On the L train heading East in New York City, Ari Hest is surrounded by business people, kids heading home from school, and foreigners looking at subway maps. Ari has his phone up to his mouth and he's singing jibberish into the receiver. After a few seconds he stops, puts the phone down, and says, "Sorry, needed to get that outta my system."
And I believe him. Hest doesn't so much play music as it flows through him. He explains, "No matter what I'm doing, aside from sleeping, there's a soundtrack to it. It's a blessing and a curse, as it drives some people in my life nuts occasionally, but it's how I've been and always will be."
Music is Hest's unparalleled passion, one that's seen him create at an astounding pace since he began writing songs in his late teens. Aside from the hundreds of melody snippets swimming around in his iPhone recorder, Ari has hundreds more on his home computer. And then there's the six albums, three EPs, and "52" in 2008, an innovative project whereby he wrote, recorded and released a new song every Monday for a full year. There's also educational music he's written for kids and as he puts it, "songs I write with others in mind to sing them."
And now, Ari is ready to release his seventh full length, The Fire Plays. Never has he put forth an album as cohesive and rife with personality. From producer Gerry Leonard's hypnotic, ambient guitar on the gripping album starter, "Untitled Part 2," to the final strum of the heartbreaking finale, "Something To Look Forward To," you are taken on a journey of self-exploration.