Generational talent. This is a term that comes to mind when seeing and hearing guitar virtuoso and songwriter Arielle. In seeing her, you’d think she time-travelled from 1969, and she just might’ve. She’s got a self-proclaimed “hippie heart with an edgy rocker spirit.”
Arielle hit the musical ground running at a wildly early age, and has seen much success early in her career. For starters, she’s shared stages with stars like Graham Nash, Joe Bonamassa, Guns N’ Roses, Greg Allman, and many more. She was also recruited to play guitar in London for Brian May’s musical, “We Will Rock You,” based off of the music of Queen. She is fresh on the heels of her latest album release, “Suspension/Dimension” and is launching an extensive North American and European tour in support of it.
While Arielle has a reputation for possessing a natural and effortless talent shredding on her custom-made “Two Tone” guitar, this album showcases her imagery-laden songwriting skills. There’s a warm coziness throughout “Suspension/Dimension”, and a serenity of sound that is positive, imaginative, and whimsical.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Arielle, and asked her some questions about her latest album and musical journey. Take it away, Arielle!
Music Mecca: Could you tell us a little about your musical beginnings and what inspired you to choose a life of music?
Arielle: Since the age of 5, I was studying music in a choir, and learning how to play the piano. I feel like in a way, it chose me. But when I first saw a video of Queen when I was 6 years old, the idea of becoming a musician seemed like something that was really really cool!
MM: You’ve amassed quite a resume in your young career, having played with icons like Greg Allman, Graham Nash, Heart, and many others. You were also recruited by Brian May for a London musical based on the songs of Queen. What were you most nervous for, and can you share some of the most memorable moments?
Arielle: I think the most memorable moments are a bit hard to pick out, because they are all really unique. I would say that the ones that stick out the most are the ones that touched me personally. When someone really went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and like I belonged there. Playing with Vince Gill always felt like that, and inspired me a ton. YES I get nervous, but the more I do it, it doesn’t bother me anymore.
MM: You recently released your latest album “Suspension/Dimension”. What’s the intention and inspiration behind this one versus your previous albums and EPs?
Arielle: The intention behind this one was that I could actually afford to do this the way I had initially wanted to. Because I crowdfunded, I did have more of a budget, and I am so grateful to my fans for that. On the EP’s, except for My Gypsy Heart, it was less of a concept album, and more of a culmination of songs put together. Each song was specifically recorded and placed on this album with an intention.
MM: Although it might be like picking a favorite child, which song or couple of songs are closest to your heart, and are you most excited for fans to hear?
Arielle: I think it changes depending on my mood. My favourite one to play rocking out is probably ‘Voices In My Head’ or ‘Devil’s Disguise.’ I also like to do some solo acoustic stuff.
MM: What do you think you’ll remember most about the recording of this album ten years from now?
Arielle: I’ll remember the love I had around me. I’ll remember all the hard work we put in, and some of the outside circumstances that were a little bit hard to believe…I think I’ll go into it sometime but not now.
MM: Do you have a tour lined up in support this spring/summer?
Arielle: I do! I am currently in the middle of my US tour, and we have about 8 or 9 shows left. Then in July I’ve got a bunch of UK dates. It’ll be jumping to the UK and the US for a while.
MM: Do you have a particular show/place that you’re most excited to play on the docket?
Arielle: I am playing Sunfest in West Palm Beach on May 5th. I am SUPER stoked on that. I am opening for Larkin Poe and Keith Urban! Can’t go wrong there.
MM: Do you have any pastimes that aide in the inspiration to your music? (meditating, painting, parasailing, etc.)
Arielle: I do meditate, yoga, read, swim, obsess about animals, and I love spending time with some friends. I think traveling might also be the most important thing I do for inspiration. It always leads to a new song!
MM: Everybody who’s familiar with you should be familiar with your very unique “Two Tone” guitar. Could you tell us a bit about it and how it came to life?
Arielle: Two-Tone was an idea I had about 12 years ago with a friend of mine. We put together 5 guitars in one. I never thought it would be what it ended up being. Where it seems to have its own personality almost. But it came out of need. I have so many custom specifications, for me, it’s hard to just grab a guitar off the wall and go.
MM: A few years back, you participated in a protest of dolphin slaughter in Japan in conjunction with other musical counterparts. What other social and environmental issues do you address/plan to address with the assistance of your musical platform?
Arielle: I have a soft spot in my heart for the ocean and all that encompasses its well-being, but I also think that keeping music programs in schools is important, and is something I am working on with the Guitar Center Foundation. I am also working on a few things within the LGBTQ community, and supporting them as well. There are SO many things to be a part of, so when I have the time and opportunities, I feel grateful.
MM: What advice do you have for young female guitarists and singers who are trying to figure out how to navigate their musical career path?
Arielle: To continue to be who they ARE. Knowing that everything you are is ok. It’s enough. To keep playing out, and practicing. Writing music. Keep being inspired and surrounding yourself with people who are ‘better’ or more experienced than you.
For more info on Arielle and her music, be sure to check out her website HERE.