Ari B is a performer with seemingly no limit to her range of talent. Singing is just the tip of the iceberg, as Ari B is proficient in dancing, acting, and songwriting as well. Her new single, “Break the Ice” meshes together her passions for R&B vocals and dancing, all while telling a story about old friends. The music video for the song is also coming out quite soon, and Ari B worked with director Mikey Minden and choreographer Kenya Clay to make it a reality. “Break the Ice” was released on iTunes on March 15th, and its music video is available today, March 16th
Tell us about your single.
This song is about old friends who find each other and reconnect for one night. Super sweet, super simple.
What can people take away from this song?
There’s this nice message of not letting your fears hold you back because you could miss out on something potentially great.
What can we expect in this video?
It’s honestly just gonna be a super fun time, a lot of hype, but you have your sentimental moments as well, which everyone can relate to. Also, you’ll see me and some crazy dancers get down to the good stuff, so be ready.
What was your inspiration for this song?
Life experiences. The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory.
How did you decide on “Ari B” for your stage name?
It’s short for my real name, and it sounded like “R&B,” so I was all about it.
Where did the video shoot?
We shot the video in downtown LA, which was beautiful coming from snow in Boston, and we had some compelling sights of empty warehouses.
What was it like working backstage?
It was awesome. It was super chill, there were a lot of great spirits on set. It’s always amazing to be surrounded by such positive energy and people who are so committed to their craft.
With whom did you work with?
Mikey Minden directed and Kenya Clay choreographed the video. I was also fortunate to get Rudy Abreu as my main guy and other extremely talented dancers, who were very supportive in the process.
What was it like working with Mikey?
He’s a crazy guy, which we all love. But I’m so fortunate I got to work with him and that he was so willing to work with me. He had a lot of useful input, but was also willing to listen to my ideas, which was really cool. Ultimately, none of this would have been possible without him and he really pulled the whole thing together beautifully.
Was it fun to be on set?
Yeah, who doesn’t love to get all done up at 11 am? It was definitely fun to be around creative minds and people who are so involved in the business. At the same time, it’s always an intense and focused space when I work. But I’m all about finding a healthy balance between fun and brain work when approaching my art.
How long was the shoot, and was it tiring?
The shoot was about 15 hours. You don’t really get tired because you have so much adrenaline from the start, so you’re pretty much set from there. I also had a solid 8 hours of sleep the night before, which was definitely needed for the amount of energy required for this shoot. I feel like if you were to go in for a ballad, you could probably come to set looking like a zombie and no one would really care. But, we weren’t given the opportunity to lie around and look half dead.
Anything unexpected happen on set?
It actually started raining, which some people were slightly worried about, but it actually turned out to be a free gift from the heavens and it added a whole other layer to the video. The whole video was supposed to take place at night, but because the rain was forecasted to get worse, we had to move things around and shot the first frame in daylight. This gave a beautiful contrast from beginning to the end of the video.
How did you prepare for the video?
I had 4 days of rehearsal before the shoot with the beautiful Kenya Clay. We spent a few hours per day working on bigger dance sections, and took a few hours in the studio to myself to make sure I had all the details I wanted to get for the movement, acting beats, etc.
Yes, I was technically trained at Boston Youth Moves, which is a modern-based teen dance company in downtown Boston with Jeannette Neill and James Viera as the directors. The place is home to me.
What is your style?
I sing popular music, R&B. But you may find some rock inspiration now and then because I have to.
What sets you apart from other artists?
Well, I’m all about telling a story, I write my own stuff, and you’ll definitely see this white girl dance. But ultimately, I do what I do to connect and have fun with new faces, and hopefully relate to people and some of their struggles. It’s always reassuring to know you’re not alone in your gloom, especially when it’s expressed through a song.
Tell us about the visuals for the video.
There are so many cool frames. From moody hallways, graphic walls, pops of color, the dance floor. The visual definitely depicts what I’m about. That’s what’s so cool about being a recording artist because you really get to bring out your personal characteristics, which you don’t usually get the opportunity to do as an artist.
Who are some of your musical influences?
MJ, Pink, Hayley Williams.
Why do you like MJ?
I mean, he’s king. He really did it all and created a new style in everything he did that is uniquely his own, which is like, duh. But independently, I am obsessed with his art.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, to be happy and successful in what I do.
What do you love most about being a performer?
It’s just so fun, there are no rules, and the stage fully allows you to be insane. Entertainment is entertainment… as long as you make people feel something.
What do you think it takes to be a pop singer?
Not trying to over-think your image. You just gotta come from a natural place and feel whatever it is you’re creating.
When did you start writing music? Did you always aspire to sing pop?
I started in musical theatre (and still love the stage), but as I got older, the commercial world started to make more sense for me (including acting for the camera.) The pop singing probably got started when my musical theatre coach, Christine Macinally, told me I sounded like a pop singer, which I got super offended by. But here I am, and I identify with it more than anything. Soon, I started writing stuff with my dad, who is a musician, which made it a lot easier for me to be independent now. I never thought I could write my own stuff, but anything is possible with time and focus.
Are there other artists in your family?
Like I said, my dad is a musician. Everyone else is an athlete, including him. I was actually the kid who picked flowers on the soccer field, and stared at the sky for some kind of inspiration, so you could say I was bound for the arts.
Have you received any awards or accomplished any special achievements recently in your musical career, and what are your future plans?
Recently, I got asked to be part of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. It is a program, which picks 4-5 performers/bands around the country at the different HOB’s. They give them exposure to the music industry, and an opportunity for a 3-set show at the HOB’s – April 26th 7-9PM
The next song I’m doing will definitely be appropriate once summer hits. I’m very excited to get in the studio with Ric on this one.
How was your experience at Bristol Studios?
I have been at Bristol on and off (mostly on), since the age of 12. I definitely wouldn’t have started recording or writing if it weren’t for this place. I’m very thankful for the tools they gave me for my vocals, writing, and artist development at Bristol.