"All the best songs are about love and the goodness of life." My Life in Music: Ariana, Sofar Mexico City

"All the best songs are about love and the goodness of life." My Life in Music: Ariana, Sofar Mexico City
My Life in MusicMarch 4, 2020

Raised in rural Mexico, Ariana Arci now lives in vibrant, bustling Mexico City, where she started Sofar Mexico City 8 years ago. When not putting on Sofar shows, she works in digital distribution and artist services in her 9 to 5. This is her life in music:

What’s the first CD, tape or record you bought?

Ariana: For my first CD, I used to think it was The Beatles, but actually it was Smashing Pumpkins. Wait, was it The Beatles or Smashing Pumpkins? Yes, it was a Beatles anthology that came out in the ‘90s. That’s the first CD I definitely bought. I played The Reality Bites soundtrack all the time, but it was my sister’s. I grew up with regional Mexican music but I didn’t like it — we had one radio station. My first tape was Bon Jovi, remember “Always”? I was so obsessed with the video. 

If you could only hear one album on repeat the rest of your life, what would it be?

Let It Be by The Beatles

What was your first concert?

That was Smashing Pumpkins; as you can see I was obsessed. I was from a small town and never went to any concerts. This concert was at the Wembley Arena in London in 2000. 

What about the concert you’ll be thinking about when you’re 85 years old?

I loved Future Islands. I saw them with Alex from Sofar Paris in Paris. I’m their biggest fan. 

But the most memorable so far has been Bjork. It was my birthday — mid-set, she stopped everything and said “Can you please help me sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of my singers in the choir?” Everyone sang the Mexican version, so you had 20,000 people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ on my birthday. I knew it wasn’t for me but it felt like it.

If you get to the end of your life without seeing (fill in the blank artist),  you’ll have a lifetime of regrets:

I really want to see Cat Stevens but in a small Sofar concert. Other than that, Bowie, but that’s done. I’m sad about that but nothing I can do. I also want to see Bon Iver, I’ve never seen him. I was just in LA, I left in the morning and he played at night. 

Did you inherit any of your taste in music or love for an artist from your parents?

That has been a struggle because my parents have the worst taste in music. But you can always get something from them, so mine would be Barry White. The only artist we listen to together.

What about the place you grew up? Did it affect your music taste?

I hated the local music taste because it was so regional, so I looked for new music. I always had that curiosity, it was in my DNA. My parents had parties every weekend, so there was always music around, but their main interests in life weren’t music. I was exposed to lots of music, but it wasn’t important. My grandmother is a really good piano player, but for my parents it was background music and used for parties. My interest in music was more “me.”

Do you have any go-to happy music that puts you in a good mood?

There’s a song by Scissor Sisters, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” — if I’m really sad I put that on and I wake up. I also like Sublime’s “What I Got”... 🎶Early in the morning🎶. Those songs get me out of bed and put me in a good mood. 

If you had a movie about your life, what song would you want to air over the opening credits?

I’m torn. I feel defined by Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” even though I don’t really know the lyrics. It could also be “Don’t Be Shy” by Cat Stevens. That song says that love is better than a song. We love music, and music is great, but at the end of the day we’re talking about love. All the best songs are about love and the goodness of life. Also “Cornerstone” by Benjamin Clementine, even though it’s quite sad.

I do know the song I want for my funeral! “Someone Great” by LCD Soundsystem. It’s my funeral so I get to choose. James Murphy is good with lyrics; those lyrics are weird, but he has an intention, they’re not random.

Gracias, Ariana!

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Ariana’s full list of music:

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