We had the good fortune of connecting with Ari LaShell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ari, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Music has always been my salvation. My mom told me that I could sing before I could talk. Growing up I used to perform in talent shows and I played the clarinet in middle school. l was a vocal major at my performing arts high school and just received my degree in Music Recording Technology from Hampton University. My parents always told me that they didn’t care about the specific profession that I pursued as long as I was passionate and loved what I did. Therefore, I chose a career that allowed for me to freely express myself and truly feel. That’s why I chose music.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Not only is my art a replica of myself, but others as well. I love writing a song and having that balance between being authentic and relatable yet artistically expressive. Sometimes when I write it’s not even from personal experience, but from what story I feel should be told through the music.
What sets me apart would be the way that I approach music vocally. I have a “jazz calypso” fusion to my art that sonically appeals to lovers of multiple genres of music from R&B, Neo-Soul to Jazz and Funk (with a hint of Classical). The versatility in my art with my unique sound allows for people of many musical preferences to enjoy at least one song in my catalog.
To get to where I’m at today has been far from a walk in the park. There has been many setbacks and times of self-doubt. What stopped me from giving up was the different messages sent from God (whether in form of person, place or things) that constantly confirmed and reminded me that everything happening to me (good and bad) was intentional and apart of my journey. So I learned to put in the work, trust the process and watch how things come into fruition in due time. I’m most proud of the opportunities I’ve had to perform at The Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the Illharmonic Orchestra and The Attucks Theatre in Norfolk, VA.
One important lesson I’ve learned along the way has been to invest in yourself. If you want to be an artist, you have to treat yourself as such. You should be investing in sharpening your skill. That means voice lessons, artist development, studio time, staging, marketing, styling, etc. It’s important to learn the ins and outs of whatever industry you’re apart of.
Ari LaShell hears you! I make music that speaks from the mind, body and soul to and for the mind, body and soul.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love a good open mic night and especially in Atlanta, there’s one everyday of the week. I’m definitely checking out Apache Cafe on Wednesday following up with a jam session at Peter Street Station. Thursday we’re taking a double trip to Kat’s Cafe and Vista Vibes for more live music. We’ll catch a yummy breakfast at Atlanta Breakfast Club, a nice dinner on the rooftop at 9 Mile Station in Ponce City Market and some amazing barbecue and drinks from Tom, Dick & Hank in College Park on Main Street. We’ll definitely take a hike up Cochran Mill Park, get our skate on at Cascade and kick some butt in Go-Karts at Andrettis during my besties stay.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I’d like to shoutout my family and friends for all of their support! From every stream, like and comment to ticket purchased the support has been so genuine and definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’m forever grateful and indebted to the people in my corner.
I’d also like to give a special shoutout to my college vocal professor Mr. John Fulton for reigniting the flame for my love of singing. I was at a very low point a few years back when it came to my confidence in my vocal abilities. I was ready to give up and just focus on the production and engineering aspects of music. After being under his tutelage, I gained a newfound love for my voice that spiraled into me wanting to pursue a career as an artists all while helping others to love their voices just as much as he made me love mine.
Mr. Fulton, thank you for believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. I owe it all to you!
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