Words: Steve Brown
Ariana and the Rose are returning to the UK in November and recently released her new single 'Lonely Star'.
'Lonely Star' finds Ariana further evolving into a full creative force, building a sound inspired by everything from the magical realism of Haruki Murakami, the energy of the 90s club scene, artists that thrive in the grey area of musical genres (ie Solange and Christine and the Queens), and the juxtaposition of glamor and raw authenticity found in pop icons like Cher and Madonna.
Promoting a message of community and inclusivity, 'Lonely Star' builds from it’s whispered first verse into a sonic eruption of synth strings, an unrelenting beat, and Ariana’s vocals that swim through its empowering lyrics that were inspired by another creative project of Ariana’s — her immersive music event series “light + space” which has grown to become a NYC night staple over the past year.
Watch the video premiere for 'Lonely Star' below:
Now, Ariana has sat down with Attitude about her return to the UK, being an LGBT ally and performing at Brighton Pride and whether she got to meet Britney!
You’re back in the UK next month, are you looking forward to being back here?
Yes! I’m so excited to be back. I lived in London for several years and it has influenced my artistry and expanded my perspective on art and performance in general. I consider London my home away from home; I try and do as many cultural things as I can while I’m there in between working.
The official video for your new single ‘Lonely Star’ has been released. How was making that video?
We made the video with the cast of the immersive event I’ve been doing in Brooklyn, called light+ space, so it felt like a family experience. Eight people covered in head to toe glitter for eight hours was definitely a bonding moment!
I wanted the video to look like the show feels and the song sounds, a galactic homecoming. Creating visuals that feel special are so important to me.
A video is an extension of the experience of a song; it’s a chance for an audience to get to know your world as an artist a little bit more. This video is definitely one of my favorites.
What does the song mean to you?
The song is about creating a place to come home to. Writing about feeling different is a theme so many artists explore, for me the imagery of being more than human, cosmic or galactic just feels like it puts this beautifully positive spin on feeling like you need to find your place.
I love the lyric “honey, you’re home. We’re not alone.” It’s just the way I’d say it to someone. I hope the song feels like an open door for anyone who’s looking for a place and we’re here to remind you that you’re made of magic.
It’s been described as promoting hope with an inclusive message, is that what you wanted people to take from the song?
Yes, absolutely! Creating music, shows and art in general that promotes inclusivity and empowerment is something that I feel really passionately about.
My hope is that if I create things that I love and live passionately and share that, on social media, in shows and in the music then that will hopefully inspire and encourage who every sees that to do the same in their own lives.
You are an LGBT ally. How has the community helped with your career?
I’m so proud to be an LGBT ally, this community has been so supportive of me as an artist and is truly my family in my personal life.
The first shows I ever did were in gay clubs, at drag shows and pride festivals. I have always been overwhelmed with how open and supportive the LGBTQ community is of new artists, if someone hasn’t heard of you before but you get up on stage and turn out an amazing show, everyone is there for it.
That is so rare and special and has always meant so much to me.
Do you feel that there are still some LGBT artists who are being forced to hide their sexuality by record labels?
If there are, I’m not aware of them. I’m sure that is still happening in some places. Artists like Kim Petras and Troye Sivan are showing just how mainstream audiences are celebrating the LGBT community and people being truly themselves.
All we can do is continue to create safe spaces for artists and audiences to share their creativity and who they are and know that eventually the institution will catch up, or they wont but we’ll be too busy having an amazing time and supporting each other to notice.
Will we ever get to the stage where sexuality and gender isn’t an issue?
I really hope so. I think we’re in such an important moment right now where people feel angry and passionate and are using their voices to stand up for themselves, through whatever medium is meaningful to them.
Choosing to love who we love proudly and being true to who we are with no shame, no matter where we are, is all apart of the fight.
You took over our Instagram feed in the summer, did you get a good response from our readers?
I did! We took over you Instagram for our Light + Space Pride Edition. We got such a great response! The Attitude readers were so supportive and are absolutely comment gods and goddesses. I loved reading all the reactions to the show.
You also performed at Brighton Pride! That must have been an amazing experience?
Oh my god, it was so much fun! The lineup was so good, Raye, Jess Glynn, Chic and Britney! It was the last festival I played of the summer and my birthday weekend so the whole experience felt really special.
Did you meet Britney?!
Ughhh I did not meet Britney!! I was in the crowd for her show and it was such an amazing time! The crowd was singing so loud, it was one huge (50,000 person) dance party.
You also create art party Light + Space and the next event is in Manhatten this week, what do the events mean to you?
I didn’t realize the impact the audience of the events would have on me until after we started doing them.
The energy in the room is palpably filled with love and positivity; I had never been apart of something quite like that, on that level before. I feel so honored to create a space where people feel free.
The crowd is covered in glitter, dancing so hard all night, it’s the best view in the world. I started Light + Space because I didn’t have a place to perform my music that felt like me.
Now, we’re expanding the show to have other performers, which feels really special. I want the night to be somewhere audiences and performers can meet, connect and ultimately build a community.
Buy tickets for the Light + Space event on October 25 at the Public Arts Centre in Manhatten here.