INTERVIEW: Alt-Rock Artist + Actor AVATARI

Hi Ari, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great thanks!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Saturday Night”?

I’d love to. I wrote and recorded “Saturday Night” two years ago during a very creative time. I’d say it’s one of my most pure songs. It’s all about young love. That feeling of excitement and adrenaline that you get when love is brand new. Like when you’re getting ready to go out for a night on the town with your friends, and you know you’re going to run into that special someone you’re falling for.

When the pandemic hit, I decided to hold off on releasing the song because it just didn’t feel like the right time. Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I felt it was time to let it go. After all, I think we can all use a release at this point. Ultimately, I want this song to be a celebration of human connection. Love, romance, joy, freedom – like a rebirth of the summer of love. But for right now.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Saturday Night isn’t exactly about one particular event in my life. But I did write this song, and a few of the other songs I released recently, around the time my son was born. His birth was a huge creative inspiration to me. It started during my wife’s pregnancy actually. I just started to see the world a little bit differently. I became more emotional. More open. And I also started to see things through his eyes a bit. I got to kind of live vicariously through his innocence. It’s beautiful.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

I’m going to release a lyric video for “Saturday Night” this Friday October 1st. I’m really excited about it. I told the director that I wanted it to feel like a modern summer of love. To celebrate the re-opening of the world. Dancing, roller skating, Ferris wheels, and fireworks. I wanted all of that with a touch of psychedelia. She knocked it out of the park.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a blast. I worked with Casey Sullivan at 111 Studios in North Hollywood. We’d worked together on a couple of tracks before and we’ve done a bunch of stuff since. He’s a total pleasure to work with and we have a great process. I usually come to the table with a fully written song with very little instrumentation (like just me singing on acoustic guitar) and some specific references of current music that has the production style I’d like to achieve. Then Casey helps mold the production and arrangement into exactly what I’m looking for, with a few nice surprises. Casey blew my mind with the track he created and the way he guided my vocal arrangement. I couldn’t have been happier. 

What role does LA play in your music?

LA plays a huge role in my music – both the creative and the business end. Part of my deal is that I’m an actor as well as a musician, so I’m always looking at how the music and film industries work together. Those are my two passions, and LA is kind of the hub for both worlds. There are amazing musicians out here, as well as film makers, as well as those who are looking to invest in both. I enjoy the world of sync – getting my music placed in film and television. My first song “Legacy” was used in a Rolls-Royce ad, which I got to star in.

I also love the opportunity to create high quality music videos as a way to convey the emotions behind my music. I got to shoot a really fun music video for my last release “Superhuman” where one of my good friends in the television business (David Maurer – Masked Singer, Startup, Absentia) came on to direct and produce. He did an incredible job. He even brought on his friends at Swazzle (Kidding with Jim Carrey, Crank Yankers – Comedy Central, Waffles + Mochi) to build puppets for the shoot. It was such a fun experience and really brought a whole new layer to my music.

How does your background as an actor influence your music or the other way around?

Since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved the fusion of music and film. I loved Michael Jackson’s music videos (“Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Bad”). They were events. I also loved pivotal moments in movies where brilliant choices in the music supervision elevated the story to an unforgettable level. Where the music combined with the story would give me goosebumps. Both mediums are so emotional on their own, but when combined – it’s pure power. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out which path I should follow – the path of an actor, or the path of a musician. I’ve started to realize that I love both, and that I don’t need to separate them. I love when I get a chance to create where both worlds intersect.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

It’s coming along great. I actually have a whole brand new EP’s worth of songs recorded and fully mixed and mastered. I plan to release singles every couple of months and then the EP in the spring.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Let’s say April 9, 2022 for my EP.

What else is happening next in AVATARI’s world?

I’ve been auditioning for some TV and some movies. Have a few things in the works, but nothing I can talk about yet. And as far as music, I’m excited about building up to the release of my EP. Also, I’m looking forward to getting on the road again and playing for my fans. It’s been so long since I played live, I hardly remember what it feels like. It’s one of my favorite things in the world (if not my very favorite). I think having been away from it for so long, I’m going to appreciate it on a whole new level. I can’t wait.

Stream “Saturday Night” on Spotify

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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