Gifted Balance Records interview with Ari Joshua

Getting Close With Ari Joshua
November 30, 2023

Good evening to all of you beautiful people out there and thank you for tuning in once again to your favorite music blog, The Study Lounge. We hope you all are feeling your best and having a great day up to this point. Today has been a great one full of some amazing reviews here but, we plan on switching things up and doing an interview with an artist we have been following for quite some time. We hope you all are ready because we are going to dive right on in and show off our interview with Ari Joshua.

Ari Joshua, a dynamic musician and performer, brings a diverse sound shaped by his international upbringing. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, and raised in Seattle, WA, Ari's musical passion emerged early in life. Securing a scholarship after high school, he journeyed to the East Coast to study music, refining his ability to convey powerful musical expression. Ari's dedication and mastery have firmly established him among the cherished figures in the music scene. His journey from Cape Town to Seattle and the East Coast encapsulates a rich narrative, reflecting the global influences that converge in his art. Ari Joshua stands as a testament to the transformative power of musical dedication, earning him acclaim as a beloved performer in the vibrant world of music. Our interview went as follows;

What first got you into music?
”I was first exposed to music as a toddler in Cape Town, South Africa through my grandmother’s record player. My first word was ‘Mimic’, I was trying to say ‘Music’ I think it became a running joke for her every time i’d visit. She loved music and says my grandfather did too. I would run to the record player as I ran into her Seapoint apartment and wanted them to play music. I almost remember it. I must have been 3-4 years old. My family always had great records laying around thought. I am a vinyl baby. I learned in the time before the internet, and really access to shortcuts. We learned off the wax.”

Who inspired you to make music?
”Jimi Hendrix was the hammer and the nail that made me want to make music. I heard what he was doing and I wanted to access those feelings. It was electric.”

How would you describe the music that you typically create?
”I would describe my music as composition forward, and multi genre influenced. There is often a mood or an image, or an idea behind the music when it comes to me. The music is sort of out there it comes through me, and I decode it almost like an antenna or a wifi signal. It’s ultimately an expression, and a feeling. I would describe it as new versions of everything that came before.”

What is your creative process like?
”My creative process was really all I worked on for decades. I practiced being open minded and having a blank slate and just letting it happen. I sort of need a reason or motivation for what I am trying to channel, then the ideas come pouring out until I turn the faucet off. I love that more than any of the other parts of the industry, but the reality of the business now is where you really have to spread out and also cover the other aspects of creating and sharing art.”

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
”I seem to be on a lucky streak, after so many years of hard work the collaborations are really coming more easily. I was thrilled to work with John Medeski, and Billy Martin last year and am sharing those works now. I recently spoke to Mike Dillon, Brain Haas, and the Nolatet about making music. I mean, I’d love to work with the members of The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Pearl Jam. Acts like that are so influential, and they all have so much wisdom to impart. I learn the most via osmosis, that’s the kind of people I wanna work with. Also I would love to meet more producers, and remix artists, and get to work with people like Amon Tobin. Amon Tobin may be my #1 dream collaboration.”

What is one message you would give to your fans?
”Keep following your dreams, it’s gonna be hard, it may even seem impossible at times, but there is a light at the end of these tunnels. I would also like to share that my music is really more than music. It’s all that I believe in and stand for, it’s my way to bring light in the world and navigate the low points. My message is keep going, and thank you for seeing me.”

Do you have any upcoming shows?
”Yes all the time. Go to and click tour or shows.”

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
”Man, that is a big question. Do you have a week where I can talk uninterrupted non stop? LOL. There are more opportunities for distribution, more power for a creative entity to reach people that’s on the plus side. There is also an over-saturated, overly competitive environment that laid the groundwork for a very predatory, and greedy group of powers to really hijack the artform in a way. Not to get too dark but, there are pluses and minuses. Mostly, I would have done it differently, more fairly if I was in charge.”

Which famous musicians do you admire?
”So many. All the jazz greats, Coltrane, Monk, Ellington, Ornette Colman. All the rock giants, Hendrix, SRV, Led Zeppelin. All the Seattle stuff, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice n Chains, all that. Also great classical music, and great EDM Bass Music. This is an impossible question. I also love the Jamband derivatives, Phish, Grateful Dead.”

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
”Woh that’s personal!!!! Me and my friends were climbing on the roof one summer of our old school, it was when we came back from college and we ment no harm. The police raided us out of nowhere, later they were saying there were wanted people in the area on the run, and they thought it may be us. They had a k9 unit and guns drawn. It was terrifying, but it all worked out. I am really grateful the police seem to have chilled out a lot over the last 10 years. They are much needed and appreciated but let’s have them focus on real problems.”

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
”Easy. Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam, he is a mentor of mine of sorts, he is a brilliant cat. Anything he says usually blows my mind. But recently he said something to the effect of ‘You may just need to go with god on this’ I have found this advice to be very helpful. Seems to work every time I put it into play.”

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