A few days ago I wrote about a new artist that is progressively carving a name in the music world and that’s Ariana Di Lorenzo with her band Ariana & The Rose. Back then, I made a blog about their new single “Give Up The Ghost” (available for download for free here), and well, if you liked the song as much as I did - and if you liked the other song from Ariana & The Rose I recommended, “In Your Bed”, too, then you’re going to be thrilled to know that I had the opportunity to interview Ariana recently!
Making a long recap short: They’re a band hailing from New York City but who are cracking the UK music scene first (explanation for this given below), and their sound is that of alternative synth-pop. And yes, above this all, what really matter is that Ariana & The Rose make great music and you should get to know them now before they explode and become legends.
In this exclusive interview Ariana gave us, the lovely staff from Directlyrics.com, we asked the beautiful and talented lady about the origins of her band, the reason behind their focus on the UK rather than on the US, their hauntingly-amazing new single “Give Up The Ghost”, about their upcoming projects, among many other things, of course! Definitely a good ready to get to know Ariana & The Rose a little bit better.
Ariana and The Rose’s new EP “Survival Of The Fittest” is out next year.
1. What can you tell us about the beginnings of the band? How did you meet?
I decided to put a band together in New York after I had graduated from college. We started playing in local places in the city and then began playing up and down the east coast. I think we played in almost every basement and small club we could find. The band has had a few incarnations since then, I’m really proud of where the live show is at the moment. We’re always looking to evolve and make things better, I feel so lucky to be anchored by such amazing musicians on stage with me.
2. What’s the meaning of the “& The Rose” in your name?
When I was thinking of a project name I wanted it to feel like something larger than just a solo project. “& The Rose” refers to the band but also encompases any other artist or collaborator that I work with and ultimately the fans who are listening to the music. I’ve always described it has a collective. I want my audience to feel included in the music, visuals and live show, to have sense that this is our world, not just mine.. My main goal with making music has always been to share it, so the name was a way of shifting the focus away from only being about me and my ideas to inviting an audience to take part in it all as well.
3. What artists have influenced you musically?
While writing this most recent EP, I was listening to a lot more bands like Everything Everything and Foals than I had been in the past. I’ve always been really influenced by amazing synth based artists like Robyn and Ladyhawke. So, this new music is a marriage between those two places, I think. Blondie has also been a big inspiration for me on the whole, musically and visually, she’s just the ultimate icon.
4. The band resides between NYC and London, although it appears it’s really in the UK where you spend most of your work time. How come it’s in Europe where you are focusing, let’s say, most of your energies trying to break in and not back home?
It was a happy accident, honestly. I had been writing and playing in New York and some people I was working with suggested I take a trip to London to explore making music there, that was about 2 years ago. I’ve been so lucky to find amazing people to create music with as well as the visuals to go along with it. London is filled with such an unbelievable pool of talent, I think that amidst the daily grind of the city there is still so much passion that people have to make good art and push boundaries, which has been really exciting and inspiring to me. I was craving that in New York and happen to find it in London, so now I live my life somewhere in between. I’m a New Yorker at heart, so I’d like to think I’m taking my favorite parts of both cities and melding them together.
5. What’s been the reaction of the UK/European crowds at your tours thus far? Do they give you fuel to keep going?
I’ve mainly played to UK crowds over the last year. I think people in the UK are really open to new music and new artists, more so than in other countries and I’ve really come to value that. I also think UK audiences are really honest, if you’re playing a show that’s worthy of a crowd dancing, they’ll dance so hard and if you’re not, you’ll feel that too. Overall, we’ve gotten a lot of love when we play, which has absolutely fueled me to keep going. Connecting with people live is the best part of being a musician for me. As a music fan, if a band wins me over live then I’m a fan for life and I’ll buy tickets again and again. So, I strive to make a show that people want to buy tickets for, to be the concert that leaves an audience feeling amazing.
6. In the time you’ve spent living in the UK. Have you met any local music stars?
I can’t say I’ve exactly met her but Adele pulled up next to me in a parking garage at a music studio a few months ago and had her window down. It took every bone in my body to not completely fan girl on her, I just stood there with a huge smile on my face, I must have looked crazy. It was the highlight of my whole month, I was so star struck and was struggling to seem completely casual.
