Radiating positive energy and exerting strength through her soft and ethereal vocals, Ari Hicks is kicking 2021 off on a good note. The 21-year-old songstress quickly established herself through the release of “Nothin but a Monster.” It paved the way for Ari’s much-loved EP, IDIOT GIRL. The five-track offering boasts fan-favorites such as “SEE THROUGH” and has amassed 1.5 million and counting streams to date.
Without a doubt, Ari Hicks is a bubbling name in the Pop genre. Each release surpasses the previous and the star power within her is undeniably infectious. “Everyone Is Disappointing” is Ari’s first release of the new year, but definitely not the last that we’ll hear or see from the rising phenomenon. “Aside from a few new releases and videos, there may be some special features in the works that I can’t quite share with you yet but a lot of great things musically are happening,” she shares.
In our latest interview, Ari Hicks took the time to tell us about her songwriting process and translating feelings to music, connecting with her fans amid the pandemic, and her new single “Everyone Is Disappointing.” Read the full conversation below.
There’s no doubt you have a powerful voice. At what point did you discover your talent?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I don’t know exactly when I thought to myself “hmm this is something I’m talented at.” I think I always wanted to be a pop star growing up, I can’t tell you how many times I wished I could be Miley Cyrus. I don’t think it was until the age of 8 or 9 that I really thought I was actually good at singing and genuinely wanted to turn that into a career.
What’s your songwriting process like, does it typically take a while to translate your thoughts into a song?
Usually, it will take one session to get the song done writing-wise, however, it can most definitely take longer. My newest release for instance took only 2 hours to write from start to finish, but there have been songs that have been completely re-written multiple times just to get it right. I’ve been lucky enough to have an amazing team behind me that really helps me translate my thoughts and ideas across all areas of my music, because of that, I get to share who I am to the fullest extent.
Amid the global pandemic, how do stay positive and creative these days?
Honestly, I can’t say that there’s one thing in specific that has helped. I have definitely let the pandemic get to me at times. Having almost all your avenues to grow as a new artist taken away right at the start of your music career was a hard pill to swallow. Thankfully we were able to get creative and push through to find ways to still push out all the music we had aimed to.
I definitely have my go-to relaxation methods, my main one being binge-watching a good show, but at the end of the day what mattered was my mindset. It took me a long time to get it right, but I just promised myself that no matter what I wouldn’t be negative towards my talent or my capability as an artist. Staying positive starts with deciding too.
Obviously many in-person shows have been absent this year, but how have you been connecting with your fans during this time?
Having started music literally just before the pandemic, I’ve had no opportunity to really connect with fans at all in person. So from the jump, I’ve been using any and all social tools to try to do that and build a really core group of fans. From trying too actively to respond to all my dm’s, setting up a number for fans to text me at, live streaming on socials, and doing Q&A’s (Twitch streams, Instagram). Being a new artist and all, it’s hard enough to gain fans as it is, so the ones I do have, have really stuck with me and I do what I can at all times to know how much I appreciate them.
You have a new single coming, “Everyone Is Disappointing,” what’s the story and inspiration behind that record?
This song is a fuck boy anthem. It’s a giant middle finger to all those guys out there who think they’re God’s gift to man. I’m someone who’s big on respect, when you make a plan with someone, u keep it. So I absolutely hate when people bail on me, whether it’s a date or a friend. This song was derived from a situation I’ve run into many times. Whether you’re excited or not even necessarily invested in whoever it is your talking to, they still find a way to treat you as if your annoying or “too much” for asking “hey we still good for this Friday?” after that plan was already made.
I feel like guys tend to think “oh bro she’s obsessed with me, look she keeps asking me if were hanging out”….. sorry, no sir, just wanna know if I still need to make time for you when we planned, if not, I’d rather not waste my time and go do something else!
How does that record compare to any of the forthcoming material that you’re working on?
I think this song lyrically is definitely a part of a theme for the rest of the releases this year. The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, so although the lyrics of these songs are relatable and kinda sassy – Sonically, this release especially is a lot more fun and poppy maybe more than some of what’s to come. Having said that though, the next few releases are definitely in a new lane sonically than what you’ve heard from my previous releases and I’m excited to share that side with you guys.
If you could have given yourself advice five years ago what would it have been?
If I got a chance to talk to me from five years ago I would say “look, high school absolutely sucked, but I’m proud of you for getting through it. You’re going to go through a lot more these next couple of years and feel like you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing or if you can succeed. But I promise you, that all of the hardships you experience will help shape you into exactly the person you need to be to pursue your dreams. It may surprise you but you actually do release your own music, let alone two EPs one of them being Halloween-themed.
It’s not going to be easy and you’re going to have to work harder than you ever have, but it will all be worth it. Stop doubting yourself, cause one day you’re going to do everything you didn’t think was possible. Also stop straightening your hair all the time, your ruining it.”
In regards to 2021, what’s in store for you?
So in Toronto right now we are still very much in lockdown – my first instinct to say, I think 2021 still has some time left to shed some light at the end of the tunnel! Aside from a few new releases and videos, there may be some special features in the works that I can’t quite share with you yet but a lot of great things musically are happening.
As life starts to get back to some sort of normalcy, also planning on getting in some shows! Weird to say out loud, but putting it out there now that at some point this year (and there are plans to make this happen) that I will get to connect with everyone in person again.
If you enjoyed our interview with Ari Hicks, check out our interview with Kelese!