For Aries, the 23-year-old multi-hyphenate, it’s always been about the journey to the sun. “The sun was a goal of mine,” he explains to EARMILK over Zoom,“let me work hard here and get out, it was a metaphorical goal for me."
Throughout high school, Aries was a recluse, skipping parties and hangouts with friends to stay home, in fear of a panic attack or anxiety episode. For him, the sun became his symbol of escape; freedom from the fears he had. His new album marks a clear progression on his eventual journey to it, as BELIEVE IN ME, WHO BELIEVES IN YOU is filled with bright sunny imagery, whether it be in the cover art, visuals, production, or lyrics.
The brighter imagery throughout the project reflects a shift in practice while creating the album. He explains that when making his first album, WELCOME HOME, he “didn’t have an off button, [he was] working until 8 am or 10 am.” The dark place that Aries entered in that time was draining, and he believed it came through in the music, which felt very nocturnal and dark.
For the making of this new album, Aries was very consciously trying to do the opposite. “This album, I really wanted to take my mental health into consideration.” Over the past two years, he focused on going to bed at a reasonable time, stepping away from the music, and avoiding the dark pitfalls that his work ethic can take him to. Naturally, the music reflected this. “What I'm going through mentally always comes out in the music,” he adds. This time around, Aries clearly was focused on reaching his metaphorical goal of the sun, and while he claims he isn’t there, the practices he put into place moved him closer than ever before.
Along with prioritizing his mental health during the making of the album, Aries was actively searching for a new sound. The WELCOME HOME era was over. The change was a bit scary for him. He explains how WELCOME HOME was the first thing that had ever “worked” for him music-wise, and it was a risky and daunting idea to leave that behind. But, for Aries, stagnancy isn’t exciting. “I am not someone who likes to keep doing the same thing. I always want to change and push myself in another direction.” Thus ushered in the new era. Tracks like "RIDING" utilize bossa nova drums, which are a step away from the typical trap drums used in WELCOME HOME. Visually, especially for "RIDING" and "KIDS ON MOLLY", Aries explores a warmer colorway, with sandy dunes and bright yellows. Even lyrically, Aries is more transparent than ever, especially in tracks like "ETA" and "EASY." It’s a brighter era, with less cryptic messages, more melodies, and more fun.
Throughout the process of the album, Aries grappled with the delicate balance of pleasing his fans but pushing himself to do something new. “At the end of the day I make the music for myself, but obviously I don't wanna the piss off the people that got me here.” Despite the nerves and the jitters, it worked. BELIEVE IN ME, WHO BELIEVES IN YOU is a completely fresh body of work that is being well received from the Aries fandom. Even better, the album is viewed in a positive light by the artist himself. This feeling is rare, explains Aries, as he typically gets stressed and bothered by listening to his own released music. Yet, when asked how he feels about the new album, he smiles, and explains, “I listened to the album front to back and sh*t, I felt really good about it. It feels good to have this thing that has been forming for two years to finally be out.”
Since the release, Aries has focused on relaxing and taking time away from social media. Looking forward, in a couple of months, Aries will embark on his biggest tour to date, which inches closer every day to selling out. When asked about his future plans aside from the tour, Aries reverted back to his typical mysterious and cryptic demeanor. With a smirk, he said, “there are many other ventures I want to dabble in, but I won’t speak too much on right now.”