May 2024 | Volume 40

1. Hi Ariel! Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.
Hey guys! I’m Ariel, I’m a pop artist, lead electric guitarist, and aerial gymnast! I love combining upbeat songs with guitar solos and over the top stage tricks!  

2. How did your connection with Shira and Gritty In Pink come about?                          
I had met Shira years ago at a show in LA, and immediately loved her as both an artist and BOSS! The idea of a community for women in music like Gritty In Pink was so needed, and I wanted to be a part of it. Shortly after meeting Shira, I had the opportunity to play at several of the Gritty In Pink events, and it was really amazing seeing so many badass women killing it on their instruments!

3. What's it like to be a part of the effort to create a supportive community for a set of diverse women in the music industry?          
It’s really amazing being part of such a great movement to empower, support, and create a community for all women in the music industry. These events have brought so many talented women on stage together, and have also led to many amazing opportunities and tours, for them too. It’s been so great to see the support from this community, and I can’t wait to see how it grows from here!

4. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a music career?
I realized I wanted to be a musician the second I heard Avril Lavigne on the radio, when I was 9, in gymnastics camp. Something about the song ‘Complicated’ had me hooked on wanting to be an artist, and it was on! At 12, I started playing guitar and learned solos as well with my young band, and the audience would freak out seeing a little girl playing a guitar solo! That’s when I realized I wanted to be an artist and lead rock guitarist!

5. Tell us about the powerful message behind your song “Til the Clock Strikes” and its meaning for you?
‘Til The Clock Strikes’ is one of my favorite original songs of all time. It’s about feeling the pressure of other people putting their timelines and restrictions on you. When I was 15, I was told I had until I was 20 to “make it” or else my chance at a music career was done. When I turned 20, someone else would say I had until 25; at 25, someone else 30, and it goes on. It's rough feeling like you’re constantly racing against the clock like that! When it comes down to it, I believe timelines and deadlines are just illusions. You can do and be anything you want and it will happen exactly when it’s meant to.

6. You just released your single “Satellite.” How has the creative process been for you with your upcoming EP?
Yes! I’m so excited to have 'Satellite' out! It was such an incredible song to write and is one of my favorites. The creative process was amazing; there were some songs I had written, others co-written, and producers that brought out the best performance in me! I’m so proud of these songs and really feel like we embodied the upbeat pop sound with electric guitar.

7. You were recently a part of the DRAG: The Musical production. What was your experience like working on it?
Performing in 'Drag The Musical' has been such a career highlight! The show is amazing; the cast, the songs, costumes, choreography—EVERYTHING is amazing! The guitar parts were very complex, so it was a really fun challenge learning these songs and having to play off of live cues from the actors on stage. I loved playing in live theater and was constantly in awe of how amazing the performances were!

8. What’s your practice routine? How do you keep your skills sharp and continue to evolve as a guitarist?
I’m constantly having to learn new songs, setlists, and styles for shows as a guitarist, and that definitely helps me grow as a player! When I’m preparing for a show, I always warm up by playing through a song I know and then practicing or figuring out the next song on the setlist in order. Once I get through the set, I’ll switch around the song orders and work on individual parts to clean them up. If I don’t have a show coming up, I like to find a new song that resonates with me and learn it! It’s so important to keep learning and challenging yourself!

9. How did you get your start in acrobatics? What’s your favorite type of acrobat performance?
Before I was a musician, I was a competitive gymnast, so flips, splits, and performance routines were my love! I tried an aerial silks class while living in New York City, and I loved it as it was similar to gymnastics and came easily. I then tried the Lyra hoop, and that ended up being my favorite event! Bars were always my favorite gymnastics event, and it felt a lot like the hoop. Shortly after learning aerial routines, I thought, 'This is an awesome way to add to a performance. How can I add my guitar to this?

10. Do you have a fun pre-performance routine that you adhere to before stepping onto the stage?          
Yes! I really like to run through each song on the set at least twice and stretch so I can bust out the wild stage tricks! Usually, I’ll do vocal warm-ups while doing my hair and makeup.

11. Favorite show or venue you’ve played
Playing The She Rocks Awards at Namm, with Debbie Gibson, was the absolute best live show experience. She is truly a legend, and I was so honored to share the stage with her after she won the trailblazer award! My favorite venue is The Bourbon Room in Hollywood; we performed 'Drag The Musical' there, and I had my solo show of original music from my EP performed live for the first time!

12.What advice would you give to someone entering the music space as an independent artist?
The best advice I can give is to never give up. You never know what is going to get you your next gig or opportunity, so put yourself out there as much as you can and keep working towards your goals no matter what.

13. How would you describe your music to a first-time listener?
Picture upbeat and dancey 2000s vibe pop songs with electric guitar and face-melting solos on top!

14. Dream music collaboration?
I would love to perform with Pink! She is such a pop-rock icon, and she does aerial too! How epic would it be if we did an aerial show with upside-down guitar solos?!

15. What music genre would people be surprised that you like?  
Since I was always playing guitar in rock bands and learning many rock solos when I was younger, most people thought I was a rocker. It turns out I love dance pop, and recently I have been really into K-pop with their catchy songs, epic choreography, and over-the-top shows.

16. What’s it like to perform with the iconic Debbie Gibson? Were you familiar with her music beforehand?        
Performing with Debbie is incredible and such an honor! She is an amazing songwriter, artist, and performer! The choreography is so much fun, and the shows are such great productions! I had heard Debbie’s hits beforehand, and when I heard Debbie Gibson was backstage after a 'Drag The Musical' show, I really wanted to meet her and was excited and nervous! When I started playing with her, I listened to more of her records. There were many songs I hadn’t heard before and fell in love with the songwriting, music, and the incredible guitar parts! Her songs are all so amazing, and I’m just so grateful to perform with her and her whole team!

17. What’s next?
I’m so excited for what’s next! I’ll be releasing more original music off my EP to streaming platforms, working on making my live solo show even more over the top, and performing live with my band and with dancers!