The Scene: @WhoIsAriel

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The mark of a truly successful individual is that of one who is able to craft a unique vision and then apply themselves to bring it to life. Luck, miracles and serendipity take a backseat to work ethic, preparation and consistency when chasing one’s dreams.

The Scene is an original series by The Elmont Excelsior, dedicated to highlighting neighborhood music artists and community talent.

Our next featured artist has natural musical ability, which includes a knack for musical composition along with a willingness and a work ethic to execute several of his creative visions all at once. His latest project and media campaign was almost exclusively crafted by Ariel himself, in a ‘labor of love’ effort he says took about two years to make.

We hope you’ll take a listen to The Golden Tape, and please enjoy our interview featuring @WhoIsAriel!


Interview by The Elmont Excelsior. Words and music by @WhoIsAriel.


Ariel. My internet/social media handles are @WhoIsAriel.

Favorite album of all-time:

I don’t have a single favorite album, there’s too many great albums for me to have a favorite.

Artist whose legacy you admire:

Kanye West because he consistently has made an impact with what he’s accomplished.

Year graduated from Elmont:

Class of 2014.

Hidden talents:

Drawing, Breakdance/Flips, I want to get into designing my own clothes though.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?

Music and Poetry.

Your music definitely contains early to mid 90’s Hip Hop and R&B elements. Who and what are some of your influences?

Nas, JAY Z, and Kanye West are my biggest influences musically but really anything can inspire me.

If you could choose, what is your dream place where you would hear your music being played?

A place I would hear it is playing is blasting out of random peoples’ cars as they drive by.  The best feeling is knowing that my music has reached people I’ve never met and them really enjoying it.


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Talk to us about your latest project, “The Golden Tape.” What was your inspiration behind it? How long did it take to complete?

The inspiration behind The Golden Tape comes from just my life experiences and things I went through/learned growing up.  I wanted to make a Hip Hop project that was produced by me, that was real, true to myself and true to the listeners.  It took around 2 years to complete including the process of just figuring out exactly what sound I was going for while making and trashing songs for the final project.

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You do (almost) everything yourself — songwriting, production, artwork, engineering. What are benefits and challenges of truly being able to do it all?

The benefits are that you only have to depend on yourself for how good or bad the work comes out.  You have complete freedom and so the creation becomes fully your own.  It’s not really challenging, if anything it makes things easier because I have the ability to do it all and create a sound purely designed by myself on my own.  I just had to learn the skills but even then it was fun to learn.  I was young when I started out so by the time I began The Golden Tape I already knew how to put together a song with good quality.  Still the learning process doesn’t stop.  The challenge doesn’t come from having the ability but from having to conceive and design a creative unique sound.

Name one thing you like about the record industry and one thing you don’t like.

I like the record industry because music is very important to culture and to peoples’ lives individually.  It provides artists with a way to make a living off their talents as well.  What I don’t like is when artists have to make music just to receive a check because what happens usually is that the music becomes more for commercial gain rather than the love of creation or connecting with audiences.  That ultimately reduces the quality of the music.


What do you wish there was more of in Elmont?

I wish there was more ambition and more coming together of people in Elmont.  I know there’s a lot of talent in Elmont but talent won’t get you anywhere without working hard and many of us remain separated.  We gotta support each other when see each other doing something positive.

What is your favorite song of yours and why?

I don’t really have an exact favorite, but if I had to choose it would be “Came A Long Way” at the moment.  I feel this song is smooth, powerful, emotional and moving.  I really love how it came out and how it wraps up The Golden Tape as an outro.

Many thanks to @WhoIsAriel for granting us this interview. Don’t forget, the views expressed by this artist do not necessarily reflect the views of The Elmont Excelsior. We simply want to elevate these young artists and celebrate their passion for music. Join us next time around as we feature another up-and-coming neighborhood artist, right here, back on The Scene. 


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