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Baby Ariel: finding myself again Baby Ariel: finding myself again Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine

Interview

Baby Ariel: finding myself again

We all know and love Baby Ariel because she represents a generation that has had to experience changes faster than any others. Whether she is creating media content, acting, writing, or singing, she always finds ways to show love and make people feel welcome, accepted, and happy.

Recently, she released blue, a very own personal album whose songs have been like a mirror where she can see her reflection, redefine her new era, and find herself again.

We had a conversation to talk about her life and latest projects, so I hope you enjoy it, delight yourself with her music, and feel inspired to embrace the love and plurality Baby Ariel has always share with us.

Baby Ariel
©Baby Ariel – blue EP cover

Baby Ariel | Exclusive Interview

VT: According to you, what are the highs and lows of being popular on social media

BA: Wow! The last few years have been a whirlwind.  The highs for sure have been having a chance to meet amazing people from literally all over the world.  And getting to pursue my dreams of being an actor, putting out my own music, and hopefully one day, being a filmmaker has been unbelievable. 

I’m so grateful for all of those things.  But there have been lows too.

This all started when I was 14, and it was completely unexpected.  So, it took me some time to learn to deal with a lot of the hate I’d get online from complete strangers.  And, I missed a lot of things that teens get to do like prom and homecoming and just having a high school experience.

But the hardest part was learning to truly embrace myself. 

For a long time, I felt so much constant pressure to make sure that everything I did was living up to everybody else’s expectations.  And as a kid, it’s hard not to base your own self-worth on how many likes a post is getting and how many followers I have and all of those things that everyone is looking at. 

But I finally learned to put that down.  Now, I’m focused on just being myself and pursuing my own dreams.

VT: Many parents are concern about the time their children spend in front of a screen. Did your parents ever tell you to spend less time online or something similar? How was it for them to know you were becoming a social media personality? 

BA: Haha! I remember that first weekend when things started going crazy on musical.ly.  Our whole family was kind of freaking out because we didn’t know what was going on.  I think my dad was especially concerned! But, pretty quickly, we all sat down and talked about it and just worked through it as a family.

After that, all of our lives changed because, in a lot of ways, my mom had to help me almost full-time to balance my online stuff along with homeschool; my little brother had to make a lot of sacrifices too, as far as just having a “normal” teenage life. 

As far as spending time online, I think we all realized that it was kind of a job, so we didn’t stress too much about it.

Actually, at some point, I realized that I wanted to spend less time online for myself, and now, I honestly give myself long breaks away from my phone.

VT: Which acting memories do you always cherish so far?

BA: That’s hard to answer because I’ve had so many amazing experiences!  So a few highlights:  I loved my first real role, which was with Jace Norman on Nickelodeon’s Bixler High. That was just beyond exciting, getting to make a movie. 

And working with Disney Channel has been amazing.  Between getting to guest on Bizaardvark, with Madison Hu, Olivia Rodrigo, and DeVore Ledridge, to now making lifelong friendships with the cast of the Zombies movies, which are soo much fun to work on!

And of course, my first theatrical role in Oracle with Heather Graham and Ryan Destiny was amazing.

So, I know I didn’t really answer, but the truth is I love acting so much, and I love getting to meet awesome people! So these have all been great, and I can’t wait for more!

charlie (official lyric video) | ©Baby Ariel Stem Distributions LLC.

Finding myself again

VT: “blue” is finally available everywhere; what can you tell us about the creative process and the inspiration for this album? 

BA: For me, writing music is kind of like my own personal therapy.  I think, at the end of 2019 and going into 2020, I really felt like I wasn’t sure of myself and who I was anymore. 

I had been on this social media non-stop rollercoaster for like 4 or 5 years, and I just felt lost.  So I’d sit at my piano or with my guitar and start playing chords and sing melodies and lyrics as a way to get all of this toxic blah out of my system, to find myself again. 

Once the songs started taking shape, we realized the record label wasn’t going to support this direction that I wanted to take with my music, so I asked to be released. 

All of this happened during COVID, so we went on to record them on a laptop in our home studio.  It is a truly independent record.

My dad, who’s a musician and songwriter, helped me a lot with finishing the writing and then recording and producing it all.  So, blue is my journal entry, my personal cleansing to find myself again.  It’s very personal, but it’s also why it was important to me to share it with my supporters.

VT: The album has 6 songs. How do you feel represented in each one of them? 

