Cousin of the King ariel marie
4 mins read

Melodies of Inspiration: An Interview with Ariel Marie

Today we delve into the harmonies of inspiration with the enchanting Ariel Marie. With her latest single, “Cousin of the King,” already capturing hearts, Ariel invites us into her musical realm to unravel the stories behind her compositions and explore the depths of her artistic journey.

Can you tell us the story behind the song and what inspired you to write it?

I wanted to write a song about the feeling when you admire someone so much, that you would give everything to them. I thought this could be a perfect allusion to John The Baptist, who I feel is not really mentioned a lot, but arguably gave literally his whole life to his cousin whom he loved. I love using literary allusions and references in my songs, and religion is one of those things that are so fun to add little bits and pieces into songs. 

You’ve been quoted as saying music and singing have been a part of you for as long as you can recall. Do you remember the moment you decided to pursue music as more than just a hobby?

My mom was actually the one who convinced me to pursue music as a career. Deep down I had always wanted to do it, but I was worried I wasn’t good enough. College applications were stressful for me because I had no idea what I wanted to major in, and there was nothing I saw myself doing as a career that didn’t have to do with music. My mom convinced me to apply to the New York University Music Business program and I was accepted! With my freshman year almost ending, I’m so happy my mom pushed me to go for what she knew I truly wanted to do.

As a student of music business at NYU, how do you balance the academic study of music with your creative process?

In high school, I was always studying and pushing myself academically so I could get grades that would get me into a good college. Academics are a source of validation for me, so I always try my hardest to do well in classes I’m not naturally the best at, like mathematics. Thankfully because my major is more focused on what I’m interested in, I don’t find school work as taxing as it used to be. I still have a lot of challenging classes, but I’m definitely able to balance studying and my music. 

You play both the guitar and the banjo. How does each instrument contribute to your songwriting, and do you have a favorite one when it comes to composing new music?

I find it a lot easier to write a song on guitar since it’s more melodic, but writing songs on banjo is so much more fun! It honestly depends on the vibe of the song that I’m going for when deciding what instrument to use. But if I had to pick a favourite, I would probably say banjo! 

ariel marie
Ariel Marie

Folk legends like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan have influenced your music. How do you translate that inspiration into a sound that resonates with today’s audience?

I’m inspired a lot by Joni Mitchell’s tuning styles, and try to incorporate them into a more contemporary-sounding song. I do have songs that lead a lot more towards old-school folk however, I try to make sure it’s not too old-school and still has some modernness to it. For instance, my lyrics often mix Irish folk/old folk lyrics with modern-day lyrics.

Your music has been described as a blend of introspection and storytelling. Can you share how personal experiences shape your lyrics?

A lot of times, the personal experience is just books I’ve read and situations I’ve seen in front of me. For instance, an overheard conversation. I don’t really write about personal experiences because I guess it just doesn’t spark that much interest for me. I usually choose to write about things I’m passionate about at the time. 

Being involved in every aspect of your music, from songwriting to production, is quite an undertaking. 

I love to be involved! I’m very particular and how I want a song to sound, so it’s best if I’m involved in every aspect. But I always have people around me whose judgment I trust and rely on since my opinion isn’t always the best one. 

What have you learned from wearing so many hats in the creation of your music?

Definitely a lot more about the work that goes into the actual production and marketing of a song. It’s made me appreciate the work of producers, marketing teams, and others involved in factors of production. 

With themes of nature, love, and literary allusions in your songs, how do you hope your music impacts listeners?

I really just want my music to be something people can enjoy listening to, and hopefully to relate in some way to my lyrics. It’s always fun when people understand the references included in my songs! 

Ariel Marie
Ariel Marie

As you’re making waves with another new single, can you give us a sneak peek into what themes or messages your upcoming songs might explore?

My newest release coming out April 12th called “Just This Way” leans more into the old folk aspect of my music. It explores themes of being true to yourself and not letting others change who you are. I also have an EP that will be released sometime at the end of this summer that will deal with all sorts of themes like love, loss, heartache, etc. 

Finally, for all the aspiring musicians out there, what has been your biggest lesson learned or piece of advice you’d like to share from your own journey so far?

Just go for it! Fear of rejection and embarrassment kept me from sharing what I do for so long. And it’s taken me a long time to get over myself and finally start releasing and promoting my music. So for other artists out there, don’t be afraid to pursue what you love! 

With her genuine passion for music and a knack for storytelling, Ariel Marie leaves an indelible mark on the landscape of contemporary music. As we conclude our conversation with Ariel, we are reminded of the power of authenticity and creative expression in shaping the musical landscape. We extend our appreciation to Ariel for sharing her insights and melodies with us, and we eagerly anticipate the musical journeys she will continue to embark upon. Until next time, may the rhythm of Ariel Marie‘s music continue to resonate with listeners near and far.

Executive Editor, Culture and Music
Brings 10 years of industry experience. He is skilled in entertainment journalism, with a focus on culture and music. Sebastien guides the publication’s strategic direction and ensures editorial excellence.

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