By Myki Angeline

Alternative Rock/Pop duo Icon For Hire are crushing it into the new year with their latest album You Can’t Kill Us which was released in November 2016, and funded entirely by their fans. The Kickstarter campaign originally launched in 2015 with a goal of $2,106. This number was shattered with a final tally of $127,000 making it the highest funded music campaign last year.

Purchase You Can’t Kill Us here.

To hear the title track courtesy of idobi Radio, listen here.

Icon For Hire has been a band for 9 years; whose self-titled album reached #66 on the Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart in 2013. Lead by their dynamic singer, Ariel who considers herself an introvert, comes to life with her music.  I wanted to learn more about her and Icon For Hire, so I reached out to Ariel who graciously granted me this interview.

Ariel credits the band Linkin Park for introducing her music,at the age of 12, “I was totally obsessed with them; their music had a lasting impact on me. Listening to that band made me want to make music of my own. My thought was, if these dudes in their 20s who didn’t know me can influence me this much, maybe one day I can try to influence people too.” However, she is quick to mention that her older sister was the one to encourage her to pursue music, telling the young artist at the tender age of two that she was destined to be a performer.

And that she has been with Icon For Hire. An accomplished pianist (and guitar player, but leaves that up to her band mate Shawn, whom she feels is better at playing) Ariel composes most of her melodies and chord structures there. Her and Shawn are the songwriting team of the band, with Ariel writing lyrics and Shawn handling production, music creation, and sound design. The band enjoyed a successful fall tour last year with the release of You Can’t Kill Us, sharing with me a memorable moment on tour, “There was a moment in Charlotte, NC at a venue called The Rabbit Hole that took my breath away. I was in the green room all night and hadn’t really seen the crowd yet, so when we walked on stage my heart just sort of exploded. The room was packed front to back, with people hugging all three sides of the stage, and I felt so connected with every person there. I was able to look individually into people’s eyes and sing with them, feel with them. It was all very moving.”

Another way Ariel likes connecting with her fans is with her weekly videos, The REL Show on Youtube, which covers a wide variety of topics from mohawk tutorials to inspirational phrases that get you through tough times. Her video channel is great platform to share her experiences with being a woman in the music industry.  Ariel believes our job as women is just to keep going, create fearlessly, and dismissing altogether how our gender impacts people’s perception of our art. Ariel is confident that as more women involve themselves in the music scene, the less of an issue it will become.

Her newest project is a book she wrote titled, Turn Your Pain into Art which is scheduled for release later this year. It’s about her journey from self-loathing to self-love, and is dedicated to all of their fans who struggle with self-hatred.

To learn more about Icon For Hire and follow them on all socials, visit their website here.

Below is Ariel’s video, “16 Things I’m Grateful For From 2016” :