"Be Cool or Leave": An Interview with Ari.
Updated: Apr 30
Talking Nashville, rocknroll, and making it in the music industry.
“This is the new sunset strip.” A musician on Honky Tonk Hwy in Nashville, Tennessee tells me as he takes a swig of beer after playing an iconic set of Rolling Stone covers and epic rock hits. He’s of course referring to the heady days of the 1970’s LA music scene, a time that neither of us had actually lived through, but we know the stories. And you can see what he means.
Every night is a party here. The alcohol flows, and 1am on a random Tuesday could be just as chaotic as a weekend bender in a normal city. But this isn’t any city, this is Nashville, ‘Music City.’ Honky Tonk Hwy, properly known as Broadway, is a road with so many bars and bands you could get FOMO from just standing on the street corner. While the level of debauchery is regulated by tough security guards, and the streets are unusually clean, there’s a palpable sense of restrained chaos as hundreds of people let loose in a city that is not their own.
It's understandable why musicians flock here. The hard-working ones can make a living playing covers at night while building a fan-base and spending their days working on original music. The sometimes-grueling four hour set times also quickly build the chops needed for touring acts. For others it might just be an easy gig for free beer and an endless party. Tourists pay to hear specific songs, costing them anything from 20 USD and ranging up to 100 or more for something like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s epic ‘Free Bird,’ which I saw several renditions of ranging from ok to incredible. The sheer number of musicians in Nashville almost guarantees that you will see some very talented players.
I first saw Ari on a quiet Monday night at Nudie’s bar on Broadway just before the American thanksgiving. She was guest singing with a fantastic band I’d found on a previous trip to Nashville, and I quickly became a fan. Mixing a Stevie Nicks rasp with a Grace Slick ‘no hold's barred’ attitude, Ari slayed everything from big rock songs like Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’, to gentle Fleetwood Mac hits. Doing them all while affably joking that it might not be great. But it always was.
Ari is not even halfway through her twenties but talks with the wisdom of someone much older. We’re sitting down over Zoom to discuss Nashville, and what it’s like being a female in the music scene. A glance at Ari’s Instagram will show you she’s a remarkably open book, posting everything from ‘outfits of the day’ to what she thinks men should be like, and this interview proves to be no different. You will hear about everything ranging from advice on breaking into the music scene, to tips for dealing with toxic men on a daily basis, plus of course, where to shop for her amazing clothing. I'm so grateful to Ari for agreeing to this interview, and am thrilled to be sharing it with you all, right here. I think you're going to love Ari. Enjoy.
Until next time,
Peace and Rocknroll.
Find Ari Online:
@arimusicnash on Instagram
@arimusicnashville on TikTok (catch her Live streams!)