Toronto-based folk artist Ian Arden tackles mental health on ‘Nadia’
It’s always interesting that in some languages similar words can have different meanings. And Toronto folk artist Ian Arden speaks to two meanings in his latest song “Nadia.”
In Russian, Nadia means “hope,” and in Arabic, Nadia means “delicate.” The character of Nadia in his new song and accompanying music video represents both of those words while describing someone who has been suffering for too long.
“The music video and the song depict a beautiful, innocent young maiden. As I am the ‘Toronto troubadour’ she represents the muse that has guided me throughout my life,” said Ian of the “Nadia” video.
Ian started to focus his music on mental health after he noticed how people around him were struggling. “Nadia” is a song that sounds like the 20th Century but remains current and impactful with its slow yearning and captivating chorus with a polished and modern folk sound.
“The song taught me to not be silent about mental health and to speak my truth. I take away from it the knowledge that I can firmly stand for what I believe,” says Ian.
“Nadia” is the first single off the EP Songs for Rebecca that continues to be centred around stories of trying to live in the modern world and those struggles. Ian’s first release has a list of guest appearances from local artists and blends pop and folk with songs that have the power to uplift anyone.
Songs for Rebecca is the first album by the Montreal-born troubadour. After moving to Toronto, Ian’s father made him recite lyrics to songs from artists like Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan to help him learn English and overcome his stammer. Although the process was unscientific, and maybe a little scarring, those influences can be heard throughout the album in its poetic lyrics and progressive folk elements.