We caught up with Toronto-based singer-songwriter ARI, to find out about her latests releases, life in lockdown and her start in the music industry.
Arianna Hicks, also known as ARI is a 21 year old singer and has already started to make serious waves with her first two singles”Nothin’ But A Monster” and “Oh Well“. Having built a dedicated fanbase previously, she is well prepped to become of 2020’s biggest pop stars and we can’t wait. We chatted to her ahead of her EP release in July. Scroll down to read the full interview below.
Hey ARI, how are you today?
I’m good! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Well, first off, my full name is Arianna Christina Singh-Hicks, so I actually have two last names. It was just easier to go by the one. My mother is Indian and Guyanese, and my father is a mix of Jamaican, German, and French – which in short means people tend to get confused when they ask where I’m from. I was an intense athlete my whole life. You name the sport; I probably played it.
How are you spending your days in lockdown?
Just trying to do as much as humanly possible. Don’t get me wrong, there have been days – consecutively I might add – where I do nothing more than just sit on the couch and binge watch TV.
On the music side, I’ve been doing a ton of FaceTime sessions with writers and producers, which has gone better than I expected. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote my favourite song I’ve ever done.
My roommate is also my manager, close friend, and an amazing photographer, so I’m lucky enough to be able to create content with her. There are definitely limitations with the shoots and only so much you can do inside a small apartment, but hey, sometimes all you need is a white wall.
Were your long-time followers supportive of your new music venture?
It’s no secret that music has always been my passion. I’ve been posting singing videos on Instagram and YouTube for a while, so it was no surprise to my followers when I decided to pursue it full force. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone is accepting of it. The thing about social media is that when you gain a following, those people follow you for a specific reason and expect a certain type of content. I’ve been very lucky that people have been super supportive and really amazing about it, but you definitely do lose some engagement with the followers you previously had once you switch your content up.
What was the defining moment when you realised that music could be a full time career for you?
To be honest, I felt quite trapped during the last couple years of high school. That’s the time when you’re supposed to be deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life and I was at a pretty strong crossroads. I knew I didn’t want to go to university, I just didn’t know how I’d be able to do what I wanted to do and still survive. Social media allowed me the flexibility to make money and be self-sufficient while still being flexible enough to pursue music behind the scenes.
I remember having a conversation with my dad back in 10th or 11th grade about going to university. He looked me at me and said, “I know you’re not going to go. That’s not your path, we’ll figure it out.” I guess he saw it before I did. Not that there’s anything wrong with going to school, I just knew it wasn’t my path.
Do you have a musical/artistic family?
As much as my family loves a good sing-along, none of us come from a musical background. Regardless, everyone in my family has been insanely supportive of me sharing my voice and my music with the world. For as long as I can remember, they’ve been the ones pushing me to sing, especially when it scared me.
What women in music do you look up to?
A few female artists I have fallen in love with are Halsey, Billie Eilish, and Jessie Reyez. The minute you hear their voice, you know immediately that it’s them singing. Each of them is so distinct in their own unique way. With Halsey, for example, no matter what genre she pulls into her songs, she always finds a way to make it sound “Halsey”. That’s one thing that I definitely aspire to do with my music.
What was your favourite teenage album?
I remember listening to The Neighbourhood a lot, I also loved The 1975. I did have a Taylor Swift moment for a while then as well.
Quickfire questions with ARI 🔥
What TV show are you binge-watching?🍿
I’m re-watching Steven Universe and Sherlock Holmes.
Last book you read? 📚
A poetry book called Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell.
Number 1 comfort food? 🍕
Chocolate and sour candy.
What drink do you order at the bar? 🍹
Either something so fruity it’s insane or a straight up tequila shot with a lime. There’s usually no in between.
What song do you have on repeat RN?
“Gone” by Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens.