Ariana and the Rose is set to start her three show residency in Brooklyn’s House of Yes this week and we are psyched about it. light + space The Trilogy Series will premiere on April 27th as an out of this world experience with Ariana and various DJ’s including Tommy Sunshine, dancers, and a glitter bar. We had the opportunity to catch up with the indie pop artist and learn more about light + space and what she has been up to since we last spoke to her.
ME: Since we spoke last April in 2017 you’ve had a very busy year. How was your experience doing light + space at the Brooklyn House of Yes?
Ariana: It was great, 2017 was busy! It’s so funny, I guess it feels like a million years ago already. It was so cool to do the show at House of Yes. Putting out the EP and I was looking to do the show after that it felt like such a great way to end the year. To start 2017 with new music, doing SXSW, coming back to do some headline shows, and then rounding the year off with having light + space be a success felt like the right way to cap the year off.
ME: Yes! I saw the pictures from that night and it looked like an amazing experience! I feel that with light + space you’re able to artistically express yourself a lot more. What would you say was your source of inspiration for the artistic side of the performance?
Ariana: That’s a great question. With light + space, for me, I feel that it happened at the intersection of a couple different things that I love. That’s kind of what the event was inspired by. I felt that I didn’t necessarily have the right venue to be doing the show that I wanted to do. I didn’t have the place where I was able to creatively and artistically make the things that I wanted to make. I wanted to find a place where the audience would be able to jump into a show. Staging an event that combines these elements of immersive theater and a party and a concert for me was just my way of saying, “Hey! You know what? I feel like there isn’t a home for me to do this. So if there isn’t one for me to do this and jump into then I’m gonna just make it for myself and hope that other people are looking for something like this also.”
ME: That is pretty crazy.
Ariana: Laughs. I always say this every time we’re about to do one, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, what have we done?” But every time we do that show and I see the room filled with people, it always feels unbelievably worth it. To see all those people totally involved in the moment. I mean it’s a really special feeling. We do the show and it happens all over the space. It’s not just everyone standing and staring at the stage. That just feels so exciting to me and that an audience is so open to being a part of that. The core of the show really stems from me seeing immersive theater and then also watching all of these amazing clubs get shut down.
ME: Webster Hall, so sad 🙁
Ariana: Webster Hall and then in London there’s this huge club called Fabric. These institutions in these cities, like I mean when I was growing up I had Webster Hall on my bucket list to perform at. It’s like Oh my God the homes of this kind of community are getting closed and there’s no places for kids to go and find new music, artists, and to dance. So I was really inspired by like the 80’s club culture that was a part of someone’s night. They went out and did that, you didn’t care who the DJ was, you just knew that that club had sick stuff going on. Or that party, you just wanted to go because you knew that you were gonna have fun. So light + space really stemmed from that, it was like me sort of seeing this new wave of this all encompassing experience, event, theater, combined with the club thing. So I was like audiences are obviously hungry for something that totally envelops them and at the same time they’re losing the homes where they used to do that. That’s my whole purpose to do this.
ME: When you go to a show it’s to tune out whatever is outside of those doors. To immerse yourself in the experience with your favorite artist, to feel connected with people who are giving up so much of themselves to entertain you. To spend time and make memories that stay with you for a lifetime.
Ariana: Totally and I find that when you go clubbing and stuff you’re way more open to being chatty with people. I think that there is something with light + space that is really open and I find that people feel and seem very open. Talking to strangers and making conversation, it’s something about the event that breeds that kind of comfort and allowing people to let down their guard. You’re covered in glitter, dancing, and you’re sweaty and everyone is like that. In this weird way it equalizes everyone and you feel like you wanna talk get to know people. If I could provide a space for that for four people in my life or even one person, I feel that’s what I really want as an artist. To feel that you’ve given someone a place where they could be themselves.
ME: After reading the reviews for those shows last year I feel that you definitely reached more than one person. Give yourself more credit!
Ariana: Laughs. I appreciate that! Thank you. That’s the thing, at the end of the day I’m just a girl in a band. I just have this fear that we’ll go on stage and there will be like four people. I’ve played like every dive bar in New York City, Brooklyn, L.A., and in London and it’s that shared band sentiment where you’re like, “Oh God I hope people show up!”
ME: It’s a scary feeling, to feel so vulnerable like that and still be able to push through for yourself and those that are there for you.
Ariana: Yeah for sure. It feels nice and exciting to tell people about these events because I feel really proud and really sure of the kind of time we’re gonna give them. So that feels really good as an artist. To know that when I tell someone what we’re doing I don’t feel lame. It doesn’t feel like I’m advertising anything, I’m telling them about something that I’m passionate about so that feels like a really nice shift too, instead of plugging tickets to your gig it feels different than that.
ME: What do you hope that your audience members walk away with from your galactic immersive residency?
Ariana: This time around we’re doing three shows, one show a month at House of Yes and we call it The Trilogy. Part one is on April 26th, part two is on May 24th, and part three is on June 14th which is actually during Pride festivities in New York so the last event is sort of our Pride celebration. So my hope is that people want to come to all three of them because there will be different things going on at each of them and that they feel that this is kind of like a home for them. But overall for me when people say, “Wow! I haven’t had fun like that in so long” or “I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun” or “ I felt so good”. When people say things like that to me at the events, that’s how I know we’ve done our jobs. It just feels like those nights that you have in your life that you will always remember. Like when you don’t have plans and then you’re out ‘til like four in the morning and it was the best night ever. That’s sort of what we try and provide for people because I feel that those things are so few and far in-between with everything going on the world right now. I just feel like we need a place for people to go to and it’s so important. That’s really my goal with it. The fact that it’s galactic and outer space and stuff that just comes from my own love of all those images and visuals. I think that there’s something so freeing about kind of pretending to not even being a human. You can just do anything.
