Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Coup D’etat?”
This is the first single off of my EP titled “Paper Gowns.” This particular song is very special to me as it is the only song on my EP in which I delve into politics and make a statement. I really want people to understand the message I’m trying to bring through music.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I’ve always been inspired by the history of rebellion and revolution. The concept of Coup d’etat (overthrow of government) has always resonated with me. Given the circumstances surrounding our recent election, I wanted to express my frustration through art. A coup d’etat is very unlikely to ever happen in our country but I wanted to play with this idea (hypothetically) and elicit doubt about our democracy in my fans and listeners.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Visuals are in integral aspect for me and my team. I often imagine the visuals as I am penning the song and want the listener to experience what I do in the most multi sensory way possible. A video for Coup d’etat is definitely in the works.
The single comes off your new album Paper Gowns – what’s the story behind the title?
Paper Gowns is a lifestyle album. A gown made out of paper is a metaphor for affordable and attainable luxury. Reveling in the magic of being a broke girl living in the city with a bunch of roommates but still figuring out how to get your hands on a fabulous dress, get into the most elite places to have a fabulous time. I want listeners to discover their inner superstar realizing there are no limitations to living in lavishness when you approach it as a state of mind.
How was the recording and writing process?
This song was a different direction for me.
While there is always a lot of hip hop influence in my music, with this one we were blasting A Tribe Called Quest before the session for inspiration. Consequently the production has a 90’s jazz rap feel. I wasn’t really set out to write anything in specific I was just in a creative mood and was allowing the song to come to life on its own.
How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist?
I was raised by very strict parents and was very rebellious growing up. I think this definitely comes across in my writing. I have spent a lot of time in New York City and Los Angeles; because of this I have a lot of urban and metropolitan influences and experiences that inspire my writing. Both cities influenced Paper Gown’s topics in politics, LA parties, Manhattan, debauchery, rags-to-riches, this idea of trashy classy. I was also raised in the 90s so I was heavily influenced by rock.
What does your producer LVRK bring to the table?
He brings something very unique to the table. LVRK is an incredible talent. He is from Nigeria and credits his amazing drumming and rhythmic sense to his origins and London upbringing. He is also a very prolific rapper and contributes to the hip hop elements I like to add to my sound.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are writing for someone else than when you are writing for yourself?
I used to when I first transitioned into writing for others. I had a lot of noise coming from so many different directions and was encouraged to set out to write specific sounding pop songs for targeted artists. These days I just aim to write good music and then find a home for the song rather than the other way around.
What aspect of your life and politics did you get d to explore on this particular record?
I was inspired by our recent election and playing with the conspiracy that we may not now much about what we are being told, needing an overthrow of government etc. I also channeled a relationship I was in at time and using the concept of coup d’etat as a metaphor to feeling oppressed and powerless needing a way out, etc.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes I hope to soon. I have awesome musicians I play with in Los Angeles. I’m finishing up recording new music and after the release of Paper Gowns if everyone’s schedule permits I want to start off with a series of shows in New York and Los Angeles.
What else is happening next in “Aria Wunderland’s” world?
I am currently traveling back and forth from LA to New York every month working on writing some new material. I recently went to Japan and Thailand and plan to be traveling overseas some more in 2017. When I travel, I love to do community work for different causes. Right now I am specifically involved in a non-profit organization that aides in the prevention of animal suffering called ISWMP (IStandWithMyPack.org). I plan to be joining them overseas to volunteer in different animal hospitals and shelters.