Ariana DiLorenzo has done a lot in her young life from acting on stage and screen to emerging as one of electro-pops most promising stars with her band, Ariana & the Rose. We recently chatted with the New York native ahead of her St. Louis PrideFest debut on the Bud Light Main Stage on Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m.


We’re super excited to see you at St. Louis PrideFest.



I know, I’m really excited to play. I’ve never been to St. Louis. 


Oh, it’s a fun time. They moved Pride downtown last year and it just doubled in size.  



Oh, cool. I’m really, really excited to play it so we’ll be there with our awesome glittery outfits on for sure.  



So what do you have in store for St. Louis audiences? 



I’m actually bringing the remixes for St. Louis Pride so you guys are getting a special treat. I normally—I’ll be playing some other parts with the band but what we’re doing is real dance beats. So it will be me and some dancers and I just want it to be really high-energy and I just want it to be a dance party.  



Tell us about your first PrideFest experience. 



I’m from New York so my first Pride – I think I was in high school the very first time I went to New York Pride. I went to Performing Arts High School and all my friends and I—I want to say we ditched class and went to Pride. But it barrels down 5th Avenue and it’s just so much fun. I have so many friends where this is such an important thing going on in their lives and it’s just a huge part my daily life. I have a lot of friends where we’d just all go to Pride because it was just so fun. It was the thing that everybody was doing and the gay community has been so much a part of my every day that I don’t even think of it as a different community, it’s just where I grew up in New York City. 



When did you first realize that you were really resonating with gay audiences? You know that old saying, when you make it with the gays you’re making it big…  



I definitely agree with that. I think that when I first started doing remixes it just seemed a really natural fit that I should be trying these things out in the clubs. So the natural progression was let’s see how these would work in gay clubs, specifically. And I have to say it is my absolutely most favorite thing to do, other than just performing with the band, because the audiences are the most supportive, excited, most welcoming people you could ever perform for.  



As a new artist, it’s crazy, because people don’t know your music and that’s a big thing to ask people. They’re out at the club and it’s a Saturday night – they’re looking to dance and have a good time. They’re dancing to probably whatever their favorite song is right before you, and this new artist comes on and says, here’s this new music you’ve never heard before, you don’t know me, but you’re asking them to kind of get excited and move to what you’re giving them and the response has been so amazing. I’m really grateful for it and I don’t take that lightly at all.  



So to get to perform in clubs in front of an amazing group of people who I feel on the whole, in terms of gay clubs, has always been on the forefront of music and what is coming next and what the next wave is going to be. So I really take it as an amazing sign.  



Your music is such an experience and so high energy – how did you develop that sound?  



It was a real merging of sort of a few different levels. I come from a real singer/songwriter background and play piano and I wanted to write songs that told stories and I wanted to write songs that people felt talked more about real things that were going on in their lives as opposed to, you know, just the beat to the music and ‘oh let’s party, let’s go out, let’s black out.’ I loved dance music as well and I loved artists like Robyn – “Show Me Love” was the first tape that I had. So my music is just a merging of that. I love dance music, I love dance beats – there’s just something really visceral about making people move, but I wanted to tell stories that I loved. I wanted to be able to give people something real. I sort of joke that I want people to be literally dancing and crying – that I could just have the whole thing be this high-energy catharsis for me.  



Who or what inspires you?  



There’s definitely other artists who inspire me, but more than anything, especially in terms of branding, I have an amazing group of friends. Growing up in New York City and the people I’ve been fortunate enough to be around and the city itself have been really inspiring to me. The location I’m in is a very big force in how I’m feeling – I spend a lot of time in England these days and that’s definitely changed the sound of my music, being exposed to what’s happening over there. Especially in terms of electronic music, they just do things a little differently over there. The lines are blurred between what’s pop and what’s more electronic and I’ve sort of been bringing that to what I’ve been doing more and more. So definitely cities – New York City for the big one and my friends. I’m friends with just a big group of strange artists: designers, set designers – one of my best friends is a fashion designer. I’m literally going to be making a music video next week and the whole crew is a group of people I’ve gone to school with and we’re all pursuing this professionally. It’s amazing and inspiring to get to make things with people that you’re peers with and that you’re all coming up together. That’s where I get a lot of my excitement.  



Your blog on your website is really great – you can really connect with you and your life behind the scenes. Do you populate that all on your own? 



Yes, I do. I love fashion blogs in general. I mean, if I have a Saturday night and I’m designing to stay home I’ll order in, rent a movie and just peruse through Tumblr and things like that and just pull really great imagery and things that are exciting from people to patterns and shapes. For me, it’s like a release and a time to mindlessly search the Internet. I think I kind of delve into things like Tumblr. So it came from that. I was going on tour and I wanted to make a tour diary and I said, you know what, I love fashion and it’s such a big part of me and my projects and what I’m doing. So I wanted to give people a chance to have a glimpse inside a tour diary as well as a fashion blog. You always see people on stage in these outfits that it feels like it’s so organic and it’s fun for me to show people that no, there’s a process to all of that and it’s really fun. I’m actually making a bunch of special little dresses for the tour I’m about to go on so I’ll be posting about that which I’m really excited about. 



Who’s your favorite designer at the moment? 



I really love Christopher Kane – I think he does really cool things. I’m a real vintage lover. I was with my band at a vintage store in Brooklyn the other day and just got lost in the store. Amelie, you’ve left us. I was like, sorry, I got distracted by all the amazing vintage dresses. I think that’s something I really gravitate towards. I love the brand Opening Ceremony, Jeffrey Cambpell – things that are fashion but outside the box a bit more.   



What projects are you working on that you’d like to talk about? 



We’re about to go on tour in the UK in May which I’m really looking forward to. We’re opening for a great British band called The Hoosiers and that’s going to be a 17 day tour. Then we come back and I go right back into playing Pride which I am so excited about. I spent the whole winter performing in gay clubs across the country and it’s been such a fun experience to get to do that. So now to sort of take it outside the club and play on stages at Pride – there’s really no other way I’d rather be spending my summer.  



What does Pride mean to Ariana? 



I think it really means what that word is. I think it’s about loving yourself and having the belief that what you’re doing with your life is something to be proud of and that you shouldn’t have to listen to or worry about a single other person’s opinion.





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