BA: Oh man, that’s a lot!  I think each one, in some ways, is about me finding myself again. 

It starts with charlie, which was ironically inspired by a Charlie Manson documentary, and it deals with the idea of being so lost from your own, thinking that you can be twisted by someone else into doing what they want you to do, instead of what you want to do.  And in a way, that’s where I felt I was when I first started writing.

But blue progresses so that the next song, my cover of Moves Like Jagger, is me acknowledging my loss of control.  

I think I hit bottom in some ways in the next song, winter, but it’s in hitting bottom that you realize you can get back up, which is what happens with each of the next three songs. 

By the last song, heaven, I think it shows that while I’m still not in a perfect place, I feel much more at peace.  And, truly, I look at how I am now, compared to where I was when I first started writing the songs, and I know I’ve come so far.

VT: What can you share with us about Oracle and other upcoming projects?

BA: Oracle was such an amazing experience!  I don’t want to give anything away about the plot, but I can tell you that it is such an awesome mind-bending psychological thriller, and I think, if you can handle the scares, people are going to love it! 

Shooting it was great because it was a really tight, controlled cast and crew, and everyone was so mindful to make it a good experience. 

Ryan and Heather were really cool to work with, and the director, Daniel Di Grado, was just so great.  He spent a lot of time with me, making sure I felt good about my lines and in touch with my character. 

I loved it and can’t wait for it to come out so everyone can see it!

Baby Ariel photo
Baby Ariel | Photo by Shalan and Paul

Remember to love yourself

VT: Sometimes, it seems like people only pay attention to the amusement of your social media content and do not realize that you have a strong commitment to philanthropic actions. Therefore, could you tell us more about this aspect of your life? 

BA: I just think it’s really important that we all find ways to take care of each other. 

My parents have always tried to make sure my brother and I were conscious about giving back and being generous with our time, and our energy, and anything else we could do. 

I remember when I was young, my mom would take me to an organization where she volunteered called the “Susan B. Anthony Center” that gave young mothers who were recovering from addiction a chance to get better so that they could take care of their children.  

I used to spend time with the kids, and that made such a strong impression on me.  So I think of all of the things I do, being able to help kids – especially those who might be struggling with something – help put a smile on their face is what has always mattered the most to me, and what really, really makes me so happy.

VT: You come from a multicultural family and know the values of plurality. That been said, what are your thoughts about the shades of intolerance we still experience nowadays? 

BA: I honestly don’t understand all the hatred and intolerance in the world.  It makes me sick!

It makes no sense to me how people have hatred towards other people just because of the color of their skin, or their sexuality, or their religion, or whatever. 

I’ve learned so much and am the person I am partly because I’ve been able to experience things and learn things from people who have different backgrounds than me. 

We all become better by expanding our points of view and by learning from each other.  So to hate a person because of who, how, or where they were born – something they have no control over – makes zero sense. 

I think if people just put down their anger and their fear for a minute and sat with someone who is “different”, pretty soon, they’d find it hard to hate on them.  Pretty soon, they’d realize that a person’s skin color, or a person’s gender, or sexual orientation, are no more a reason to hate a person than because of the color of their eyes or hair.

VT: Which words would you like to dedicate to those teenagers who might be currently experiencing hard times for all the things happening in the world? 

BA: It is a tough world out there, for sure.  But remember to love yourself. 

Remember to be kind to yourself.  Remember that you matter a lot. 

Remember that you make a difference in this world.  And remember to believe in yourself

Surround yourself with people who’ve got your back and want good things for you.  And people who don’t, people who try to tear you down, don’t keep those people around you.

VT: Anything else you would like to tell the readers of Vanity Teen

BA: Just that I’d like to give a big hug to everyone out there! 

Thank you to my supporters for your love; it means everything to me.  And that I can’t wait for this next era.  It’s going to be fun and exciting, and we’re going to do some really cool things!

Baby Ariel
Baby Ariel | Photo by Shalan and Paul

Before we go

In her song charlie, Baby Ariel sings: “she knows who she is”; and precisely, Miss Ariel is in that moment of her life when introspection has been helping her to find her new paths and getting to know herself better, finding herself again.

But there is a thing or two she has never forgotten and has never lost: her love for people, her will to share sympathy, and embrace diversity.

Let us stream blue to join her in this new journey, and most importantly, let us remember her message; let us keep in mind to be kind to ourselves and others.

Let us do our best to eradicate intolerance and love one another.

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