“If you build it, they will come.” Ariana DiLorenzo, better known by her stage name Ariana & the Rose, uses this as her own personal motto. Judging by the people she’s had orbit her, it looks to be a motto worth holding on to.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” she says of her collaboration with none other than Sir Paul McCartney. “It was so humbling, and I thought to myself, ‘May you always be this excited about music, no matter what happens in your career, how successful or not successful, may you always love it after making music for decades.’ His love of it all was just so apparent. I’ll keep that lesson with me for my whole life.”
Ariana & the Rose are definitely on track to cement their status in the music scene. The five-piece band has had back-to-back international performances, including at Miami Music Week, London and Paris Fashion weeks, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball after-party, as well as a North American tour. Despite her accomplishments, the humble dancer-turned-musician admits she still has progress to make; “I feel like I’ve had a lot of little moments. Being able to give the music away and let people interact with it is the best part. I’m hoping that big breakthrough moment is on its way!”
Her early start in music has been paving the way for her future success. She has been performing since the age of three, and writing music since she was fourteen;“I just really love live performance and the energy you get from an audience, which is why I think performing my own material felt natural when I started doing it.”
The singer seems to be showing no sign of slowing down, with the recent release of her four-track EP, Head vs Heart, produced by Grammy winner David Kahne, as well as a new album due out in October. “A lot of what I write starts autobiographically, and then twists and turns into a better story…You can build an entire song off of one good idea, if it’s strong enough.” But for Ariana, it takes more than a few hit songs to achieve legendary status, “Barbara Streisand, to me, is an all-around artist, the total package! Adele is timeless… To me, the best artists are the ones who have a super specific perspective on the world. But I think it takes a long, consistent career to become a legend.”
Ariana & the Rose’s new single, “Love Me, Hate Me“, has been steadily climbing the House Music charts around the world, and she recently finished recording a forthcoming new album on February 26. Check out our Q&A with the singer below and pick up a copy of the “Legendary” Issue 7 for more, or download the free “Legendary” Issue App on iTunes now!
The Untitled Magazine: How did you get started with music?
Ariana DiLorenzo: I’ve written music since I was about 14, but never really thought of pursuing it as a profession until I was in college. I had been writing with several producers, and a track I cowrote ended up being featured on a dance record. That was the first time I thought, ‘I could actually do this for a living.’ I headed down to Nashville after that to make a demo and put the band together when I graduated college. We’ve been together ever since.
UM: How long have you been performing?
AD: I’ve been performing since I was about three. I started as a dancer and joined a dance company in Manhattan when I was 13. We did shows at amazing venues like TriBeCa Performing Arts Center. I was lucky to have such amazing experiences so young. I segued into musical theater, and then acting for film, and TV from there. I just really love live performance and the energy you get from an audience, which is why I think performing my own material felt so natural when I started doing it. It’s the same kind of rush.
UM: What was your breakthrough moment?
AD: I don’t know if I’ve had a breakthrough moment just yet. I feel like I’ve had a lot of little moments. Touring the U.S. last November was amazing, and the first time I really got to connect with an audience. Making this record and getting it out to people has also felt so good. Being able to give the music away and let people interact with it is the best part. I’m hoping that big breakthrough moment is on it’s way.
UM: Who is your favorite contemporary musician?
AD: I have a few people that I look to for inspiration and to see how they’re pushing the boundaries, it’s definitely a wide range. In the pop genre, Justin Timberlake is always doing things in a new fresh way and breaking down the ideas of what people previously thought of him. I love musicians like St. Vincent and Daughter. I’m a huge fan of female singers, and the two of them are beyond talented. I really admire their honest songwriting and performances.
UM: Who do you consider the most inspirational person in the music industry?
AD: I think who that person is definitely changes depending on what’s going on in music at the time, but right now I think Macklemore is pretty inspirational. Regardless of whether or not people like his music, his entire story is so unbelievable, and is a testament to how things are changing in the music industry. As an independent artist myself, I think the way Macklemore has been able to break through without a label is such an inspiration. Even five years ago, I don’t think that would have been able to happen, and now, because he has done it, it begins to create a model for a way other people can do it as well.
UM: Do you have a mentor?
AD: Yes, I met my mentor, Vera Tisheff, several years ago and she absolutely transformed me as a musician and singer. When I first came to her, she said ‘You can’t be a singer and be musically illiterate.’ She opened me up to classical music, and how it influences pop music in every way. She trained me to be super specific with the sounds I make, and the way I phrase and inflect on certain words while I’m singing. We’ve dissected everything from Vivaldi to Rihanna, and it’s expanded who I am as a singer, songwriter, and an artist. I am forever grateful for all the work we’ve done and continue to do together.
