Pardison Fontaine is no stranger to keeping it humble. As his career in music as a rapper and songwriter continues to yield new signifiers of success, each win brings him back to the name of his 2015 debut mixtape: Not Supposed to Be Here. With the simple but integral reminder that his victories in music are not promised or guaranteed, he remains driven to keep pushing against all odds and continue disrupting the norm.
Born Jordan Thorpe in Newburgh, Fontaine initially focused his talents on the basketball court before making the decision to shift gears away from his athleticism and wholeheartedly dedicate his time to his artistry. After returning to his roots in upstate New York, Fontaine found himself working with Cardi B, who recognized his songwriting prowess behind the scenes. After co-writing her breakthrough single, 2017’s “Bodak Yellow,” which appeared on her Grammy award-winning album Invasion of Privacy, Fontaine went on to work with G-Eazy (“No Limit”), Rita Ora (“Girls”) and on Kanye West’s 2018 album Ye.
In September 2018, he touched the Billboard charts on his own accord as a recording artist, dropping the undeniable ear-worm “Backin’ It Up” featuring Cardi B. The single went on to reach No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since racked up over 70 million streams on Spotify alone. Despite experiencing life-changing successes, he has made sure never to lose sight of where he comes from.
”I am everything I got from Newburg,” the Atlantic Records signee shares during a conversation with REVOLT TV’s Scottie Beam. “It’s a different mentality, a different environment. It’s a small city so everybody knows each other. But, it’s like one of the most vibrant cities ever. I credit Newburg for all of that. Without it, I wouldn’t be me.”
As an artist, Fontaine describes himself as being both a high-energy performer and a well-rounded creative, two attributes allowing him to bring different something to the table that is as authentic as it is appreciated by fans. When it comes to performing at festivals specifically, the artist truly comes to life as an entertainer. He is simply eager to express himself as a creative disrupter and give the audience a show they will never forget.
”I gotta go all out crazy ‘cause they out here for me and I think that’s what’s beautiful about festivals,” Fontaine explains passionately. “[You have] different people from different cities all coming to hear music that they genuinely enjoy. You get that real relationship with them. They see you at a festival and they feel like ‘Yo, that’s my person.’ Once that happened to me, I was like I love festivals.”
From winning over the festival crowd to expressing himself through music, Fontaine’s motivation is simple in theory, but impactful in practice: Always strive to inspire others. Learn more about what drives Pardison Fontaine to disrupt the norm in the exclusive interview clip below, as unlocked by SIMPLE Mobile.