“For me really, I just fell into music by accident. I was a gymnast first, which is where ‘Ariel’ came from, and then I wanted to be Avril Lavigne, so the guitar just fell into my lap,” says the exceptionally enthusiastic Ariel Bellvalaire during a recent phone chat. The singer/songwriter released her latest single, “Diamonds Or Coal,” last week. The pop-punky track is reminiscent of Ms. Lavigne, had she been snapped up by Blackheart Records, instead of Arista. The song is the follow-up to “Elastic,” which dropped earlier this year and whose music video features Bellvalaire performing gymnastics-inspired stunts while playing guitar, an art form which she has dubbed “Shrednastics” and performed on ABC’s The Gong Show.
Although Ariel Bellvalaire’s name is relatively new to the “artist” slot of your music player of choice, she’s been making waves in the industry for a lot of years now. In 2014 she found herself on Broadway for the one-night-only Prince Tribute, Dearly Beloved, and she’s taken to the road with Nik West, “I Am King” – The Michael Jackson Experience and all-female Guns N’ Roses tribute band, Paradise Kitty, among others. And since she moved to LA in 2015, she’s found herself playing in a bevy of national campaigns for the likes of GMC, KFC, and Kia: “You know the Kia commercials with the hamsters? That was me! They were like, ‘We need a guitarist under five feet, who can fit into a hamster costume and shred,’ and I was like, ‘Right here!’”
Ariel Bellvalaire’s musical journey thus far has been mostly about “shredding,” but during our recent chat she admits that she had always had making her own music in mind, that it was just a matter of finding the time for it: “I have friends who are like, ‘I never knew you sang, much less had amazing songs!’ In my head I was always a musician in my own right and then the pandemic jumpstarted it. It was like, ‘You are doing this!’” Apparently, in addition to “Diamonds Or Coal” and “Elastic,” Ariel has enough songs to round out an album, but during our discussion she tells me that what she’s most excited about is people getting to see her.
“I’m so excited for people not just to hear my music, but to see me perform… I feel like I’ve been planning this since I was 12 [laughs]… Above everything else, I’m a performer, so I want a really over the top show that really wows the audience. I mean, I already play guitar while hanging upside down, so how cool would it be for me to just drop in on an aerial hoop? It will be a huge show that combines singing, guitar, and acrobatics.”