?

Dominic Fike has been huge just because of how well he can put together a body of work as well as how different his songs are from each other. I think it's super cool to see someone branch out into different genres and production styles.



 Any advice for someone interested/just getting started with playing ukulele or songwriting?

 Do it everyday and do the parts of it that make you happy.


What are you looking forward to most in 2023?

I cant wait to release more music of course... But the main thing is becoming a better performer and giving people the best live shows I can.  

In partnership with vnclm_/Atlantic Records, Arden released his debut full length, Age Tape 0 in NOV of 2022, and spent the fall opening for Chelsea Cutler on a national tour. In JAN/FEB of 2023, Arden will headline a West Coast tour. You can find out more about Arden's music and upcoming performances on his website.

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