Catch up with Boston-based singer-songwriter Aria Lanelle and listen to "League" from her sophomore EP, My Name Is, out now.
What first got you interested in songwriting and in music?
Aria Lanelle: Music has always been around me; my family's really musical and, I don't know, I guess it just rubbed off on me. As for songwriting, I started out writing poetry when I was really, really young and I think I just transitioned, around 8 or so, into writing songs.
Do you remember the first song that you wrote?
It was like a cute little puppy love song; it was called "I Love You" [laughs].
Which musicians would you say you've been influenced by?
I'd say I've been influenced by Prince, he's my biggest influence. Mariah Carey. Tons of gospel artists like Shirley Caesar and The Clark Sisters and such. It's just a really diverse list of all musicians.
Could you think of the top 2 songs you're hooked on right now?
Ooh, right now, I've been playing some house music like "Dream Bigger" by Axwell and Ingrosso and I've also been playing a lot of Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book now.
What words would you use to describe your own sound?
I'd call it post diva pop on a bed of rich R&B, that's what I'd call it. [Laughs] It's kind of difficult to pin down but then you kind of think about it and then you're just like, 'what am I really?' and that's when it happens.
Could you tell us more about your new EP, My Name Is?
Well, my new EP My Name Is is the second in the trilogy and I was inspired by going through some rough circumstances in life and I wanted to write about the journey, really. The first song on the EP is called "Then To Now" and that really encapsulates the entire journey of the EP and then you go from a moment of sadness and then, at the end, you come out on a moment of happiness and positivity, and that was really my inspiration; to show that you can make it through a situation and into something positive.
If you had to pick one track from My Name Is that stands out to you, which one would you choose?
"Your Love" featuring Rod Bonner. It's my absolute favorite track on the EP. It's just so bright! And optimistic and it almost harkens to West Coast G-funk or something like Roger Troutman with Rod Bonner's talkbox; it's just bright and happy and something that people can blast out of their car windows and sing at the top of their lungs and just be really happy to.
Can you tell us anything about the next EP in your trilogy?
I'm always writing. [Laughs] I'm always writing. I never stop writing. It's going to be interesting, you're going to see where the journey takes us and it's gonna be, not only is each EP a little story in itself but, the entire trilogy is going to be a story that connects itself too. I'm excited to share that, whenever it's finished [laughs].
What do you hope that your listeners and your fans are able to take away from your music or from this trilogy?
Just an introduction to myself, really. On this trilogy, I'd say I'd call it an introduction to the artistry of me, Aria Lanelle. In general, musically, I'd like for people to be inspired by positivity and understand that you can go through things in life and that's okay, I've been there too, and I'm going to sing about it and maybe we'll sing in choir together at a concert and it'll be fabulous. Someone else is going through what you're going through and you're going to be okay.
Is there anything you want to add?
Be on the lookout for my video for "League", it's coming soon, and all of my music can be found on iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, everything, and of course my website, arialanelle.com. Oh, and I'm also having a Rockwood show June 15th; that's a Wednesday, it's a free show, no cover, at Rockwood in New York City.