Aria and how to win as an emerging artist

ICMP songwriting graduate Aria lets us in on what it takes for a new artist to break through in 2017...


From Spotify to the coolest music blogs, ICMP BA Songwriting degree graduate Aria has the world of leftfield indie pop waiting on tenterhooks for the first whiff of new music. 

Weaned on the greats such as Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty, she studied a music degree at ICMP to boost her skills and it's time obviously well spent with her mix of indie, pop and nineties soul catching light over the last few weeks. With 'You Got Me Good' recently selected on Spotify's New Music Friday playlist and more new sounds up her sleeves, we caught up with Aria to learn more about her musical roots and her advice for emerging artists looking to stand out from the crowd... 

How did you start your musical journey? 

I’ve wanted to live a musical life since I was a child; there are video clips of me at age four, singing, and that hasn’t stopped–the desire to make music and sing has only gotten stronger. There isn’t a particular song that comes to mind, but I listened to a lot of greats: Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac etc.

What made you want to make your own music?

I don’t remember it being a conscious decision. I’d always sang, so when I picked up a guitar and started to learn how to play, I instinctively began writing too as a creative outlet.

You recently made Spotify's New Music Friday playlist - how important is it to be on this platform and get selected for these playlists?

It’s incredibly important: it’s one of the main and probably the most popular platform for listening to music and discovering new sounds, so being on the platform is vital to my career progression and being selected for the playlist feels like an achievement and is very encouraging.

How did your music get into the ears of Spotify's tastemakers?

I honestly don’t know. I like to think it all happened organically. Lol

How important is it to get bloggers onside during the early days of your career?

I’d like to think those influencers who enjoy my music don’t need to be coerced into anything. Of course, expert criticism is essential too, and I think it’s important to know how fans are reacting to/ receiving my music, so maintaining relationship with bloggers and journalists is important as a guide for where my music could go.

If you had three essential tips for new artists starting out, what would they be?

Make sure you know what you’re getting into and why; you have to really love music to get in to this business, because it’s a real slog and you have to put in a lot of work before you see any reward. So do it for the love."

2) Find your tribe: it’s so important to surround yourself with other artists and people who will encourage and inspire you.

3) Expect to fail. You surely will at one point or more, but this is essential too; you’ll learn to be resilient, as well as cementing your desire to make music or to go in a different direction.

You obviously studied a songwriting degree at ICMP - how did your experiences in music education shape you and your music?

I think the best thing about the ICMP for me was the people I met on my course, they inspired me and help me grow as a musician and as an artist. It's inspiring to be in that sort of environment every day creating, learning and shaping your art. It was very encouraging." 

Which artists do you look to for inspiration? And why?

I love Lykki li, Stevie Nicks, Banks. I love female musicians who are pioneering in music not, doing what they want–not following trends and being unique; Also all of the greats, George Michael, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tom petty. Great songwriters and musicians who were truly one in a kind and great at their craft.

Have you any methods or tips for beating writer's block?

Don’t freak out; you won’t constantly be riding the waves of inspiration - if you’re blocked, take that time to focus on something else and the writing will eventually flow.

What projects have been keeping you busy and what does the future have in store for you?

My next single from my EP will be out in January which will follow with a music video. I've also been traveling around Europe working with great songwriters and producers working on the next EP. It's all green lights and we're firing ahead.

Listen to 'You Got Me Good' and visit Aria's Facebook page for more information. 

If you're interested in studying a songwriting degree, then choose ICMP - London's leading music industry education provider.  Find out more via our courses below... 

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by Jim Ottewill
November 22, 2017
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