Get to Know Ari Hest

Posted on 25 February 2011

Mix two parts  Jakob Dylan to one of Tom Waits with a splash of Bob Seeger and you have Bronx-born Ari Hest, an up and coming singer-songwriter whose new album Sunset Over Hope Street debuts next week on the Downtown/Mercer Street Records label.

Like many fresh young artists, Ari has had to penetrate the music industry using his own devices. Under his own independent recording label, Project 4, Ari released one EP, Incomplete and two albums, Come Home and Story After Story, selling approximately 20,000 copies.  In March 2004, he signed a recording contract with Columbia.  He recorded his first studio album Someone To Tell with producer David Kos Rolfe and followed that up with a five-song EP Guilty Hearts EP in the fall of 2005. His sixth album, The Green Room Sessions, was recorded on a laptop computer using Apple’s GarageBand software. Ari performed vocals and played all instruments including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and percussion for this album.

After releasing The Break-In on Columbia Records in 2007, Ari decided to assume more creative control over his music and, like other artists concerned with the quality and integrity of their music, parted ways with his label.  Utilizing technology as a distribution vehicle, in 2008 he launched his highly ambitious, successful 52 project, a web-based subscription service that found him writing, recording, and releasing a new song every Monday for an entire year!  At the end of the year, the subscribers were asked to vote for their 12 favorite songs from the project.  Ari reworked the top vote-getters and digitally released the album Twelve Mondays in early 2009.

Following completion of 52 and armed with 40 unreleased songs, Ari continued to experiment with different instruments and arrangements.  The result, Sunset Over Hope Street, is a departure from the style Ari honed in earlier works.  In the meantime, he has posted a video of the song How Would I Know.  Directed by Josh Franer, it is a perfect depiction of the modern love story – boy meets girl (at a songwriters circle), boy loses girl, boy realizes he can’t live without girl. The video ends with the two sharing coffee on a rooftop, looking out onto the brilliant city skyline.

Check out the video below and look out for Ari’s new album on March 1st.  You won’t be disappointed. 



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