In the Studio: Ari Hest

In the Studio: Ari Hest

Every week, the New York City songwriter is releasing a new song via online subscription, and at the end of 52 weeks, subscribers will decide which 10 songs will comprise his next full-length record. It’s a “concept album” with an intriguing concept, and unlike Rick Wakeman’s “medieval rock opera on ice,” it seems to be working. By Mike Errico What inspired the idea of 52? I did it just to challenge myself and see if I could write that much and record myself, which I’m not accustomed to doing. Also, I just thought that putting about another album didn’t appeal to me right now. I just didn’t think it was something that was going to propel my career, given the state of the industry. And the fact that I was leaving my record label [Columbia] back in the fall; I wanted to start fresh with an idea that most people hadn’t really heard of. How does it work? Every Monday, a new song gets released through e-mail if you sign up for a subscription service. For $20 you get all the songs, and if you sign up halfway through the year you get all the songs that I released prior to that date. Do you think the album is dead? Yeah. I do think it is. And I don’t know how it’s going to go in the next few years, but I do feel like people are going to start doing similar things to what I’m doing, if not the same thing, where you subscribe to some sort of service, much like cable TV. Maybe I’m getting a head... read more

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