credit: David-Simon Dayan

EXCLUSIVE: Soulful songstress Ari talks debut single ‘Baptize’

If you’re looking for a new artist who will restore your faith in music, then look no further than soulful singer-songwriter Ari.

Born and raised in Tarzana, CA, Ari has grown up with music, dancing and performing arts, and began singing at just six years old. Over the years, her love for music has continued to grow and by 16, Ari began songwriting professionally. Taking inspiration from art such as poetry and photography, she has written for a number of recording artists including The Crystal Fighters, DJ Whiteshadow and Avi Kaplan.

Today saw Ari release her debut single ‘Baptize’, a haunting and honest offering which showcases her captivating vocal prowess. ‘Baptize’ provides us with a small glimpse of what we can expect from Ari in the future, and marks a strong debut from the songstress.

We spoke to Ari about ‘Baptize’, her future music, her other creative outputs including dancing and cooking, and more.

Hi Ari, welcome to CelebMix! First off, please introduce yourself with an unusual fact.

Hi, I’m Ari and a very unusual fact about me is that in addition to singing and songwriting, I also invented fire. Wait, did I say I invented fire? I meant, I just burned myself. But don’t worry, I’m not burned bad. Is that an unusual fact? No? Okay, well then I don’t have one, I guess. 

You released your debut single ‘Baptize’ today. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?

I want to be the next Pope. But really, It’s a song of catharsis for me. When I wrote it, I was dealing with my own garbage. You reach a point in adulthood when you realize you’ve been hating yourself for most of your life. I know it’s morbid, but it’s true for most to some degree, unless you’re a narcissist or sociopath. Once you’re aware, you deal with it however you know how. The song is about freeing yourself from the chains of the mind. Or something like that. 

What was the creative process like? How long did it take to write the song?

I was thinking how wonderful it would be to wipe your brain clean of trauma. A baptism of the mind, if you will. The song just wrote itself from there in a few hours. 

The song is so haunting, we can already picture a striking music video for it! Are there any plans in the works to release a video?

HAUNTING!? Oh, yes, I want to haunt people. I will do that when I die. But not scary haunting, annoying haunting. I’ll hide one shoe and remove toothpaste caps and turn off music and blow out candles while you’re trying to seduce your partner. Yes, the music video will be released at the end of July. I had a chance to collaborate with some of my favorite dancers and artists in Los Angeles. The video is also V haunting. Or annoying, like when I said V haunting.

Can we expect an EP/album in the future?

Yes, yes. The future is now and now is the future, and in the future there will be an EP/Album and that is now. Until then, Singles! Singles! I’m told the people only want singles. I’m a people-pleaser. 

credit: David-Simon Dayan

What do you hope that people will take away from your music?

I hope people don’t take anything away from my music. I hope they leave it as is and enjoy it and feel something when they listen. That’s what art is about, feeling something. Just feel me up, people! I mean, feel me. I mean, feel. Just feel. Please don’t touch me. 

You’ve been involved in various aspects of the performing arts culture since you were six years old. What made you decide to focus on singing?

When I’m singing I feel like I’m home. It’s where I feel the freest. 

Growing up in Tarzana, what was the music scene like there?

Non-existent. It’s a suburb of LA. All we had was strip malls and ungodly amounts of free parking. 

You name artists such as Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone as inspirations of yours. What is it about these artists that inspires you?

The way in which they are able to birth light from darkness. It’s truly holy. 

credit: David-Simon Dayan

Aside from singing, you’re a keen dancer. How does dancing allow you to express yourself in comparison to songwriting?

Both songwriting and dancing are forms of release for me, therapy if you will. Songwriting is a very cerebral and emotional process. You have to relive and re-feel experiences and it can be painful. It’s very healing, but also heavy and taxing at times. Dancing is purely a physical release. I don’t think too much when dancing, I just move and enjoy myself and express through my body. Songwriting is always first for me, however. I love you music, you sexy thing, you.

You also love to cook in your spare time – what’s your signature dish?

I have a lot, depends what the mood is. If I’m trying to seduce someone into falling in love with me, I go with Paella. If you’re already in love with me, It’s shakshuka, because that’s an easy one.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

I’m having a baby. A music baby. I’m making music. I’m birthing my music on stage. I’m performing my song babies on stages for people to watch.

Thank you to Ari for her time. Keep up to date with her on Instagram and Facebook.

‘Baptize’ is available now.

Fan of Ari and ‘Baptize’? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina