Combining an energetic music style with death-defying stunts, pop rock guitarist Ariel Bellvalaire has brought the true rock-n-roll image to life in her art. She quite literally flies through her music video for Elastic, whether it be on an open road via motorcycle or up in the sky through stunning aerial acrobatics. The flashy stunts draw you in, but you'll stay for the anthemic songs, powerful both lyrically and instrumentally.
We spoke with Bellvalaire about everything from her passion for music to her iconic stunts. Check out the full convo below!
What inspired you to become a songwriter? Was there a particular moment in your life when you knew that you wanted to be an artist?
A: I started writing songs pretty early on in middle school, when I would have issues with other kids, I would always write about it! Luckily for me, I knew I wanted to be an artist by 8 years old. I was in gymnastics summer camp at the time and Avril Lavigne came on the radio and I jumped off the balance beam to listen to her and was completely blown away. I never got over that moment!
The music video for “Elastic” is so fun from start to finish. What was the experience like for filming?
Thank you so much! Filming the video was one of the coolest experiences I've had up to date. The motorcycle scene was by far my favorite. We drove to the desert at 3am to get there in time for the first bit of sunlight to get perfect lighting! I had in ear monitors in so I could hear when the music was starting and play guitar to it as soon as I was standing up on the motorcycle. We had a sprinter van driving alongside us with the camera sticking out the side door to film me! I remember when the director, Hunter McCann first had the motorcycle idea. I was terrified to try it but then it quickly became my favorite stunt!
Speaking of the video, it truly shows how multi-talented you are. Do you have plans to continue including aerial acrobatics in your future work?
Ah thanks! Aerial acrobatics is a huge part of my life and I love performing on the hoop. I definitely plan on working my love of aerial into any show I do! I'm all about over the top stunts with guitars!
Did any aspects of the video filming prove to be particularly difficult?
The hardest part of the video was actually the scene where the picture was lit on fire and burned into the shape of a guitar. In order to do that, we had a metal guitar shape cut out and glued to the back of the photograph. It took several tries to get the full guitar shape to burn and man did the metal get hot!
I think it’s safe to say that both “Elastic” and your newest single “Diamonds and Coal,” portray some pretty heavy emotions that a lot of people can relate to. What message(s) do you hope your fans take away from these songs?
I hope that my fans can take away the fact that it is possible to get through any situation you're in. The situations in the songs definitely carry heavy emotions but to balance it, the music is more fun and uplifting. Every situation eventually balances itself out and I really want to portray that in my songs!
Some people have referred to your music as “Avril Lavigne with a hint of Van Halen” (rightfully so). Are those two artists you draw inspiration from?
That reference makes me so happy! I love Avril and she is 100% what got me started on my musical journey. The second I heard Eddie Van Halen I almost fell off my chair. I was so blown away by his tapping guitar solos that I knew I was meant to be a rocker!
What do you love most about making/playing music?
I love the feeling of being on stage and performing to an audience. I feed off of their energy and it pushes me to perform even harder. It's so great being able to connect with people through art.
Are there any artists you've found yourselves inspired by lately? Or maybe just rising artists you’ve been hooked on?
I've been really hooked on Maggie Lindemann lately. She has fun and heavy songs and being a rocker myself, I'm all about heavy guitar driven songs!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face as an artist?
The biggest challenge I've faced so far is constant self-doubt. Ever since I started years ago, I'm constantly bombarded with people telling me what to do and who I am, whether it be to my face or on social media that sometimes I have a hard time remembering who I am and why I truly love making music. The second I get on stage though, I'm reminded of exactly who I am and why I love what I do.
If you had your own theme song, aside from one of your own, what would it be?
Oh, that's a tough one... I'm going with "I Believe I Can Fly." ...Simply because I think I can when I'm upside down on a hoop spinning!