ME: I still talk about this show I went to years ago from a random night with friends. When an entertainer cares so much about their performance it reverberates with the audience. We carry that with us and it means that much as well.
Ariana: I think that that also where audiences are these days. They can tell when you’re bullshitting them and when you’re not giving them something that you don’t really care about. With this event I cared about it so much before I even kind of saw what it did with the audience. When I saw what it did then I thought we have to give them more. Every time we do something we have to give everyone an experience and we keep topping ourselves. It gets either more intimate or exciting or whatever the goal is. I want people to always feel like they can come back and feel something new.
ME: Would you be able to give us somewhat of a preview on what to expect from The Trilogy?
Ariana: Yeah! We’re not like super secretive. The basis of each show is the same in that we have a 45 minute pre-show, a glitter bar, we do a really interesting virtual reality experience. But what is different every time is that we partner with different DJs and different performance artists, I’m working on two exciting partnerships and collaborations. So for me that’s kind of the magic of the show. What makes the show different is that every show there’s this opportunity to work with other performers and bring their sort of flair on what they do. The first show will have DJ Tommy Sunshine who is like a New York club legend. To have him kick everything off is so amazing and we will announce the other DJs as we get closer to the dates. The party is very intersectional and it’s a home of LGBTQ+ community but also a place that feels like a home for everybody. It doesn’t matter how you identify, it doesn’t matter what your scene is in New York, but that we give something that everyone feels that they can get into. That stems from different performance artists that we work with, different DJs; that is sort of where the difference in every show will be. Then my main show has some fun little differences every time around, it’s never quite the same.
ME: Aside from the residency, I’m curious to know if you’re working on any new music? Any future collaborations we can expect?
Ariana: Yes! Yes, I’ve been working on new music which feels like forever. I’m really excited about it. I have an album’s worth of music, in the moment we’re sort of in the debate of how exactly we wanna put it out, what’s the creative decision behind all that. But I’ll definitely be putting new music out this year. I’m very excited about that and I have a really cool remix coming out. I don’t know if we’ve announced it but whatever.
Ariana: Laughs. We have a really cool remix coming out of a song I did last year called ‘Love You Lately’, that’s been super popular. So I have a very special remix and collaboration that’s coming out super soon. I won’t say all the details. That’s been really fun and it’s coming out this spring. Then playing some different festivals in spring, Brighton Pride in August in London which I’m so excited about because Britney Spears is headlining that.
ME: Alright! (Poorly singing) hit me baby one more time!
Ariana: My literal dream come true. I’m not playing on the same day she is. I’m playing on the same day as CHIC but she’s the day before and I’m literally gonna go early just because I need to see her. That’s once in a lifetime I’m so excited. My hope is that come summer, new music, light + space, and shows all over the place. It’s kind of the tentative plan.
ME: You recently had a performance in Palm Springs anything you could share about that show…besides how amazing the weather was?
Ariana: It was so hot it was crazy! I was on stage and I didn’t know what was going on. I guess because we soundchecked in the morning so it felt really cool. But when we got on stage all the guys in my band were like really sweating and when I walked on stage I was like what is going on? I was on stage for like two minutes and was like “Oh geez! Wow. This is real. We are in the desert.” But no, it was great. I never played the Dinah Shore Festival before which is the biggest I think, lesbian festival in the country if not the world which is really unbelievable. It’s huge. Brooke Candy was playing and I saw her walking around and I tried my best to not be a fangirl. But it was amazing and so fun. We ended up doing a small show in L.A. afterwards as well and that was really cool. It was a really nice trip out there, half working half vacation trip. Even though it’s not because I’m working the whole time there, but just because the weather is so nice. I’m going back in May and I’m really gunning for a trip to Disneyland and my friends are like ‘No. We wanna go to Joshua Tree we’re adults” and I say “No everyone we need to go to Disneyland”. Their priorities aren’t straight.
ME: Speaking of priorities…any news on your pending piglet adoption?
Ariana: Oh my God!! Ugh! It’s actually so funny that you mentioned this. So I recently have moved and so I was at my parents house packing up stuff I’ve left behind from my childhood bedroom. And I found all this pig paraphernalia and I guess people have bought me this over the years. I didn’t even realize it. I guess it’s something that you would know about me, like if you’re my friend you know that I’m really into pigs. So it’s kinda crazy and I guess my mom in an attempt to organize all my stuff out of her house she put it all in this bucket in a little area in my room. I have pig stuffed animals, weirdly, very life-like pig statues, and I was like “What is all of this?” She tells me, “These are the gifts people have given you since you talk so much about it.” Then I was like “Do I bring this with me to my new apartment? Do I let this it go?” I didn’t even realize it was such a thing until I got home and even my mom was weirded out by it. I haven’t bought a pig yet but my parents got a dog and I feel that he likes me better than them. So we’re having a conversation about whether or not I should take him. I don’t think I can because I tour and I travel too much but his name is Alfredo and he is literally the love of my life.
ME: Congrats on your new furbaby!
Ariana: Thanks! He is so cute. He is the cutest thing. My pig dreams are on hold but I have a lot of stuffed pig things. That’s not weird.
ME: Last but not least, any shoutouts?
Ariana: I mean shout out to Cardi B. She’s living her very best life and inspiring us all. That girl is having her year, she’s having everyone’s year. I just love her. I feel like if I’m having a bad day I just check out her Instagram and it makes everything better.
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