When meeting Ariana DiLorenzo, the mastermind behind Ariana And The Rose, in late March in NYC on a dreary and damp afternoon – I was immediately impressed with her style and quick wit. We settled into a cozy corner at Café Reggio in the West Village and talked about her new EP Retrograde, her artistic vison and much more.
Your EP, Retrograde, was released a few days ago and when listening to it, there seems to be a theme of love and loss throughout – was that a conscious effort?
I do think there’s an idea of personal-growth through love and through the loss of love, that’s definitely a thing; I think that was just how the last few years were for me, I had moved to London and was living alone and had fallen in and out of love. A song like “These Ruins” is not necessarily about a relationship with a lover, it’s about a relationship that just falls apart. The theme is kind of personal growth inside of what happens when those things all fold out. The last song on the EP, “Supercool,” feels like a very triumphant song, so that’s why I put it at the end.
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The subjects you sing about in your songs have more depth than your average pop-tune today – Who or what may of influenced the way you write?
I started in a very singer-songwriter world with a piano. I think that’s why at the very core of it, I’m incapable of writing a song that has nothing underneath it. I really stem from singer-songwriters like Carole King. Kate Bush is a really big influence and even someone like Sarah Bareilles that’s sitting at the piano and has the power of a voice and lyric, to make you feel. Then I was introduced to artists like Goldfrapp and things like that, and then all of a sudden I just wanted to play with synths. I fell in love with bands like Depeche Mode and New Order and I felt that I wanted to do that type of genre.
We heard that you’re kind of a nomadic soul, bouncing between London, NYC and L.A – Where does that stem from?
It’s so funny because I’d never, ever describe myself that way; I really like to be grounded, to be in one place, to have a house, etc. It’s just sort of ended up that way over the last several years – just a bit of an accident that became something that I had to become comfortable with. I ended up in London writing music and I got several tours supporting artists like Foxes and Jack Garratt that had me bouncing around. I didn’t intend to have this weird nomad-life, but it does seem to have been that way. I do believe NY will be where I end up in the end.
You’re much more than just a musical artist and like to bring a complete visual and immersive experience to your shows – What’s that entail?
It’s a show called “Light And Space” – It really stems from the whole immersive-theater movement that’s happening here in NYC. We did the first event last May in London with Red Bull Music. Basically we take a live show and immersive elements with actors, dancers and performers; and we put the whole thing under the umbrella of a party. Instead of it kind of being a theater-show where there is a through-line, a plot, or characters to follow – our whole intention is to create just one total sensory experience. I like to describe it as a “futuristic disco.” It’s really pulling from the ethos of the 80’s club scene with musicians like Grace Jones and Madonna, which is something I wished still existed. I wanted to make something that spoke to that, but wasn’t necessarily trying to be a throwback. We expect to bring this to NYC in September.
If I could snap my fingers right now and could transport you to any time and any place in history – where would you go?
One part of me would want to go to Studio 54 with Edie Sedgwick as my best friend – and another other part of me wants to hang in the ocean with Poseidon in underwater Atlantis.
We think you have a cool and unique style – Do you borrow ideas from anyone or is it your own?
It took a really long time for me to just dress how I wanted to, I know a lot of people feel that way – I spent so much time trying to dress trendy or cool and something changed. I think I pull from a lot of different things – I love over the top, iconic women, like 70’s Cher and Streisand and all those women who were a bit strange looking, but glamorous and beautiful. My mother is very fashionable as well, I grew up with a mom who wore heels, [laughs] literally all the time. NYC Street-style has been a huge influence on me and It wasn’t until I moved to different city that I realized that I really dress like a New-Yorker.
If you could give young musicians that are trying to get into the music business any advice, what would you say?
[Humbly says] I still consider myself that so… I wish someone had said to me, to make as much work as I could. Don’t worry in the beginning about putting things out as much or the end-result. Just make a ton of shit, basically. And you’ll weed out what you think is good and bad. I think I spent a lot of time when I was younger making things and immediately trying to get some sort of validation. Just try make things that you think are good, the rest will follow.
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Article/Photos: Shayne Hanley