Aeriel is a singer and songwriter from Los Angles, California. Her single, Be Down was released in October 2017 and has over 16k plays via SoundCloud. Following the release of Be Down, Sad Girl’s Club, her debut EP, released in January of this year (2018) and is still gaining momentum.
Aeriel’s R&B and Pop style is refreshing and upbeat. She likes to focus on her lyrics in hopes that they resonate with listeners and seeks to grow in that aspect of her musical journey.
T: I’m glad that we are finally getting to talk about you and your music. When we spoke back in October, you were promoting your single, “Be Down” and its debut video. That was my first introduction to you as an artist and it was a good one! Give me a little background on who you are.
A: Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to my music. So my name is Aeriel and I’m born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve been performing for the majority of my life but this is the first introduction to the world for me as an artist.
T: Sunny California! How are things going for you in LA’s music scene as you’re working to get your name out there?
A: The LA music scene has been good to me thus far. Being from Los Angeles definitely has its advantages as far as navigating, but the city itself has helped me grow so much. Because LA is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, a lot of professional musicians are based there, so many of the simple things you do to gain experience as an artist like open mics and showcases, are already in a semi-professional setting. You really have to make sure your chops are up if you’re performing live in LA. But on the flip side of that with Los Angeles being one of the places to be in the US for music, so many people move here so individuality and setting yourself apart is so important because there’s a lot of competition. Always having that in the forefront of my mind really helped me as I started to prepare to release music.
T: It’s definitely important to set yourself apart in a big city where there are so many others grinding within the same industry. Is the support there from fellow artists? What are some things you’re doing to be heard/seen?
I try to not only give the best quality I can at this stage, but also be the type of person they’d be proud to interact with.
A: I’m a very big believer of surrounding yourself with like minded and positive people, so I’ve definitely felt the love and support of those with the same passion as me. And it’s great because we’re neither afraid to let each other know when we’re on the right path nor when we need to do better. And as far as the second question, I’ve mostly focused on trying to produce quality content that I’m proud of that others can be proud to share as well. I think as artists we’re so concentrated on sharing our content that we sometimes forget what exactly we’re asking someone to do. When someone gives you a cosign, they’re not only sharing but attaching their name to it. I try to not only give the best quality I can at this stage, but also be the type of person they’d be proud to interact with. And naturally not everyone is going to like me and that’s just life, but I do the best I can to serve those who are already there.
T: That brings me to your latest project, “Sad Girls Club”. Your 5-track EP, which includes the single “Be Down” a very popular track. Tell me about this project and what it means to you!
A: This project is special to me because it was my first intro to the world as an artist and taught me so much in the process. When I sat down to create the project at first I was just trying to get my ideas down and push myself to see what I could create. Then as the project progressed, it occurred to me I was writing about situations where I felt like I wasn’t being heard or felt like I could really express myself. So I started to see how all the situations I wrote about were interlaced and from that came the title, “Sad Girl’s Club”. And the title to me really just means taking ownership of your emotions, whatever it may be, and not being afraid to express it. And that’s exactly what I had to do on this project and I hope it’s something the listeners pick up on and practice within their own lives. But as I grow as an artist, I hope to delve deeper with my lyrics and continue to grow in that aspect.
T: Taking ownership of your emotions, that’s powerful. It’s pretty cool that you get to use music to speak your truth in hopes of your music resonating with listeners. Personally, I love music that makes me tap into my emotions and reflect. And of course a good turn up here and there, lol. You said you want to delve deeper into your lyrics. Who are a few of your influences?
A: I look to people who are doing or have done what I hope to get better at doing, which is creating lyrics that are relatable, conversational and dig a little deeper within a format that’s consumable for everyday people. So there are people from a few genres that I look up to and study such as Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, The Beatles and Smokey Robinson just to name a few. I do R&B/Pop and there can be negative connotations with pop and radio music because at times it does lack depth and feeling, but those artists prove that it doesn’t have to be like that, and you can still sell and deeply affect people.
T: You said that there are some negative connotations with Pop and radio music. When discussing genres in general, it seems like there is a divide between artists producing content that they genuinely love and what will connect or resonate with listers and artists putting out what will “sell”. What is your take on this?
Many of the huge artists we admire today were passed on at the beginning of their careers because they didn’t fit into a certain box and now they’re setting the standard.
A: As an artist you ultimately have to do what you love. Many of the huge artists we admire today were passed on at the beginning of their careers because they didn’t fit into a certain box and now they’re setting the standard. So I really think it’s best not to be concerned with that and let the art drive itself, because as much as people can say they have the stats on what will be a “hit”, history shows you truly don’t know until it’s out in the world.
T: What you said is very important… let the art drive itself! That’s when true authenticity is showcased. Are you working on any new projects?
A: Yes, actually I just started writing for the next project last month. Releasing my first EP was really a learning opportunity so I’m excited to get to work on this next one and further develop my sound and voice as an artist.
T: I’m looking forward to witnessing your growth! Is there anything we can expect with this next project?
A: Thank you! I think people can expect to hear a more developed sound. I’m really excited as I make this project to grow into myself as an artist more and take more risks.
T: Take those risks! I look forward to more from you. Thanks for chopping it up with me.