Aries is the first astrological sign in the zodiac—a symbol of fire. Aries is also the moniker of the Los Angeles-based, Orange County-raised multi-hyphenate whose real name is up for debate. Surrounded by flames, Aries struck a deal that ignited something in him. “When you first get into music, when you really get into it, you sign a deal,” he tells me over our Transatlantic video call. “Everything I do outside of music is somehow still connected to music and I can’t escape that. Not that I want to, but it’s as if I signed a deal with the music devil and he’s like okay, everything you do now has to be for this music thing.”

Aries took this to heart, cultivating his own eclectic musical persona. The 22-year-old released his debut album WELCOME HOME via his own independent label WUNDERWORLD in 2019, and followed with two singles in late 2020, “FOOL’S GOLD” and “CONVERSATIONS." With a genre-agnostic ethos, Aries' skill set ranges from singing and producing to directing and illustration, and he is intent on fulfilling his pact by establishing an entire creative world around his music. When I ask what he wants to achieve, the answer is simple: “WUNDERWORLD domination.”

On our video call, Aries sits reclined against a neutral sofa in a minimalist room. His fish tanks linger on the edge of the frame, a piece of the sea, a constant source of inspiration and childhood comfort transported into his home. Later in our call, he leans forwards, eyes shining. He looks around the room, weighing up the size in comparison to his childhood bedroom—the place he started to make music. Reminiscing, he recalls nights spent at the beach and it’s evident how much has changed. 

A fascination with alternative music led Aries to commit his thoughts to lyrics long before he thought of himself as a career artist. He pauses when he thinks back, hints of fondness and embarrassment arising out of nostalgia over middle school years spent “getting high and doing freestyle raps with the homies.” Even before this, it was in elementary school where he began to experiment with creating videos inspired by the developing YouTube scene. This early interest would later serve Aries as he navigated the digital landscape, garnering attention and a dedicated following from his YouTube channel.

“I’ve tried many things to become successful on YouTube,” he explains. He initially focused on an episodic series before introducing his how-to video: an array of visuals which dissected and recreated the production behind popular records on the verge of taking off. It wasn’t long before they gained traction, bringing in millions of views and attracting a community. Surrounded by music lovers and creatives, it became the ideal environment for the young artist's pivot to releasing original music.

Now, Aries is determined to keep alive the sense of community that has been a hallmark since his YouTube days. Two years on from the remix contest of his debut album's “SAYANORA,” he reintroduced a similar competition for new single “CONVERSATIONS,” with 10,000 people signing up and over 1,000 entries.

As he gears up towards new releases, we caught up with Aries to discuss his journey so far—growing up on the internet, YouTube’s influence, the WELCOME HOME tour, WUNDERWORLD, and more—in his first ever editorial interview.

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