7. You’ve said your sound is alternative synth-pop. How did you get to finding your signature style?
I actually knew quite early the exact kind of music I wanted to make, it was figuring out how to get it out of my head and into a tangible sound and song that took some time. For a long time I would write music and as soon as it was finished I’d know it wasn’t right, which was really frustrating. It’s all a learning process and I think it’s about figuring out what doesn’t work as much as it’s about figuring out what does. The music has evolved over time, taking on more of a band aesthetic, incorporating live drums and bass along with synths. I’m excited to be sharing the music I’ve been working on for the last year, it’s the first time I feel like the music really sounds like what I was hearing in my head for so long.
8. Personally, I discovered Ariana & The Rose last year with your song “In You Bed”. The chorus was one of best things music-wise I listened to that year. If I may, what inspired this song?
Thank you! The song was a response to some other songs I had been listening to at the time. Everything felt like it was written to be polarizing as opposed to an actual representation of women being sensual and empowered. I know so many girls that feel the sentiment of that song, that feel playful and in control at the same time. I wrote it more about an overall perspective rather than a particular person.
9. What’s your songwriting process like? And, do you prefer writing in the studio or elsewhere?
I used to write alone and bring songs into the studio to work out with other writers or a producer I’m working with. Recently, I spent a long period of time with one producer, Tom Fuller, who I worked with on my upcoming EP and we ended up finding our way into songs through different parts of the music. We’d either start with a bass line or a synth part,the tracks and music would build from there and the song would grow out of that. I found a freedom in starting each song from different places as opposed to starting with a melody and building a track around it. I think a song always has to stand up on its own no matter what production is created but the path to getting to that song can come from a few different places for me now, which is really freeing.
10. You have a brand new single out called “Give Up The Ghost”. For those you have yet to hear the song, how would you describe it?
I’d describe it as a dark, haunting synth groove. We built it around the bass line which starts really simply and then grows into an ending that goes a bit manic. The song is about crossing the paths of people who are not what they seem, it’s meant to serve as a warning, that makes you want to dance a bit as well.
11. What would be your ideal treatment for the music video?
I imagine the video as a cross between American Horror Story and a 1940s side -show, a sort of dark carnival. There’s something so twisted about the ethos of those freak shows, the idea of putting people on display like that. Those are also the best places for illusions, there’s a darkness in tone and mood even though it’s meant to be entertainment. That would be the core of the video, I think.
12. We hear this new song is part of an upcoming EP titled “Survival Of The Fittest”. How many songs do you hope to include in the EP and when can fans expect to be out?
It is! It’s a 4 song EP that will be out in early 2016. I cannot wait to share it with everyone, we have a lot of amazing stuff planned for next year, which I hope people will be excited by.
13. Why the title of “Survival Of The Fittest”?
The EP is titled after one of the tracks on it. The song is about the weight we feel in just getting through a day sometimes, fighting to stay afloat. Ultimately it’s very hopeful though, the last lyric is “Gotta hope for the best,” which comes after a long list of all the sacrifices we make to just get by. It’s really about feeling like tomorrow has possibility even though things have been so hard. There were a lot of big transitions going on in my life while writing these songs. I had just gotten out of a very long relationship, just moved to London and was finding my footing musically. I was really feeling that sentiment of “you have to fight for the things you love,” so this EP is exploration of that, a modern version of the phrase “survival of the fittest.”
14. What’s the title of another song from the EP that you can’t wait fans to listen to and what can you tell us about it?
There’s a track called “Breathe” on the EP which is just a relentless synth for 3:30 seconds and it really just makes you want to dance. It’s about getting out from under the weight of a relationship that is pulling you down. The whole thing feels like a catharsis. My hope would be that people dance and sweat and totally lose themselves when it comes on.
15. What are Ariana & The Rose’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
Chvrches “Leave a Trace”
Tame Impala “The Less I Know the Better”
Lianne La Havas “Unstoppable”
Jamie xx “Loud Places”
BØRNS “Electric Love”
16. If you could record a collaboration with anyone you admire right now, who would it be, why, and how do you imagine your song to sound like and be about?
I really love Hurts. It would be amazing to do a collaboration with them. I just think the quality of the sounds they use is rich and their melodies are so interesting. I imagine the song would be a long winding melody that builds into an outro that just goes totally nuts at the end with an arpeggiator and a dance beat.
17. Thank you for your time, Ariana! Any last thing you’d like to share with our readers at Directlyrics.com?
Thank you for taking the time to chat! Be on the look out for new music coming in 2016 and thanks for listening!
Stream: "Give Up The Ghost"
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