X. Ari’s got the coolest voice and she’s been performing for quite a while. We’re stoked to be premiering her live video for “Cattle Call.”
Sam: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this song?
X: Cattle Call came together pretty organically. A producer/writer named Mr. Oz reached out to me on Instagram about working on music together and sent me a few tracks. I wrote the lyric and melody to one of them, which became Cattle Call and my first Instagram collaboration. I write about tragedy, hope, and empowerment and advocate for mental health awareness. This song discusses exhaustion and burnout and is meant to serve as a reminder for balance in our chaotic lives. My friend DuskRider produced the final record and it's a fun one to perform because I get to scream my face off on the bridge, which feels so cathartic.
Sam: I saw you majored in psychology and you're a great advocate for mental health. Can you tell me more about this?
X: Yes, I studied and love psychology and focus heavily on mental health awareness. I was an athlete as a kid and teen and used to meditate and visualize my routines as an exercise. I became fascinated with the mind and curious about what causes or motivates our behaviour. I had a tumultuous upbringing and challenges with mental health from a young age so I wanted to understand our inner workings. I felt like I could use my negative experiences in a positive way if I became a psychologist. I also feel very connected to helping others and healing myself. I think I may have been a healer in a past life, who knows!
Sam: Has this helped you with creating new music in any way?
X: Definitely! Music has always been a therapeutic source for me and I write to heal and channel dark into light. My Pain Into Power campaign is composed of my EP "Dis-Order" (May, 2018) and short film Grace and they are both deeply rooted in mental health. I didn't intend on combining my interest in psychology with my passion for music until last year. I decided to advocate for mental health through my music after I had a breakdown in November, 2016. I was completely lost at that time and truly did not think I would make it through 2017, but I survived and grew a lot in the process. I realized that if I could find my way to healing and happiness again that I could share my story with others to let them know that they are not alone and they can heal too.
When I was at my worst I felt so alone and if I had seen someone else speaking up about their own mental health struggles maybe I would've had more ease on myself and felt less ashamed. I now embrace all my "dis-orders" and accept myself and reality for what it is and try to make the best out of it by turning pain into power by creating music and sharing my story with others.
Sam: A lot of musicians tell me they want to make people happy. What is your ultimate goal as a musician?
X: My aim is to connect on a deep level with people and to be a symbol for hope and healing. I'd like to help as many people as possible heal and learn to love and accept themselves for who they are.