Aria of The Other LA is an amazing Louisiana based singer, songwriter, and musician. Between her work in support of the non-profit Aspie's Rock benefit and practicing with her band, Aria took a moment to talk to Heard>Herd about her journey as an artist.
Here are some highlights from the interview...
Tell us about yourself! Where are you originally from?
Aria: That’s a fun question. I was born in New Jersey and lived the first four months in Philadelphia. We then moved to Amsterdam for about a year. I don’t remember it of course, but my mom and dad tell me all kinds of fun stories. I think of myself as originally from South Carolina but I moved to Louisiana three years ago. And the people here have adopted me as one of their own. So, I guess now I am a Ragin Cajun.
When did you first realize that you had an affinity for music?
Aria: Well, I always loved singing. I was singing when I was about four years old and started playing piano when I was about eight. My first experience being in a band was when I was nine. There was a band camp back in South Carolina at a place called Homemade Genius. I was the lead singer. The boys didn’t want to sing, so I told my parents I wanted to do it. We played Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar, which was my favorite song back then. I felt so alive playing on stage and that’s when I knew that I wanted to be in a band.
Is anyone else in your family musically inclined?
Aria: My sister and I can both sing and play piano. My sister has a different style of singing. When she’d sing, she would sound like Adele or Amy Winehouse. My dad says that his side of the family has musical talent but it skipped him (and always laughs). My mom’s side of the family can sing too, she and my grandma can both sing.
Who has inspired you to pursue your music?
Aria: My parents have been very supportive of my music over the years. My dad is actually the manager of The Other LA. I also have bandmates who support me. All my friends are very proud and want me to go far with my music.
Have any famous musicians/singers been an inspiration to you?
Aria: Some of my favorite singers are Amy Lee from Evanescence, Hayley Williams of Paramore, and Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive.
When I was about eight years old, I was listening to the radio and heard this awesome rock song with a female vocalist come on. I found out that the band was Paramore and the song was Decode. After downloading the song, I’d sing it every day. And I actually just got into Tonight Alive last year. My old guitarist introduced me to them and I immediately fell in love. I want my band to go far and be successful the way they have. Opening for them would be a dream come true.
Is there a song that you love to listen to over and over again?
Aria: Hmm. That’s a pretty tough question because I like a lot of songs and I can’t really pick one. If I had to pick one it would probably be Passive by A Perfect Circle. The melody and rhythm are beautiful and the outro sometimes brings me to tears.
These days, do you ever get nervous before a performance?
Aria: Sometimes, if there are a lot of people in the audience. But after the first song we play, the fans get into the music and it looks like they’re having a good time. That’s when I start talking to the crowd and getting them pumped.
Which song of yours most accurately represents where you are in life right now?
Aria: Probably Surviving Soul because the song is basically about fighting everyday problems in life and not giving up. I wrote this song because I wanted to reach out to people and say that it’s going to be okay and you shouldn’t give up on yourself.
What’s one of the most enjoyable things about being a musician?
Aria: Well, I get to play music every day which makes me happy and I’m around my best friends all the time. I get love from my fans and it makes me feel special because I feel like I belong.
What’s one of the most challenging things about pursuing a career as a musician?
Aria: Sometimes we travel to venues and don’t get enough money for gas or hotels. I never really get stressed out when we’re on the road because at least I get to play music and make people happy.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a musician?
Aria: I would say if music is your passion, then work hard at it and become successful.
Where can we download The Other LA’s music?
Aria: We have our song on Reverbnation and Facebook. We don’t really have a download link because we only have demos up right now. We are working with a few people who will help us take those demos and make them into full songs that we plan on releasing as our first EP.
Click here to hear Surviving Soul and more music by Aria’s band, The Other LA. She’s an incredible artist and definitely one to watch!
*Check out the full version of Aria's interview in this month's PDF version of Heard>Herd*