Ariana and the Rose – Light & Space
17th May 2018
Ariana is the sixth sense of music – bringing light, sound, dance, symbolism, and allsorts into her performances, Ariana and The Rose goes far beyond the record to make it as immersive as you can get. The New Yorker recently visited London, and we jumped at the chance to join her glitterati.
Hi Ariana! Please introduce yourself in an unusual way – pretend you’re speed dating with Superdry!
Hi I’m Ariana! I’m obsessed with chapstick and the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix and I make synth pop music.
You’re known and loved for the immersive ‘light & space’ event that you take around the world. What’s it all about?
Light & Space is an immersive live music party that combines a live concert, immersive theatre and a futuristic disco. The idea grew out of all of the amazing 360 experiences I was going to see, like Secret Cinema in London and feeling like someone needed to apply this kind of thinking to music. Until recently, people have always had somewhere to go to discover new music in person – clubs like Fabric in London, or NYC Danceteria in the 80s. Light & Space is a place that pulls from the history of those kinds of clubs while looking to the future of performance by incorporating these immersive aspects, all rolled into a very glitter filled galactic disco.
Gig or experience that changed your life?
Seeing Elton John at Madison Square Garden really imprinted the power music has to unify people on my heart. Also, living in London for 3 years was one of the most exciting, scary and best experiences of my life.
Your EP is called Retrograde – after a quick dictionary double check, this means to move backwards. Is backwards the new forwards?
I definitely think forwards is always the best direction! The music on that EP was written during a time that my life felt like it was going every which way and those songs felt like a real snapshot of who I was at the time. I’m definitely in a place of forward motion now though and that is reflecting in some new music I’m working on too, which feels really good.
Your single How Does That Make You Feel is a perfect slice of interpretive-pop – what’s the story of this song?
Thank you! I actually wrote most of that melody in the shower! I wanted to write something about a woman being in control of how her sexuality was being interpreted. Asking someone “how does that make you feel?” can be pretty aggressive. I loved combining a really feminine feeling melody with an in your face lyric. We can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.
If we were to liken you to a futuristic Kate Bush, how would that comparison make you feel?
I would feel very into that comparison, thank you so much! I have spent so much time delving to her artistry and how detailed she is. I’m so inspired by musicians that have pushed themselves into an art house world and she is most definitely the queen of that.
What makes you feel at your happiest?
My dog, Fredo. He’s not a registered therapy dog but I’m thinking he should be.
What makes you feel oh so angry?
People who walk slowly and block the sidewalk!
Throwback moment to one of your first releases, Supercool – coolest place you’ve been, coolest person you’ve encountered, and what you find seriously uncool?
Oh, I love this question!
Coolest place I’ve been: Tie between Hanoi, Vietnam and on a glacier in Patagonia Argentina.
Coolest person I’ve encountered: I’d say my Dad is one of the coolest people I know.
Seriously uncool: People putting other people down I think is pretty uncool. There is no time for that!
Your music videos are full of expression and unconventional dance, in the best possible way! Are you a cover girl for standing out from the mundane?
Thank you! I just try to create imagery that I love and feel passionate about and hope it resonates with other people. I think audiences have a hunger for art that challenges them and is unconventional because it allows us to explore those parts of ourselves. If I can make something that does that for someone, then I feel like I’ve done my job.
Favourite places to go out when you’re in London?
Camden Passage is my favourite little place to hang out whenever I’m in London. There are these amazing vintage shops and a restaurant that does the best Scandinavian footage.
I also love Bath, it’s perfect for a little weekend trip.
Hidden gems and places to check out in New York?
There’s an amazing café in Greenwich Village called Café Reggio that appears as a coffee place but secretly makes amazing pesto pasta. One of my favourite boutiques is in Soho, called American Two Shot, which is a combination of vintage and one of finds, I always discover really unique pieces there. The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is one of my favourite spots. Anytime I have a friend visiting from out of town I take them there, it’s just classic New York.
Buy tickets to Ariana and The Rose’s Light & Space tour in NYC on 24th May and 14th June here.
Follow Ariana and The Rose on Instagram here.