The Australian born, London resident, Lachie A’rden has DJ’d at Ministry of Sound and Egg London, among other spots like Solomons’ Yard in East London before the Defected guys, all on a failed kidney in dialysis. Now, freshly rejuvenated out of a kidney transplant surgery on April 26th, the melodic dance music producer, inspired by the sounds of Ibiza and Miami ups his game with his latest release, ‘Say Something’ featuring top-line vocals from the revered folk artist, Tyler Sjöström.
Offering an extended mix Lachie paints with deep house elements and his staple piano melody to offer a source of positivity and inspiration for ‘Say Something’. A’rden draws on a vast collection of life experiences and influencers from multiple genres to take his listeners on a journey made of uplifting strings and warm piano chords flowing over driving bass-lines.
Enjoy Lachie A’rden’s polished discography while reading his passionate story during our exclusive interview.
What was your very first electronic music festival or show you attended?
I attended the Big Day Out, Melbourne, in 2000. Amazing line-up that year and at the end you had to choose between Chilli Peppers on the Main Stage vs The Chemical Brothers in the boiler room. My primary reason for going was to see Chemical Brothers so the choice was easy. The boys just exploded in the boiler room unlike anything I’d see before, amazing stuff, I didn’t at the time fully appreciate what they were doing or how, just that it was awesome music and an epic show.
Who are you listening to lately?
I listen to a lot of the current big commercial names like Tiesto, Robin Schulz, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Don Diablo. I’m also liking Thierry Von Der Warth a lot at the moment as my sound is similar. I also like to listen to a lot of deep/melodic house from the likes of Nora En Pure, ArtLec and Joris Voorn also as a lot of my music starts out with a melodic house vibe before moving more commercial with the vocal toplines and arrangement changes.
Can you share an antidote around your new release ‘Say Something’?
I wrote the original song almost two years ago at the beginning of my journey into music and it was originally written using a sample with the lyric ‘Say Something’ before being toplined by Tyler Sjostrom. Tyler reached out to me about doing something together and I sent him a few songs and he just loved this one and did an amazing job with it. I still love that original sample but dropped it from the release version.
How are you feeling fresh out of surgery? Who donated your new kidney? How can you thank them?
Receiving a kidney is an incredible experience. Being on dialysis is essentially life support, your body in just functioning enough to keep the lights, it just can’t do what a kidney does. Within 24/48 hours of receiving a transplant its like the clouds part, your mind becomes clear again, your body immediately bounces back and you are filled with energy. I’m currently day 3 post op and am feeling better than I have in many years, I can’t wait to embrace life again to its fullest. Nothing makes you appreciate life more than having it taken away. I received a kidney from the UK’s NHS paired and pooled programme. This means my donor, my fiancé who does not match me donated her kidney to someone else and I received one in return from another donor. Our chain consisted of an altruistic donor donating to a recipient who’s donor donated to me and my donor (my fiancé) donated to someone on the waiting list without a donor. My fiancé has given me my life back so all I can give in return is the very best of myself, there is no way to repay such a gift.
Can you share a little about your sound? what are your intentions behind your music? What draws you to your particular style of music?
My sound unlike a lot of EDM producers, is based around melody rather than bass. I write the melody first and look for the heart and soul in the song and often deliver the final bass line last, even after the vocal topline. This can at times make it quite difficult to get the bass line right but for me writing music is an emotive experience and that starts with melody then lyrics. I strive to write uplifting, feel good music. I love uplifting music because it can transport you out of any situation, I’ve drawn on music throughout my life to manage challenging circumstances and stay positive.
What are your plans for the summer?
First and foremost, focus on my health and getting back to enjoying life with my partner. I wrote a lot of music during the lockdowns in the UK so have a number of new releases coming out starting with Say Something on the 30th, then a collaboration with Robbie Rosen (American Idol finalist) in May followed by another great collaborator I’ve done a few songs with, in June. Beyond that I would love to see live music coming back and getting back out there. Like most artists I truly love playing live no matter the size of crowd. There is nothing quite like that instant feedback and connection you get from a live crowd. I’ve only ever played live while on dialysis so I can’t wait to do it fully fit and firing!
Would you want to share a little about the life changing experience that set you on a new path?
In 2018 my second kidney transplant failed, and I was forced to reassess life, my priorities, what was important to me. I had spent the previous 16 years working a city job and was forced to leave this behind due to being unable to make it to the office every day while doing dialysis. This was a true turning point for me, so when my work ended in early 2019, I chose to do something for pure enjoyment and started a DJ course at the London Sound Academy. One thing led to another and within a couple months I had started producing.
Music brought such a positive focus to my life during a difficult time being a dialysis patient. I’ve had a long-standing love of music but no previous experience and never imagined I could achieve anything musically.
Electronic music opened up opportunities in music I had never considered possible. I taught myself music theory, piano and began writing and composing my own songs. Once I started collaborating with other amazingly talented artists like Tyler Sjostrom, Zhiko and Joey Djia music really started to open up to me as potentially a profession, but as every artist will attest, its a tough journey, you have to love it as the rewards you take from it are more about personal fulfilment initially at least. For me the reward is in hearing music come to life that I have composed when toplines are added and final arrangements come together. I still listen to some of my songs and think ‘did I really write that’, its such a beautiful creative outlet.
If you could break one world record, what would it be?
Holding my breath underwater. I was an avid scuba diver before my kidney failed and cannot wait to get back in the water but would also love to try free diving which requires incredible lung capacity. The freedom you get underwater without the tank and other apparatus makes for a more connected experience.