UM: If you weren’t in music what would you do?
AD: I’d like to think I’d do something creative. I went to school for Journalism, so maybe I’d be writing, most likely in the fashion world. I always wanted to write about style. Maybe I still will, you never know!
UM: What was the most difficult performance in your career, and how did you handle it?
AD: I did a camp tour a few years back, which was really fun. One of the shows we did got pushed back, and it was running late so they were cutting the show short. A woman literally came up on stage during the middle of my set and started talking into the microphone, telling everyone to leave. She said we could play one more song as they all walked out. I didn’t even know what to say. Keeping my cool while singing that last song, and staying professional after being cut off like that was so hard. I just look at it as a learning experience, and am happy that I get to play full sets without people stealing my microphone now!
UM: Do you have a favorite designer?
AD: I have a hard time choosing just one! I wear Topshop often because I love the style and the affordability. Higher fashion, I love Opening Ceremony, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler, and the fit of Dolce and Gabbana is always perfect, since I’m Italian.
UM: Who is your favorite artist?
AD: I’d say overall I love Barbara Streisand. To me, she is an all around artist: the total package. I also love Alanis Morissette, she’s the ultimate badass. I so admire anyone who can speak their mind the way these two women can, and they do it in such different ways, which I think is amazing. To me, the best artists are the ones who have a super specific perspective on the world.
UM: Do you have a motto or words of wisdom you live by?
AD: “If you build it, they will come.”
UM: Who would you consider to be a legendary artist today?
AD:In terms of a current artist being iconic, I think Adele is pretty legendary. Obviously there are people like Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, but they’ve been legends for a long time. Adele is definitely the newest one that I think will transcend generations. In general, I think Prince is as legendary as it gets. He is the ultimate to me.
UM: You were featured in Paul McCartney’s music video for “Queenie Eye,” did you get any advice from any of the musicians on set?
AD: It wasn’t so much advice as it was what I took from the whole experience. I got to chat with him for a bit and there was such a clear excitement in his eyes and voice as he spoke about music, and as he asked me questions about my own music (which I still can’t believe happened!) It was so humbling, and I thought to myself, ‘May you always be this excited about music, no matter what happens in your career, how successful or not successful, may you always love it after making music for decades.’ His love of it all was just so apparent. I’ll keep that lesson with me for my whole life.
UM: Can you tell us how it was to work with Paul?
AD: I felt like I was dreaming the whole day. We were in Abbey Road and he would stroll over to the piano and play for a moment then walk over and chat with someone. I just stayed quiet and tried to take in as much as possible.
UM: Who do you think, of contemporary talent today, has what it takes to be legendary?
AD: Oh my, I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer this question! I sort of answered that above with Adele. To me, she is timeless. I think Mumford and Sons could be as well, they are so loved around so many countries, and their music reignited the folk-rock genre. I think it takes a long, consistent career to become a legend.
UM: What is your favorite song you have ever produced?
AD: “Hollow,” which is on my EP “Head vs. Heart” is one of my favorite songs. I wrote it with a really good friend of mine, Dave Pittenger. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were using the song as a catharsis. It was one of those songs that kind of wrote itself. We wrote it about three years ago and every time I sing it, it still feels poignant to me.
UM: What inspires your songwriting?
AD: I’m inspired by so many different things. A lot of what I write starts autobiographically, and then twists and turns into a better story. I’m all about writing the story, and sometimes my actual life isn’t that. I pull from my friends’ lives a lot, or something I’ll overhear. You can build an entire song off of one good idea, if it’s strong enough. There’s no one formula.
UM: What are your current projects?
UM: Any upcoming projects we should look out for in 2014?
AD: More music and touring. I’ll be releasing singles from the full length album later on in 2014, and will be playing shows around the US and the UK.
UM: Where do you see your band in 10 years?
AD: Hopefully touring the world! I’d like to spend my life playing music for as many people who want to listen as possible. I feel like we’re very much at the beginning, and so much can change in a year, let alone ten years. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to keep making music people want to listen to until I’m old and gray. In the meantime, see what we are up to @arianatherose. We probably won’t be using Twitter in ten years, so I can’t predict that!
For more on Ariana & the Rose, make sure to head on over to The Untitled Magazine shop to pick up a copy of the “Legendary” Issue 7 now!
Photography by Anna Cone for The Untitled Magazine
Interview by The Untitled Magazine
Stylist: Francis Urrutia
Hair by Siobhan Benson
Makeup by Allie Smith
Shot 1: Ariana wears a lace blouse by Valentino, dress by Annabelle Kumie, and necklace by Stephen & Co.
Shot 2: Ariana wears a dress by Ami Goodheart for Sotu productions.