Indie songstress ARI sets the tone as a force to be reckoned with as she unveils her official music video for “Pretty Little Villains,” which begins with a heartbeat synth that picks up in tandem with her cadence as she takes aim at “beautiful douche bags” before exploding on a shuddering refrain that’s impossible to shake. The track, written in anger after reading of a horrifying human trafficking incident, will be featured on ARI’s upcoming debut EP Tunnel Vision out June 3, 2016. The video, directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg, premiered yesterday. Watch below:
When discussing the inspiration behind the track of the track, ARI says, “I read about a human trafficking incident that made me very sick to my stomach. A few blocks away from where I live a 14-year girl old was held against her will in a hotel room for a week. It really disturbed me and in turn I began writing about how angry it made me feel and how destroyed this young girl and her family must be. There are things about the world that I wish I could change, just like many other people. At the very least I can write a song to call out the villains and help empower women and men of all ages to stand up for themselves and be strong no matter what challenges they face. For me, this song is a power anthem to fight against the bad guys and stand up for the preyed on. It goes to people who’ve experienced rejection or hate in any form – from being stood up on a date, to being fired without a good reason, being touched inappropriately at a club all the way to being abused. Everyone has felt this type of pain whether it is in a minimal or extreme sense.”
On ARI’s debut EP Tunnel Vision, she continues to break down the walls of conformity offering a beautiful collection of songs with the right amount of grit that enables her to make statements she hopes will help others. Musically, the Toronto songstress deftly dances in and out of genre lines, moving from entrancing alternative pop to gritty hip-hop production under a cover of electronic elegance. At the same time, the visceral lyrics transmit messages of hope as often as they ponder tragedy. Her sound comes to life in the middle.
“Working on the EP became the birth of a totally new process,” ARI says. “That’s when I adopted the name ARI. It felt like a fresh tableau. The past doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you who you are. It’s just part of where you’ve been and if you aren’t careful then you can get stuck in this tunnel vision focused on the past. This is the musical identity I’ve been working towards my whole life.”
Ultimately, the name ARI says it all. “In Nordic, it means eagle and in Hebrew, it means lion,” she leaves off. “I feel fierce, but I feel playful and free. I feel like an outcast, but I’m part of a bigger group. I want my art to convey that duality.”