We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Josée and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel, what is the most important factor behind your success?
When I was really small, I was too shy to sing in front of anyone. When asked to perform, turning my back to the audience was the only way I’d oblige. I remember standing in my dining room, probably 5, maybe smaller, and I was facing the door and singing for family members. I had this picture running through my head of me providing food for people. I’d planned on going to a wholesale store and making brown bag lunches for everyone who needed it – whole countries, even. I thought to myself, this is how I can help people – singing. Of course, making millions of lunches a day by myself is not a realistic dream (I was a child), but somehow, even with my stage fright, I thought becoming a known performer, was within reach.
All I’ve ever wanted to do is use my voice for good: to make people feel, to help them through a hard situation, and even just to entertain them. To me, that is the most important factor behind my success. I’ve risked so much to be here, and it’s such an uncertain path to get to where I’m going, but it’s worth it to know that people are watching, listening, and relating. Even if they don’t enjoy my music, maybe they’ll appreciate my journey. As an artist, you have so much visibility into other aspects of your life. Even social media plays a huge role in not only your brand, but your connection to the world. If I can inspire someone to find their joy and follow their dream, that’s an incredible accomplishment to me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart from others is my versatility, dedication to my crafts, and my love of entertaining vs chasing fame.
As much as I’d love to be known so that I can use my voice to help the voiceless, my focus is on longevity in the industry and getting to do what I love everyday for work. Apart from music, I also act and enjoy being in front of the camera as a model as well. Each of these jobs is very different in training. I take time honing each of these skills, whether it’s taking classes, auditioning, writing, etc. I’ve been told that I should choose one aspect of entertainment to focus on 100% by people who don’t know me or what I’m capable of. Once you are in the industry, you may be asked to wear many hats, and I’m going to make sure I look good in every single one. If you love the work, you will give your all to it, and I’m blessed to be talented in different areas because I will never be bored. That is what I’m most excited about – the opportunities I’m setting myself up for, and the idea of living life on my terms and through my art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Prior to the pandemic, I felt like I still had a lot of L.A. to explore because there is just so much to see. Now, I feel like giving someone a tour would be as much of an adventure for me as it would be for them.
Ice cream and sushi are two of my favorite things, and L.A. does both really well. Two spots I’d have to take a friend from out of town are Salt & Straw and Little Damage for soft serve. As for sushi, there are many places I’ve enjoyed, but some of my favorites I have yet to visit because I discovered them during the lockdown. So, I’d go to one on the water, like Nobu Malibu and have a first experience together. If they like tacos, I’m a big fan of Guisados.
As far as entertainment goes, I love live music and rooftop bars. One of my favorite spots (pre-pandemic) was Clifton’s in DTLA. There are 3 or 4 different themed bars inside and sometimes I’ve even seen burlesque dancers dance on the upper level. Whenever I’ve taken someone there I’ve discovered something new myself, so I would look for somewhere like that, with a lot of character and great music.
Again I love rooftop bars, so a few come to mind including Freehand and Harriet’s. Both would be great for a visitor. The times I’ve been they haven’t been too crowded and the views are really nice!
The hard part about this question is that I’ve had so many incredible experiences here that just can’t be replicated. A lot of times I’ve started at these great places but ended up somewhere amazing or exclusive. I’ve been on a helicopter ride, to The Soho House, to Penthouses, box seats at the Hollywood Bowl to see some great acts, but some of my best memories are of dancing in a friend’s living room and eating nachos. L.A. is glamour, and hustle, and grind, but it also becomes your home. That’s what I would show a visitor – my life, my friends, my love for the city, my new home.
L.A. has so much to offer, but it’s really about making your own fun and putting yourself out there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m very grateful to have met a lot of incredible people throughout my journey thus far, but I’d be nowhere without my family. They’re my team. I ask them for advice on fashion, music I’ve written/recorded, concepts, and visuals. They put as much care into my projects as I do. For my last music video, I had a fully animated project. I’d never done anything like it before. I sent version after version to my family and they always gave notes until we got it right.
It means so much to have a support system in the entertainment business because you are always asked to be vulnerable but are constantly subjected to criticism and rejection. I’ve always been taught to put out my best work, and there’s no way I could do that without the help of the people who love me most. They continue to make sure I’m the best artist I can be by being honest with me.
Linkedin: Ariel Josée
Photos by: Laura Espinoza, Silvia Spross, Les Joueurs Fashion Film, and Allison Davis