JRDN has been gone but he certainly hasn’t been forgotten.

When we last heard from the Halifax-born, Toronto-based R&B artist, he had just won a Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year and released JRDNEP. The year was 2014 and JRDN had it all. On top of the gold records and awards, he was managed by CP Records (The Weeknd, Belly) and working in the studio with Kuya Productions, the team behind Alessia Cara’s early success. And then just like that it was all gone.

After making poor decisions revolving around ill fated love, JRDN lost his manager, producer and his music. But JRDN’s story is not one of pity. It’s a story of redemption. In that period of darkness, he found a light in the birth of his daughter, which became a beacon of hope. And now in 2018, JRDN is back. “I literally had to take a hiatus, but in that time I created a ton of music,” JRDN says. “Now we’ve reached a point where we can start releasing it.”

The first of many projects to come is “Better,” a new single officially marking his comeback. When he first began writing the song it was a kiss off to his ex, but soon it morphed into a touching tribute to his daughter. “‘Better’ was originally about a situation I was in with a girl from back in the day,” he explains. “But then I flipped it and added a bridge to discuss my daughter and show that now it’s all good. Really it’s just about relationships that didn’t work out and just putting that confidence out to the world that I’m gonna be good regardless of what’s happened.”

While his hits like “U Can Have It All” and “Like Magic” continue to flow in rotation across Canadian mainstream radio, JRDN is looking to move on from his past and focus on a bright future ahead, beginning with “Better.” “Most of the music I’ve put out in the past is pretty clean, but now I’m able to be more confident with my art,” he says. “Having that time away where I wasn’t able to put out music has helped me step back and figure out how I can come back and fit in with my own twist on what’s going on. Everything I’m ready to put out isn’t trying to fit any format. Now that I have this leeway to do what I want creatively I’ve just been making music that I love.”