Having just released her new single “Risk It All”, and currently working on a new EP, Aria Wunderland’s 2019 is proving to be pretty busy of late – not that she’s complaining. With musical inspiration stemming from the likes of Radiohead, Coldplay and Lorde among others, Aria is an indie pop artist who afraid to mix things up and put her own stamp on the world in her own way and she spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about the impact of social media, performance plans and her big ambitions for the future.
TITL: Which bands and artists were you most inspired or influenced by growing up and how, if at all, have those influences changed? How do they impact the music you make?
Aria Wunderland: I initially fell in love with classical music as a small child and later started being influenced by pop, rock and hip hop music that was playing on the radio at the time. I’ve been heavily inspired by Radiohead, Kanye West, Fiona Apple, Coldplay. Most recently, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, Juice Wrld, Lana Del Rey, to name a few.
TITL: Who or what most inspires or influences your song-writing and to your mind, which song might you say is the greatest ever written?
AW: I tend to get inspired through other avenues of art like film, paintings, plays, etc. When I’m experiencing writer’s block I usually go see a really good movie or spend the day at an art museum. Greatest song every written. That’s a tough one! I’d say maybe “Imagine” by John Lennon.
TITL: To what extent might you say your classical training has helped or hindered your career, and what advice would you give to anyone looking at undertaking such lessons/training like that?
AW: Classical training is great and serves its purpose, especially when your goal is to learn timeless pieces written by our great composers. You just have to be careful when song-writing pop music and not allow theory to make you over think what you’re doing. A lot of what we do is intuitive and thinking too much about the formula behind everything can hinder this.
TITL: Is there a story behind your latest single “Risk It All” and what made you decide to release it as a single?
AW: Yes! “Risk It All” describes a passionate late night out and succumbing to all of your deepest desires. It’s about abandoning all concepts of time, social norms, personal inhibitions, responsibility, morality, etc.; just risking it all. I tend to get in my head and overthink decisions a lot. This song was written about being free and spontaneous and it was a sentiment I was recently really identifying with. When deciding which song to release next this one just made sense.
TITL: Have you been working on any new material lately? Any chance we can expect an EP or album from you in the near future?
AW: Yes, I am always working on new music! I have a new song I just wrote that I’m very excited about and it might be my next single! I have about 5 songs prepared for my EP so far so stay tuned as it should be put out before the end of this year!
TITL: As someone who is part of a very technology reliant industry, and society in general, do you think it’s possible for artists today to achieve success and earn a following without the likes of Spotify and social media? How have the likes of Twitter impacted your career and how much would you say you engage with fans on platforms like that?
AW: I think it’s certainly possible to achieve success without social media. Anything is possible but it would take longer and it would entail other means of marketing. I’m not an avid user of the Twitter platform. I do have a Twitter account but I tend to use Instagram and Spotify mostly. I am very thankful for these platforms as they have given me the autonomy to get my music out there and find fans that really like me and are enrolled in my brand.
TITL: What’s the nicest/best thing someone has said/written about you so far? What would be the greatest compliment you could receive? How do you handle any more negative comments/press that comes your way?
AW: Someone recently praised my lyrical content and I was very honored to receive that type of compliment. I put a lot of thought into my lyrics and sometimes worry that no one’s actually paying attention. I would say the best compliment I could receive would be something related to my music helping someone or enhancing their life in some way. I would love to use my platform to help people in a meaningful way. Negative press is challenging. I try to focus on the people that actually love me and support me. Those are the people that matter and I’m so thankful for them.
TITL: Are there any tour dates lined up? Would you like to head over here and play in the UK?
AW: I would LOVE to play in the UK. I’ve been to London a few times and it’s one of my favorite cities. I’m planning a US bi-coastal tour first and depending on how that goes, I would love to do some dates overseas.
TITL: If you could play any venue that you haven’t played yet, and have three bands or artists, past or present, for support, where would you play and who would you pick?
AW: I would love to play at Radio City Music Hall since it’s an iconic venue in Manhattan with an old New York feel. I’d ask Amy Winehouse, Tupac and Coldplay.
TITL: What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you? What are you goals for the coming months?
AW: I just filmed a music video that I’m in the process of editing. My short term goal is to release the video. For the rest of 2019 I plan to finish my EP, have a release party and get some dates for an upcoming tour.
TITL: Finally then, as an artist still considerably early into their career, what are your long-term ambitions? What’s on the bucket list and what would you have to achieve for you to look in the mirror and say “Wow..I made it”?
AW: My long term ambitions are to continue to make music and touch lives. I would like to grow my audience and while commercial success isn’t that important to me, I’d feel like I’ve made it if my fan base has grown enough for me to have a sold out international tour.