Ariel & The Culture

After you read this article, I direct you to click all of the links and listen to this band; because they are hot and only getting hotter. I was introduced to this group at a battle of the bands recently, and they were incredible. Their original mix of R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop fusion drove the energy level up to a solid 11 when they took the stage. Their songs are fun, energy packed, and funky, if you aren’t dancing to them, you’re dead.

Founded just over a year ago in November 2017, Ariel & The Culture has made a big impact on the Independent music scene in a short amount of time. After adding their songs to Spotify in October of this year (2018) they were quickly chosen for two editor's choice playlists and have reached over 300,000 downloads of their hit song “Walk Out.” Their fan base is growing quickly too, as they keep playing festivals, local venues and touring.

I had a chance to visit with Band leader Jason ‘Ariel’ Bobadilla, and the conversation only made me love this group even more. It was evident through our talk that Jason is passionate about entertaining and this project. I was curious about the origin of the band as they are big; comprised of 7 or so players at any given time, and they are very well put together. We will get to that in a minute, but first, let’s go back to when Jason was barely a teenager and starting his musical journey. A dancer, he easily transitioned into singing and playing instruments. He taught himself piano and guitar and at the ripe old age of 15 played his first show to a packed coffee house in his hometown. He continued on his music path until the end of high school, where he went on to no longer pursue music! Shocking, I know, but for a moment he thought it would be better to pursue a media arts degree and let the music take a back seat. Good thing it was only a moment, and I’m sure Jason is a fantastic media arts major, but music is his calling and fortunately for us, the Universe knew that and brought him back to it in a big way, which brings us back to Ariel and The Culture.

I was surprised when Jason stated that Ariel & The Culture was a “happy accident,” considering how incredible they are. He explained that he had slowly started playing music again and was booked for an acoustic show, due to a booking error they no longer required him as an acoustic act but instead required a full band. Lucky for Jason, being a student at The University of North Texas, a school that is known for its music programs, he had ready access to some of the best musical talents in Texas. That first show was what every musician hopes to achieve, a catapult show; the audience loved what they heard and demanded more.

More is exactly what Ariel & The Culture has given them. Since that first show, they have toured all over South Texas, played music festivals, nightclubs and been in the studio recording and producing their original music. Jason writes all of the songs for the band and then gives it the group to be torn apart and rebuilt into the melodious gold they create. He told me he writes all of the songs in his car, and that inspiration comes in waves. He might have nothing for months, and then out of nowhere the ideas come at once, and he sits in his car transposing the thoughts in his mind into the songs that define Ariel & The Culture. He praised his fellow band mates and their ability to take his ideas and turn them into something even greater than he imagined.

As I mentioned earlier the band is big and has had various members come and go but is currently comprised of members: Jason ‘Ariel’ Bobadilla on guitar and vocals, Kyle Hassien on keys and vocals, Blake Lindstrom on drums, Ian Votaw on Bass, Sax player Eric Stein, Trumpet player Brandon Conley and vocalists Nat Marie and Gabriella Torres. Jason met Nat Marie at a flag football game and had to have her in the group after watching her impressive football moves and hearing her amazing voice.

It’s impressive how these different musicians come together with their individual styles and talent and mesh into one accord. Jason’s wide vocal range allows him to transition easily from belting out high energy notes to crooning along to his exciting dance moves. Nat Marie’s soulful vocals mixed with Gabriella Torres’ dulcet voice provide well-crafted harmonies, while Kyle Hassien’s smooth vocals add an unexpected element. The horns played by Brandon Conley and Eric Stein add a funky, R&B style; and bass player Ian Votaw's creative bass lines and drummer Blake Lindstrom’s infusion of jazz/pop fills help round out the unique sound of Ariel & The Culture.

They are currently writing and recording new hit music and preparing for a residency at Louie Louie’s in Deep Ellum, Texas slated for Spring 2019. They are managed by Culture, Inc. who can be reached for booking and press inquiries. Be sure to click all of the links to listen and purchase their songs.

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