No plans tonight? Say no more. Head on over to the Rickshaw Stop to check out the absolutely mind-blowing, Ariana and The Rose. Whether you’ve heard a few of her songs or just learning about her for the first time, just know she’ll be sure to put on a show you won’t ever forget. Then she’ll have you begging her to come back to San Francisco. We got a chance to chat with the artist just before her show to chat about her upcoming EP, her take on San Francisco, and much more.
The Bay Bridged: Your style and vision is A-1! What or, more so, how do you make sure what you’re envisioning is translated to the final product?
Ariana: Thank you! Bringing the ideas in your head to life is a skill I’ve definitely had to cultivate over the years. I think the most important thing is having a team around you, even if it’s just one other person, who really understand your vision and can help you see it to fruition. You can’t do these things alone and I’m really fortunate to work with unbelievably talented people. I’m always pulling things that I find inspiring and creating mood boards. Going and seeing other art in different mediums has been a source of creative inspiration as well. I try to give myself as many opportunities to stumble into new ideas as I can.
TBB: You’ve dropped a few singles this 2019 and we read you’re dropping an EP later this year! Can you tell us a bit about that? How would you describe this new one?
A: Yes! I’m putting out an EP called Constellations Phase 1 on July 26th. (Phase 2 is currently being made!) The songs on this EP are about exploring love and the dynamic of the choices you make in relationships but from the perspective of empowerment and choosing yourself. What does it look like when you decide to stand on your own two feet and can you do that while also loving someone else? Sonically, the EP is drenched in synths but each track has a very different mood.
TBB: Your cover of “Bye Bye Bye” is a different and fresh take. How did you decide, “This. This is the one I’m gonna cover”?
A: Thank you, I just have always wanted to do a cover of that song. I’m a huge NSYNC fan and I could hear how I wanted to cover the song in my head before we recorded it. The lyrics are so sad! It’s heartbreaking, so I wanted to make something, with a female voice and perspective highlighting the melancholy in the lyrics.
TBB: I love how you unapologetically wear your heart on your sleeve and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is in your songs. Was that just a natural thing for you to do? Or did this take some time to get used to doing?
A: I’m always trying to be as honest as possible in my music. I think every musician has to write a lot of bad songs before they start making things that really feel like them. Now it’s way easier for me to just sit down at a piano and write what I’m feeling but it definitely took me a while to figure out how to access that. Being able to write lyrics the way I speak has always been one of my goals. My ultimate hero for that is Alanis Morissette, she is the queen of telling it like it is.
TBB: Apart and before Ariana and The Rose, you’ve worked with other artists so when did you realize that it was your turn to step out and perform or make music on your own terms?
A: I was always writing on my own and had put a band together with some friends early on but hadn’t really thought it was something I wanted to pursue full time. I had a few opportunities fall into place which made me realize, “Oh, maybe I can song-write and pursue my own project.” I shifted my focus pretty naturally. I love getting to do writing sessions and collaborate with other artists while also creating and performing music for my own project.
TBB: Being that you’re raised in New York but also had a few years living in London and now you have a show in San Francisco, my question is how do you feel the vibe and tone no matter which audience you’re performing to?
A: Every audience is completely different. You can’t make a show something it’s not. Reading the room is so so important. An audience knows when you’re bullshitting them, so you have to just be honest. If the energy is flowing and everyone is feeling it, it’s my job to keep that going. If the mood is low, being honest with the audience and acknowledging it always bonds the room and ultimately gets everyone more excited. I love playing live, no matter the experience, it’s my favorite part of being an artist.
TBB: How would you say the San Francisco vibes are compared to New York?
A: San Fran is such an interesting mix of crowds, on the one hand there’s this real bohemian vibe in certain areas and then you’ve got the tech world, all colliding in the same city. People love music in both cities and I think It’s a misconception that people are passive about live music. If you’re putting on a good show, people will respond, no matter what city you’re in.
TBB: For those in the Bay Area attending their first ever Ariana and the Rose show, what can people expect or prepare for the moment they walk through the door?
A: Our goal is to create an experience that helps you to lose yourself and feel immersed in the night. The show is really high energy. Its music that makes you want to dance, we want you walking out feeling like you’ve just had the most fun you’ve had in a long time.