Ari Hest Biography
Ari took piano lessons as a child and later, as a teenager, taught himself to play his mother's nylon string guitar by ear with influences from both his parents' record collection and radio artists. Artists cited as influences are Paul Simon, The Beatles, Dave Matthews, U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Tears for Fears, The Police, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam among others. As a child, Ari aspired to become a professional baseball player and continued to play through the end of high school. During Ari's childhood, his father wrote jingles for toy commercials on television for which he sometimes recruited Ari to sing. One jingle noted by Ari as an example was a commercial for a girl's toy puppy from Hasbro branded "Sweetie Pups". Although he did not win, Ari competed in a Battle of the Bands contest in 11th grade playing Pearl Jam's "Nothing Man" and Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" with another young musician. Ari wrote his first song in 1996 that was titled "Surrounded By Surprise" and is defined by Ari as "something involving a made-up girlfriend and a hot-air balloon". Ari began playing in his first band called Synapse between 1997 and 1999. The band played venues such as New York City clubs and graduation parties. Ari's songs "Fade" and "Consistency" were born from this group. Ari attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY beginning in 1999 and later transferred to New York University, where he received a degree in Communications in 2002.
While attending NYU, Ari began to focus on his musical career by touring colleges and clubs across the United States. 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 CDs. In March 2004, Hest signed a recording contract with Columbia. He recorded his first studio album Someone To Tell with producer David Kos Rolfe, which was followed by a five-song EP "Guilty Hearts EP" in the fall of 2005. His sixth album, The Green Room Sessions, was recorded on a laptop personal computer using Apple's GarageBand software. Ari performed all vocals and instruments to include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and percussion for this album. Ari sometimes gives demonstrations of GarageBand at Apple Stores that are both free and open to the public. Ari has completed the recording of his seventh album, The Break-In with producer Mitchell Froom. A single from the album I've Got You was released on Apple's iTunes in January 2007 and the full-length album was released by Columbia in May of that year. After leaving Columbia in 2008, Ari embarked on an ambitious project he called "52". For the entire year of 2008, Ari wrote, recorded and released a new song every week for 52 weeks and sent them via email to subscribers who paid a one time fee to receive all 52 songs throughout the year. The project was extremely successful, garnering Hest much praise in the media and from fans. In 2009, he released Twelve Mondays, a collection of 12 fan-selected songs reworked and rerecorded. It was self-released on Ari's Project 4 Records. In 2010, Ari went back into the studio to record his next album with producer Alex Wong.
A small budget music video was recorded of the single "They're On To Me" featuring Ari moving through several New York cityscapes and playing a sold-out album release concert at New York City's Bowery Ballroom venue on August 10, 2004. The video was directed by Steven Oritt.
On March 22, 2008, Ari performed a live, interactive concert for his fans at DeepRockDrive. Songs performed include "Sleep Tonight", "Anne Marie", and "I've Got You".
Ari's video for So Slow was shot in Northport, Long Island.
Ari's video for "Dead End Driving" was shot in Phoenix, AZ and directed by Josh Franer