Introducing… Bri Arden.
Critically acclaimed pop-rock singer-songwriter Bri Arden is embracing a whole new era of centered creativity and lyrical depth as she readies new music for her third album and completes a PledgeMusic campaign to support its recording.
Arden had a promising start in high school, getting the opportunity to sing backup for Vanessa Williams. She’s nurtured her talents with a 5-year association with Nine Days (“Story Of A Girl”) singer John Hampson. “He’s an incredible producer and friend. He fostered my growth as a musician and person.”
NYC’s Deli Magazine had this to say of Arden’s Hampson-produced sophomore album Awake: “The Americana singer/songwriter looks and sounds like she just flew in from Texas, but Arden was in fact born right here in downtown NYC. Listening to songs from her second record ‘Awake,’ like barnburner ‘Mr. Anonymous’ or the wispy ‘Wherever You Go,’ your first impression might be of an alt-country singer filed somewhere between Carrie Underwood or Lady Antebellum.” Live, people frequently marvel at what a big voice comes from such a tiny girl. The blog Musically Enticing has said: “Bri Arden showed once more that the best gifts are surely found in small packages.”
A transformative event for Arden’s career occurred when her mom bumped into a woman at a coffee shop and Arden’s mom mentioned she was looking for a guitar teacher for her daughter. That random meeting led to working with guitarist/musician Billy Masters, best known for his work with Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Suzanne Vega, Lyle Lovett, and Kid Rock. Her work with Masters immersed her in the songwriting world. “The community has been great to me. It is a rather small network. Once you’re in it, you’re in it. It’s humbling,” Arden reveals. “The writing scene opened it’s arms to me.”
She’s written extensively in New York and Nashville, with notable writers such as John Hampson, Ron Aniello (Bruce Springsteen, Lifehouse, Barenaked Ladies), Rebecca Lynn Howard (“Forgive”), and Marshall Altman (“Parachute” with Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson, Natasha Bedingfield). “I love poetry and I love music, but they are two different entities. However, songwriting is a curious amalgam of both. Songwriting is a craft and I had to learn it. I’ve been fortunate to work with talented people who have guided me,” Arden says of her songcraft schooling with the heavy hitters.
The NYC-native’s new music plugs the electricity of her live show into a soul-rock aesthetic. This time her ace band will join her for the type of nuanced, deep interplay an artist can only get from musicians they’ve gigged with many, many times. With this band she recently won SESAC’s NYC College Battle of the Bands. It’s a revelatory time for Arden, not only has she found a muse in her band, she’s also broken through as a lyricist to write her most boldly emotional lyrics to date.
“I’m at a point in life where I don’t care how my lyrics are interpreted. They are what they are. ‘Soul’ means coming from a place of truth. People know it when they hear it.” Her lyrics are confessional, but they also integrate her passion for Women’s & Gender Studies, Sociology, and Psychology, fields she explores academically at Columbia University and professionally.
“I am proud and humbled to be making this album with my band. It is the band I have played with for years. During that period of time I have written hundreds of songs. Some have been for other people, some I have thrown away, and some I hold very dear to my heart. I have introduced the band to around 100 of them. We have played maybe 80 of the songs live over the years, and we have narrowed our set lists down to an ever-changing 20 or so songs. It is because of the audience, my band, and my experiences that these songs have come to life, and that is exactly what will be on this next album.”
“This album is years of life experiences and emotions. I can’t wait to share it.”