Listening to ‘Read Your Mind’, the latest from upcoming prospect Pardyalone is an engaging process. The solemn instrumental reverberates, pulling you into a sense of intimate isolation. He then croons through his emotions like a campfire minstrel, telling the tales of his inner thoughts and feelings.
It’s this unabashed vulnerability that has seen Pardyalone achieve virality on platforms like TikTok, relating to pundits around the world with woozy breakout ballads like ‘Not a Home’. But he is not limited to this pocket, as his diversity has continued to shine through the rap-sung energy of tracks like ‘Sincerely, Fuck You’, and the emo-tinged warbles of ‘She Like My Tattoos’. This multi-faceted journey serves as pivotal pit-stops on the way to his upcoming debut full-length I Left You in Minnesota, serving as an ode to his home state, and a statement in his limitless creativity.
To celebrate ‘Read Your Mind’ and the body of work that is on the way, Pardyalone and I hopped on a Zoom call to talk through his diverse influences, honing in on honesty in his music, and how he always is on a quest for substance.
Congratulations on your latest single ‘Read Your Mind’. How are you feeling about the release?
I’m feeling wonderful. As I was writing the record and it came together, it became one that meant something to me in the same sense as ‘Not a Home’. So it feels great to have another one like that; it’s very reassuring.
This track tackles themes such as romantic adversity, and you write about it in an honest, transparent way. How does putting these feelings into a track help you deal with these situations in reality?
I kind of use music like my own little diary entries. I’m able to approach these themes in a song and garner the perspective of others and what they feel the song means when we listen to it back. It allows me to take on life with the power of all these different perspectives that I’ve gathered. It definitely helps me a lot, and it opens my eyes to more.
Why do you think music makes it easier for you to be vulnerable?
It allows me to be comfortable in conversation. It allows me to realise that the music I make resonates and that people can relate to it. Before music, I would just hold all of these things inside, and all that bottling up would make me scared of even the simplest questions like “How was your day?” The music makes it easier because it makes me feel like I’m no longer hiding. I’m presenting who I am and I’m making it clear how I want people to perceive me.
Is there a specific moment you remember when you realised music possessed this power?
It was definitely when I made ‘Not a Home’. That was when I really started to get comfortable with making music. TikTok was a huge part as well because I was able to just grab a microphone and say exactly how I’m feeling or what a specific song was about, and people would come and share their feelings in response. The understanding that many people feel the same things, and it wasn’t just me alone in my room going through this, was very reassuring.
Your music is a reflection of the things you’re going through outside of the studio. Are there ever moments of escapism where you can give yourself a break from dealing with these vulnerabilities?
I don’t think I’ll ever get a break from feeling the things I feel, but even with that, creating music does act like an escape. You know you’re going in there with these feelings, but you also know you’re in that environment to create. When you’re in that zone, you have a sort of tunnel vision, where the only thing you’re thinking of at that moment is the song you’re trying to create. So when the emotions are flowing out, I’m not even thinking about it. I’m at my most transparent when creating, and it’s super sick.
When listening to songs like ‘Read Your Mind’, it’s clear that you have a series of diverse influences. Is there anyone you remember listening to growing up that inspired this limitless creativity you possess?
I listen to so much music, man. Bon Iver is a big one, alongside Morgan Wallen, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Lil Wayne, Maroon 5, and so many more. I don’t think there’s a limit on what you listen to, because it gives you so many different perspectives.
Although every artist you just listed is vastly different, can you identify one trait that they all share?
They all have substance. When it comes to making music, it’s really cool when you make something catchy. But the most important thing to me is substance. I’m not in this to make a hit song, I’m in this to figure out who the fuck I am. It’s cool, because you meet other people in music trying to do the same thing, and you can coexist on that journey.
You’re from Big Lake, Minnesota. What was it like growing up there?
It was actually really cool. I live in Cali now, and I often think about the intimate times with friends back then that you don’t really get in a big city. We were just driving around, going to the beach, skating, fucking around, and overall having a good time. When you continue to explore different perspectives, you often land on times like that being what life is about.
I feel like Minnesota as a whole is a breeding ground of creative minds, from legends like Prince to internet oddballs like Corbin. What is it about the state that you think spawns these unique creatives?
It’s a weird place because there’s so much in Minnesota, but it can often feel like there’s nothing at the same time. It’s a place where it’s easy to get caught in routines, where you live life in a systematic way. When you step outside of that, you get to see both really beautiful and shitty parts of Minnesota, and I think that contrast is what breeds artists.
Your upcoming project encapsulates the state in the title I Left You in Minnesota. Can you talk us through the process of creating this body of work, and what the name means to you?
It relates to the feeling of being stagnant I had before I moved to Cali. The album is me taking what I learned growing up in Minnesota, and transferring it over to where I am now. It really goes through the different perspectives I’ve garnered from living in both places and delves into the experiences of both. Leading up to the project, I have a bunch of visuals, and I’m super excited to release the whole package because it’s a cleaner, more mature version of what I’ve been doing already. There’s a lot of rap, rock, and country influence all throughout, and you really learn about my background and who I am as a person. I’m super excited for it to come out because it’s almost like a rebirth.
Follow Pardyalone here for more and stream the new single ‘Read Your Mind’ now.