Interview with singer/songwriter, Ariel Shaw!

My name is Ariel Shaw and I am a 13 year old singer, songwriter. Music is my passion. I feel different compared to others so music is my outlet in expressing that. It is my dream to one day be recognized for what I do. I pour every emotion I have into my music so that maybe somewhere out there I can make someone feel something. Every day I try to take another step in accomplishing my dream.

Interview by Aleena Kumandan

Alrighty! So introduce yourself!

Well my name is Ariel Shaw and I am a thirteen year old girl who is trying to pursue a career as a singer songwriter!

What do you like to do for fun?

Well I absolutely adore music it's my biggest creative outlet, so I just love playing my piano and singing while expressing all my feelings into a song that I would write. And I also love writing in general.

So how did you get into singing/songwriting?

From an early age I always loved music. When I was younger and even sometimes now I wasn't able to sleep without some form of music playing haha. We had an older piano in our basement that to my parents' surprise I began to play. Some nights after dinner I would sing my family a song I wrote (they weren't very good back then). So anyway my parents saw my interest in music and they started to put me into piano lessons (at age 5) ever since I kept writing, singing and playing. I also adored America's Got Talent since I was verrryyyyy young even before I could talk so it's always been my dream to perform on that stage in front of that huge audience.

What do you love about music/performing? Did you ever have stage fright?

The connection and the fact that even if it's just for a few minutes everyone can hear me and understand. I think one of my biggest goals is to truly make a difference with even just a single person. When I write the songs I write most of the time I'm writing them because I feel like I'm the only one that feels this way but I also know deep down I'm not. Just being able to perform a song and have someone hear me for a moment and think to themselves "I've felt that too" is an amazing feeling, being able to give someone that feeling of someone else understanding is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.

I definitely do get stage fright like most but I'm also extremely into public speaking and I've done it all throughout school about powerful topics, I always did good with public speaking and I think one of the reasons was definitely my mindset and being able to be in the moment. I can be a VERY anxious and overthinking person probably one of the worst but every time before I go to perform I leave that completely behind my kind of like channeling my anxiousness until later. So whenever I get on stage or I'm in those last moments waiting to perform my mindset changes and everything I feel is expressed into the music and emotion of the song.

What’s your favorite album that’s been released in the last five or so years?

Any album by either Grace Vanderwaal, Ruth B, Alec Benjamin or Khalid. They are some of my biggest inspirations in the music world I adore everything from their lyrics to melody to their unique views on the world. Their voices are also so beautiful its unbelievable.

I can definitely hear their influences in your music. Is there anyone in your personal life you’d say is a major inspiration to you?

1. My whole family because of so many reasons 2. My brothers are also extremely strong, about 2 years ago one of my brothers Gavin was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer (I forget the name of it) he is 2 years younger than me and I have another brother Mason who is 4 years younger than me. Gavin fought through it and is almost 1 year cancer free it was a tough journey for him and my whole family. My youngest brother mason is also extremely strong he was only in 3rd grade when he found out which is a very tough thing to find out but he supported and helped the family any way he could.(That's also the reason my hair is uneven and pretty short although I like it because about a year ago i shaved my head into a pixie to show my brother i supported him and i was there for him. 3. My parents and grandparents are also amazing and they do anything they can for us. (My dad only about 2 weeks ago received 2 surgeries for his back due to agonizing pain he was experiencing.

That is such an inspiring story wow!

Anyway I love my whole family and even my nana is in her 70s and helps us every day. And my mom is just the most amazing mom in the world.Anyway so it's been tough but hopefully the rain can stop soon and a rainbow can begin to shine again, but everyone has problems so sometimes you have to be grateful and learn to dance in the rain.

You guys are such a strong family wow! Do you find that you use making to help you process the things going on around you?

100% that is exactly how I feel. Sometimes it's hard for me to talk about how I feel, so music is something that makes it that much easier. It always feels good when I'm doing music even when I'm writing about sad things. Music forever has my heart.

Do you find it harder to present/perform your more emotional tracks?

I believe emotionally maybe but when they are emotional tracks I put every ounce of emotion I have into it so people can both hear how I feel in the words and also in how I'm saying those words.

I get that. Did you have any performance plans that were cancelled due to the coronavirus?

Surprisingly no I wasn't extremely booked at the moment because I was actually only starting to perform completely solo out in public (not counting my school, at my school I was in choir and I sang the national anthem for the school board) but I had tried a few new things performance wise. Anyway, at the moment i didn't have many (although I did have some that were cancelled) but I only started around then to perform completely in public.

What makes a good song? What’s a common factor in the music you like?

Originality for sure. I don't necessarily like listening to songs singing about the same things over in over. I want a song that makes me feel something, which is hard to do if it's a song that is like so many others.

Any advice for aspiring songwriters?

I wasn't able to write good song for a long time sometimes I wasn't even able to write but if you you CANNOT give up if you want to succeed and i know its said way to much but i mean it. If you want it enough you can get it, I'm still working on getting my dreams to come true to but you have to trust the process. I thought it would come in a second to me but it doesn't and that's okay. Learn to enjoy the journey.

Any final thoughts?

I'm just very grateful for this opportunity thank you.💛

No problem, thank you for a wonderful interview and good luck!

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