4 minute read
Interview: Sam // Words: Ollie
“In any job, your network is your currency…”
American pop artist Ariana and the Rose talks to us about her journey from starting out in acting to writing music with millions of streams & views, what it takes to be an artist, challenges & her future in the industry.
“If you approach people in the same way you make music, to connect, you will have way more success” she continues.
Act I. //
Before falling into her current routine of producing anthemic Synth-Pop music, Ariana pursued a different kind of creative future in the city home to Broadway. “I grew up in New York & around the age of 13, I had a job performing in shows as an actress. I went on to get an agent & a manager. In hindsight, I took it all for granted, because I have friends now in their twenties & thirties still looking for support like that. I guess it’s different as a kid because there are no or lesser expectations…if you look cute & can do the part, you’re a shoe in!” she says jokingly.
After writing music as a hobby, Ariana began to realise her future lay in a different sort of performance art: “I played piano for eight years when I was very young thanks to my parents putting me in lessons & there are a lot of actors who also write music, so I was always around it. I remember getting a crash course in lyricism at acting college, where I ended up in a writing session for a Brooklyn rapper, who was looking for pop artists to write hooks. It was a weird starting point for a 5ft 2 girl from Long Island! After doing that & another session for a dance track which ended up getting licensed to Universal, I understood this was my future”.
This realisation was the launchpad for the musician to branch out on her own terms. She explains, “When I grasped that music was what I wanted to do, I called anyone I knew in the industry & asked them to put me in writing sessions. It was a year or so later that I realised I wanted my own artist project. I called it Ariana and the Rose because Rose is my middle name & also my grandma’s name. It has meaning & I love artists like Marina and the Diamonds & Florence + the Machine, who have an entity…something they step into. It is not to say we are not one & the same, we are, but it helps me on stage to feel like I am part of something larger than just myself & allows me to be bold in things like my fashion. I also wanted to try & build something for myself, so chose the artist route rather than become a singer-songwriter”.
Building & Balance. //
Upon founding her project, Ariana has gone on to produce multiple, entrancing songs. “Trends come & go, but as long as you are making good music, I like to think you will cut through as an artist” she is keen to stress.
Cutting through is something she has begun to do. After coming to London & in her words “hustling” for a while, Ariana went on to open for Foxes on her tour in 2014 & in the years since has built her brand as an artist of note. Documenting what is to come, she adds, “I put out an EP, Constellations Phase 1, in July & am spending November in LA writing Phase 2, which will come out early next year”.
In what is an uncompromising business, an exciting future for the talented musician seems to await, but she notes her pathway to her current success has not been without its challenges: “It’s a hard business to be in because you have massive highs followed by real lows…making sure you have balance is key. There have been lots of lows like switching management, changing cities, but the real low is those feelings of whether I should keep going & if it’s really going that well. One thing that helped me was to create a community of people to talk to about the daily struggles. It makes you feel better to discuss the doubts with other people, because you realise you are not alone”.
Ariana also acknowledges these challenges are all part of developing a career in the industry & is keen to signify the importance of taking control to minimise the lows: “I come from a family in business, not music. They are & were always supportive, but they made sure I realised this is a job like any other. My parents drove in to me the importance of making money to pay my bills & my rent. I think having this business sense has allowed me to be open & honest about my feelings, but not straight up negative & quit, because I know without dedication, I won’t get anywhere”.
We conclude the interview by chatting briefly on the evolving music scene. The Long Islander comments, “With streaming sites & social media, people who you or I may never have heard of are finding audiences & selling out venues they were not able to before. I think that’s amazing!”.
Ariana also offers some simple advice to budding musicians: “No matter what, it comes down to the music, so making what you love is important & finding people who love it too & can support you is crucial”.
With a unique sound, Ariana is making waves in the scene & with a passionate desire to produce more seductive, distinctive tracks, has an exciting future which we shall be sure to follow.
Ariana and the Rose’s new EP ‘Constellations Phase 1’ is out now
Follow Ariana and the Rose @arianaandtherose