Born in the states and living it up in London. Up and comer synth-pop songstress Ariana and The Rose is making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. She’s got tons of new music and surprises coming this November. So we took a moment to catch up with Ariana to get the real story behind Ariana and The Rose.
EQ: Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
Ariana: I write songs in so many different ways now. I really enjoy co-writing, often I’ll do a session with another songwriter or a producer I’m working with and we create the sounds and melodies at the same time. I’m really inspired by sounds and how your mood can be influenced by them. That’s where I start most often. In some cases, the band will come in and lay down parts over tracks that have already been started, like a drum beat or bass line and then I’ll flush out the melody and lyrics with the groove in place.
I have ongoing notes in my phone and pages of notebooks filled with lyrics that read more like poems and paragraphs than song lyrics. I go back through all of that once I have a melody and mood and see what fits and then build the idea out from there.
And then there’s just sitting down at a piano and writing the chords and melody at the same time, that always feels the best, to just sit down with nothing and an hour or so later have created a snapshot of a feeling.
EQ: You’re originally from New York but now living in London. Do you think your sound evolves differently from both places? Or does it inspire you in different ways?
Ariana: Yes, a hundred percent. My taste and writing style have definitely changed since moving and spending more time writing in London. I’ll always be a chatty New Yorker, so that’s present in all of my writing but just going out and seeing other bands and musicians changes how you write for yourself. I’ll see a band live and be really inspired by their live setup and how they’re making their music and think “wow, I’ve got to incorporate that aspect into what I’m doing the next time I write.” I travel a lot, so I’d say on the whole I’m just really inspired by cities and the people you meet, it’s a constantly changing perspective on the world, which in turn changes how you write and what you want to write about.
EQ: Which city do you prefer?
Ariana: I basically live on a plane, so right now I’m spending most of my time on Virgin Atlantic!
Seriously, both places are amazing in different ways. I think at the end of the day New York is home but London has definitely been where I’ve found myself as an artist. I’ve found a kind of rhythm living between both places.
EQ: Tell us about Light and Space.
Ariana: Light and Space is an immersive event that combines theater, a live music gig and a party. It’s an idea that I’ve had brewing for a couple years now and we finally did our first event this past May! We created a flow for everyone attending, throughout the night they are asked to engage more and more either with actors or secret rooms we’ve set up for people to explore and stumble upon and then finally within a disco we’ve created for the live music. The ethos of the party pulls from the freedom of the late 70s disco scene and the Ariana and the Rose aesthetic of futurism and cosmos. The whole space was covered in 360 projections and we had a station set up so people could get covered in glittered in they wanted too. The event is about giving people a space to feel a bit of magic – transformative????
EQ: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Ariana: I have so many! I’d love to collaborate with Dev Hynes/Blood Orange. He’s such an amazing artist and producer. Everything he does has so much soul but feels really fresh and forward thinking with the way he uses electronic instruments. I would love go into the studio with him.
EQ: From that, what is your biggest influence?
Ariana: I’m influenced by so many different mediums rather than one specific thing but overall I always come back to theater and art. I love people watching and I pull stories from things, people and friends I observe. I just love stories and storytelling and that manifests in so many different ways. I’m really inspired by live theater, whether it’s a straight ahead West End or Broadway show, an immersive piece or something that veers more into performance art. I always feel the most inspired after seeing a show. There’s just an immediate energy with seeing live performers, which feels very similar to a concert.
Musically, I’m drawn to artists that have a similar ethos to that, people like Kate Bush and David Bowie. I love artists that are all around performers. It all stems from making good music but there’s something really exciting about the platform that comes with having a microphone and getting to create a larger statement with the visuals that go along with it.
EQ: What do you have planned for the future? More music? Touring?
Ariana: Always more music. I’m releasing a new single this fall and an EP at the beginning of next year. We’ll be doing another Light + Space event to go along with the EP and playing some shows in London and New York. I’m very excited to continue sharing what we’ve been doing with everyone.
Ariana and The Rose’s new single ‘Supercool’ comes out 4 November.