By Ric O’Barry
About two years ago, we received word from a young lady who was working on some songs and was very attached to dolphins. She had read my book, Behind the Dolphin Smile, while she was in grade school, and of course saw The Cove and wanted to help. Turns out, Arielle is enormously talented and truly dedicated to helping the dolphins.
After a lot of work on her part, her debut video and song “California” has just been released, and I’m sure it will be a huge hit. Expect to be hearing it on the radio soon.
Here’s how Arielle’s song came about, from her official bio:
“I only wanted to be me/ I had the best intentions/ I was scattered in all directions,” she sings on her new pop gem California, finally confiding, “I can’t find the sunshine in California.”
Yet the New Jersey native had lived in California most of her life. And she’d been singing since age five (with the prestigious San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula Girls Chorus), followed by playing the piano, trumpet and at 10, guitar. By 16 she’d become a rock-guitar virtuoso (soon thereafter even earning the imprimatur of her childhood idol, Queen guitarist Brian May.) Arielle studied with Brian in London – Brian, like Arielle, is a huge animal rights advocate.
After working on various projects, Arielle was “discovered” by guitarist Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme, Rihanna,) who shopped her to managers and labels. Her other supporters include guitarists Steve Vai, Uli Jon Roth (the Scorpions) and Michael Angelo Batio.
In 2013 Arielle landed in the studio of Red Decibel Music Group (Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Switchfoot), where she clicked with producer/co-writers Adam Watts, Andy Dodd and Gannin Arnold. Their creative chemistry was so electric, in fact, that the songs tumbled out on top of each other, and the spark of California was struck!
Arielle was true to her word when she first met me in Los Angeles and said she wanted to help. In September 2012, she joined me and a number of global activists from Japan and around the world on the beach in Taiji, singing a song for us amidst the shouts and insults from the extreme nationalist groups who support the dolphin slaughter. You can see video of this trip here; that’s Arielle singing at the end of the clip.
And you can go to her website to learn more. Arielle will be coming out with a new EP online in late spring.
Her official biography says: “Arielle’s commitment to something she holds as dear as songwriting is the Dolphin Project, a cause she’s championed as long as she’s played guitar.”
Brian May says it best, I think: “That small body holds an amazingly big heart and amazingly mature passion. Her musicianship is a clear indication she has been here before! Pass her by at your peril.”
Congrats to Arielle on the debut of her new song and music video! Long may she sing for the dolphins!