You could argue that the coining of words like "blog rap," the salience of YouTube hits and the swapping of demo CDs for iTunes download cards confirms that the mission of the modern artist is not to make an impact, but to make you to click. And while he may not yet consider himself an old timer in OC hip-hop, rapper-turned-vocalist Ariano has surely watched the transition as his style also continues to change with every album and single becoming less about his bars and more about his baritone.
One nagging habit he's continued no matter what is the art of pounding the pavement, ground-level marketing and doing what he can to earn likes across the country the old fashioned way: By earning them face to face. Whether he's touring the country or rocking a seldom local show here and there, the co-founder of Huntington Beach label Technicali Sound is using a bit of old-school grind and new school savvy to earn his fan base. And it's seemed to paid off when you look at his resume, collaborating and recording with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Glasses Malone, Wu-Tang Clan and most recently Shady Records signee Crooked I of hip-hop supergroup Slaughterhouse.
Ariano and the revered Long Beach rapper teamed up on a new remix of his song "Not Going Back," the lead single on Ariano's 2012 LP You Can't Take it With You, produced by LD on the Cut. It's one of the many tracks he'll bring with him to the Crosby on Thursday with MC Supernatural and Phillieano as part of the bar/restaurant's monthly Sound Science event starting at 9 p.m. In an effort to get you familiar with Ariano's level of grinding commitment to the game, and get a taste of what he's been doing lately, we caught up for a brief chat before the gig.
OC Weekly (Nate Jackson): Describe your gradual transition from being a rapper to now becoming basically a full-time vocalist? Ariano: The transition from rapping to singing has been a natural progression for me. I released my first solo singing album back in 2007 and on the LD and Ariano debut album there was a lot of singing on the hooks so it has been very natural.
How do you feel touring mostly outside of OC has helped your career? I have been very fortunate to travel around the country and I have never rocked a show without being asked back before. Usually when given the opportunity to perform out-of-state, I'm able to plant the seeds that are necessary to come back and keep growing there as an artist. I'm usually a fan of touring the East Coast and the Midwest and usually enjoy most places that I've never been. What I love about the road is finding yourself looking people in the eye and showing the world who you are with your art.
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Now that you and LD have committed to separate projects, you with your solo stuff and LD joining Sublime with Rome as their DJ, has that changed your artistic dynamic at all? Really nothing has changed by LD working with Sublime we are all friends and connected musically LD and I when we are home off or are usually in the studio every day working recording writing and planning releases. Our last LD and Ariano Show was February 2013 it was a packed house at Sutra and we still rock shows on a routine basis.
What advice do you give OC hip-hop artists looking to break out of OC? The advice I would give to anybody young in this music game is to put your best material out there and take it out into the world get on stages and give people your music physically you will only limit yourself if you were only on the Internet in hopes to achieve a fan base. Even in this day and age, you still have to get out there pass promo out CDs, stickers, iTunes cards, shirts, merchandise, and get on his many stages as possible and show people your heart I still believe that good music will always prevail and get the attention it deserves if you don't give up.
What's your main focus right now outside of touring? Right now my main focus is getting to release The Collection: Volume One. It's a reflection and a collection of material from all of my solo and collaborative albums and standout singles. The first single off the collection is the "Not Going Back" remix featuring Crooked I of Slaughterhouse and Shady Records. The second will be out in the next couple of months and the album will be out in September. After that, look out for LD and Ariano to will follow up with an album after my new project and LD's new solo album.