"Growing up in New York, the LGBT community never felt separate to me in anyway, they were just my friends, my best friends in most cases."
by Andy Ambrosius
Ariana DiLorenzo -- better known as her stage name Ariana & the Rose -- is ready to blow up Boystown.
The singer of "In Your Bed" and "Heartbeat" is a red-hot up and comer, taking on the alternative synth-pop genre and making it her own. The "amazing singer-songwriter," as Fusion Radio's CEO refers to her, just dropped her debut EP Head vs. Heart earlier this year, and a full-length album is expected in the near future.
DiLorenzo, a staunch LGBT supporter with New York City roots, will also be at the Fusion Radio booth Sunday at 5 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with fans.
ChicagoPride.com's Andy Ambrosius spoke with Carlisle as she prepares for her August 9 Market Days appearance.
AA: (Andy Ambrosius) Let's start out with the obligatory question: Why the name Ariana & the Rose?
AD: Ariana DiLorenzo I come from a pretty big Italian family and my grandmother's name was Rose. So, growing up as each new girl was born everyone given the middle name Rose, me included. I have several cousins with the middle name Rose, there's even a dog somewhere in there with that name, my grandmother called it her "Rose Garden." When I was thinking of names for the band a friend of my mine said, "why don't you just name it after your family," which I thought was a great idea. So I did!
AA: How would you describe your music? Synth pop? Pop with depth? Not pop at all?
AD: I think all those titles work! It's so hard to put one sweeping categorization on it. I think in it's broadest sense, the music is synth pop but I'd like to think it has more dimension to it than that. I've gotten to a point where I just make what I think sounds good and I like to dance to and let everyone else tell me what they think it is. The most important thing is that they connect with it, for me.
AA: You grew up in New York, you're Italian-American and you have some damn catchy pop music. Does everyone make the Gaga connection?
AD: Yes! So many Lady Gaga connections.
AA: Is it a compliment being compared to Gaga, or annoying?
AD: I've been to a Lady Gaga concert and she knows how to put on a SHOW. I saw her at Madison Square Garden 2 years ago, I walked in as someone just tagging along with friends and I walked out a fan. If I could have a career that resembles anything like hers, that would be unbelievable. Her music and who she is touches so many people, if anyone sees that in me, I take that a huge compliment. I also opened for her After Monster Ball Show.
AA: Your new EP Head vs. Heart is out now, but you've also worked with Grammy winning artist David Kahne, who's also worked with artists like Lana Del Rey, Regina Spektor and Stevie Nicks. What was that like?
AD: This EP was actually produced by two different people, Kyle Kelso and Andreas Olsson. David had produced an EP I made before Head vs Heart that I actually never released. I learned more working with David than I have in any other studio in my life. Working with him was such an honor. He taught me what it really means to create a class A vocal and the nuance and skill that goes into it. I was so fortunate to do my first EP with him, because he set the foundation and standard to which I hold myself now. Ultimately, I ended switching directions, musically and began working with a lot of producers and writers in England, so I decided to wait to release that music. I would love to work with him again though, it was one of the best experiences of my professional life.
AA: And your full-length album is on the way, right? Tell us when we can expect that.
AD: Yes it is! I'm so excited, I've been writing for what feels like forever. I'll be putting out a small collection of songs before the album so people won't have to wait to get some new music. I'm really proud of the new music, it feels like an evolution of the EP. It's still synth based and has some pretty dance beats but the instrumentation and the sounds just feel bigger and more visceral. I'm hoping people it will really get people dancing, jumping and throwing their hands in the air. Lyrically, it's really about coming of age and the resistance and acceptance of taking responsibility for who you are.
AA: You'll be performing Sunday at 4 p.m. on the Roscoe Stage at Market Days. What should the audience expect?
AD: The band and I are beyond excited to play. We have a special set for everyone! It has songs from the EP and several special covers and we have a surprise at the end to the set too! I'm the worst with secrets so I should just stop there otherwise, I'll end up telling you.
AA: Market Days is obviously and LGBT event, and a huge one at that. What does the LGBT community mean to you?
AD: Growing up in New York, the LGBT community never felt separate to me in anyway, they were just my friends, my best friends in most cases. I've witnessed, first hand, the trials and the triumphs of what it means to grow up in a society that is finally coming around to acceptance and I'm honored to get to stand by my friends while all of this is happening.
I've been so fortunate to be accepted as an artist by the LGBT community and am honored to get to perform at the celebrations. Honestly, it's the best reason to put on a show. To celebrate anyone and everyone who is living their lives the way that makes them happy. I'm just trying to make that special day even better and hopefully get everyone dancing in the process!
Ariana and the Rose performs the Roscoe Stage at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 10. Immediately after the performance, she will greet fans at the Fusion Radio booth at 5 p.m. Northalsted Market Days, which is organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance, runs Aug. 9-10 on Halsted Street for six blocks between Belmont and Addison in Boystown. A $10 donation is recommended.