Meet ARADIA- an Electronic Pop Artist, Sci-fi Fashionista, and Bona-fide Trekkie
Long before she was creating her fresh and otherworldly but supremely infectious hybrid "roktronica" vibe, Seattle based singer/songwriter Aradia (www.aradiamusic.com) was a proud, self confessed "biggest nerd ever."
Growing up in and around New York City, she was a "mathlete." She joined Young Astronauts. Her personal reading list included Charles Dickens, Ray Bradbury and Greek and Roman mythology. She was a classically trained pianist who enrolled in the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
Perfectly in line with all that, she's a hard core, "Live long and prosper" Trekkie, gobbling up Captains Kirk (original series) and Picard (The Next Generation) and the '90s show Star Trek: Voyager. As a teenager she went to Star Trek conventions with thousands of Vulcan-eared kindred spirits, as well as the Renaissance Faire. Earlier in her adulthood, she wore her Star Trek uniform to work.
That didn't go over so well at her day job in Atlanta, where she and musical partner Wirth Lawson formed Twelfth Planet, a rock band that electrified the scene for a few years. That group opened for Muse and played for 100,000 attendees at the Chicago Auto Show.
But her emergence as a Sci-Fi fashionista was ultimately a perfect fit in Seattle, where she moved in the mid-2000s after the breakup of the band. Not that the adjustment or finding the great support system of friends she has now was easy.
Aradia's new EP Possibilities: Light includes six compelling tunes (plus a dance remix of the super-poppy '80s throwback "Today") that are the optimistic opposite of the dark and pensive tunes on her 2012 EP Possibilities: Dark.
That first project found her ruminating on some of her early experiences in Seattle - cultural and lifestyle adjustments as she wound her way through the Emerald City's eclectic social and dating scene. In those days, her life was like a sad country song: no money, no band, lousy job and a series of dead end relationships.
The title of one of it's tracks, "M Class Planet," is a phrase from Star Trek. The song itself, about people who have destroyed their home planet, was inspired by a Sci Fi series called The Coyote Trilogy by Allen Steele.
Possibilities: Light emerged from essentially the same period of composing but has a decidedly more fun-filled spirit about it - a reflection of the life she has now brimming with creativity, a strong social support system and great hope.
Both are perfect showcases for a unique sound that blends rock, pop, trip-hop and electronica that she has likened to an otherworldly mix of Donna Summer, Trent Reznor, David Bowie and George Harrison.
No doubt some of these influences derive from her growing up with a father who was a musician and music therapist and a mother who was a ballet dancer. While studying classical music from the age of eight, Aradia's childhood was full of everything from East Indian and Celtic music to jazz, Caribbean island music and South American rhythms. A few other possibly relevant tidbits: she began playing piano at age three and flute at age eight, and got into medieval music in college.
Not surprisingly considering her passion/insanity for all things scientific, Aradia compares the sequence of the two EPs to quantum physics. "It's kind of like the different paths that a person can take, the dark journey and the light one," she says. "Making the move to Seattle marked a big transition for me in terms of my self-development and confidence. I'm a pretty spontaneous writer and so the 'dark' songs came out first when I began taking stock of how things had changed in my life.