The first time I came across Aries was in a DM lacking any context–only a single YouTube link to a rendition of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” done in the style of lo-fi hip-hop. As a noted fan of lo-fi hip-hop’s recent resurgence in popular culture, I prepared myself for what I expected to be an amusing quick listen at most. I was thankfully mistaken. The simple yet captivating remix struck a chord, imploring me to dig deeper into the pivotal question of all music discoveries. Who is this artist?
From a cursory Google search, I came up fairly empty-handed on who exactly Aries is. The most enlightening tidbit of information I managed to garner was a succinct quote, “All I am is artist.” Yet, the five nonchalant words felt like all the information I needed into what kind of artist Aries is. Lacking a lengthy press release listing his numerous achievements and dissecting his closest music comparisons, Aries allows for his personality and music to speak for himself, and boy do they ever.
Aries’ YouTube channel contains a series of “explanatory” and “demonstrational” videos that either make a quick dissection of or deliver creative revisions of today’s top hip-hop hits, such as the aforementioned lo-fi hip-hop edit of “This Is America.” In case you were curious, a couple highlights include “If Migos was a Mariachi band” and “If XXXTentacion’s ‘SAD!’ was more happy.” While the series of videos are more than deserving of a full day wasted, letting auto-play do its thing, Aries’ original creations is where the magic truly lies.
Racking up over 245,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Aries’ seven tracks demonstrate the enigmatic artist’s talent as both a producer and vocalist. The hip-hop-centric focus of his YouTube videos bleeds into his work, as each track blares with distorted booming bass lines or delves into the world of lo-fi production. No matter what style or combination of hip-hop production Aries chooses to implore, the one constant is the artist’s empathic vocal delivery. Taking a note from the fusion of late-stage emo and modern hip-hop, Aries’ vocal stylings make full use of the emotional spectrum, bringing forth moments of rage and sobering sadness at the flip of a dime.
So, after immersing myself in the little-known world of Aries, we return to our original question. Who is Aries? Well, all he is is an artist–an artist showing an immense amount of promise.