What was your inspiration for “U Smile?”
Arden: “U Smile” had an organic vibe from start to finish. Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis got on the guitar and I got on the piano. We just jammed until we came up with chords that we fell in love with. We collaborated with August Rigo, who wrote the lyrics, and Justin Bieber. Everything seemed to just mesh really well. Justin made a couple of changes and, in the end, we had something we knew would be a hit.
What are you working on, currently?
A: I’m currently working with Estelle and Musiq Soulchild, who is a very gifted artist. I don’t want to say too much, but you’ll be hearing more from me soon.
Where are you from, originally?
A: I was born in Brooklyn, but raised in Jamaica, Queens. I’m Haitian; my parents are from Haiti.
Who is your musical mentor and why?
A: My musical mentors are Wyclef Jean and Wonda. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them for over 7 years, during which they trained me; they prepared me to create hits.
What was your first introduction into the music industry?
A: My cousin, Ricky St. Hilaire, who’s a mix engineer/producer introduced me to the music business. My first project was the album, “Anarchy” for Busta Rhymes. I was his tracking engineer at the time. From there, I ended up meeting Jimmy Cozier. We became partners, then wrote and produced, “Mr. Man” for Alicia Keys and Darius Rucker’s “Hold On” from his first solo album.