Ariana & the Rose
Ariana and the Rose is the kind of artist we can believe in. If you’ve heard her name before – she’s already supported Top 40 singer Foxes on tour – then forget everything you know. These days, she’s more likely to channel the avant-pop stylings of Bjork, Florence + The Machine and FKA twigs. Not that Ariana sounds anything like these visionaries. She marches to a beat all her own, with a narcotic brand of left field pop that's as hooky as it is intriguing, wrapped up in a whip-smart artistic package.
Her new EP, simply titled Survival of the Fittest , is a diverse of innovative yet heartfelt synth anthems, created in close collaboration with London-based producer Tom Fuller (Patrick Wolf, The Chemical Brothers). It runs the gamut from deconstructed pop in the submerged beats of “Dirty Dancing”, to the soaring “Breathe” – an alt-anthem that sounds as if it's from 2035. In synthpop midtempo “Survival of the Fittest”, Ariana intones “Hustle for your hunger / Get the job done.” As she explains, “it’s about coming of age, standing up for yourself and deciding who you want to be.” The sentiment couldn’t be more apt for this self-made star in the making.
With most pop artists, the fantasy of performance comes first, but Ariana cut her teeth behind the scenes from when she was barely out of diapers. “From a really young age I was going to dance school,” she explains of her upbringing in NY “From the get-go I was in love with performing.”
Her hunger and drive led her to win a role in an off-Broadway production at the age of 14, when she recalls she “gave my parents a presentation on why they should let me move to work.” Later, she studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, which boasts alumni including Lady Gaga and Karen O.
Ariana's theatrical bent may be more refined these days, but she nods to this on-stage experience as giving her a nuanced knowledge of the intricacies of performance. “Set design, innovations and understanding how those shows are put together are a big influence. Especially in terms of how I like to do things, and how I can do things in the future. There’s no reason concerts can’t have insane set design.”
“I’ve just given myself permission to do what I want,” she continues. “I’m really into building a world through graphic design and animation and the melding of photography along with these.” And unlike today's crop of social media celebrities, Ariana is more concerned with her legacy than mere 'likes'. “I wanted everything to feel palpable,” she explains. “And not necessarily splattering your face over everything, but a world that you create. I want to make a world that’s really vivid in colour, vivid in experience. I want everything to feel glowing – and nothing’s Instagramed.”
Working with creative director Johnny Blue eyes – who also styles Lana Del Rey – Ariana’s captivating current aesthetic draws from performance art, cult cinema and legendary pop icons such as Debbie Harry. “Frayed edges and smudged eyeliner – 70s glam meets Barbarella”, she notes. It’s the perfect counterpart to her out-of-this-world direction.
With her audio-visual approach to creativity, she's an artist who is as active behind the scenes as in front of the camera, a trait which stands her in good stead as she prepares to unveil her new EP to the world. “I just wanted to make something that felt a little less trendy I guess,” she says. “Something that had it’s own voice.” Trust us – you’ll be hearing hers everywhere.
- New Fan Voice of Men became a fan of Ariana & the Rose Tue 29 December 2015
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