‘Psychedelic mountain funk’ | Interview with Ari Árelíus

Part of the album Hiatus Terræ, Harpa can effectively introduce you to the signature sound of the Icelandic artist Ari Árelíus. Driven by the playful and lively guitar notes, the track feels as refreshing as it gets.

Describe your sound in 3 words

Psychedelic mountain funk

Harpa is a blend of numerous different genres. Tell us a few things about it. Would it be safe to assume that the track started with this exciting, playful riff?

Yes kind of, the goal for this album was to create each track from the same conceptual framework, a juxtaposition of the terms local and global resulting in a place called Hiatus Terræ. The riff came after a day of jamming to some tunes that I felt captured the vibe of that place in my mind.

When did you decide to become a musician yourself?

Consciously I think not until I was maybe 15 but it always seemed like an impossible dream. There’s a lot of music in the family and a lot of music generally in Iceland so I’ve always felt like that was a cultural conversation I wanted to participate in.

Artists and people that have influenced you?

Shabaka Hutchings, Johnny Greenwood, Khruangbin, Air, ADHD.

As a new artist, what was the biggest challenge you faced so far?

Probably enjoying music while also taking it seriously. When you strive for something it tends to become clocked in desire, like when you play a gig in a half-empty versus the bar is full and one of your favourite musicians is in the room. Staying creative and free from ego I guess is what the challenge boils down to for me.

What do you love/hate about your Reykjavík?

I love and hate how small it is. You almost can’t go out and not meet someone you know which makes it hard to break free from your evaluation of who you are. Then again, it’s very easy going, a lot of space to be, close to nature.

Future plans?

The album Hiatus Terræ comes out 22. july, got a new music video to one of the tracks called Melrakki which is all done in stop-motion, doing gigs in Iceland and hopefully internationally, stay tuned on the gram!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Set your heart’s true intention and let it guide you.

Thank you!

Follow Ari Árelíus

Follow our Spotify Playlist “Reinvented Eclectic” feat. Ari Árelíus

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