We are saddened that Ari Gold passed away on February 14, 2021. Below is an interview we did with him on August 11, 2008.
On August 15 this year’s Boys of Summer swimsuit party at Pure will be having a well-liked and talented R&B/pop singer perform there. Over the past decade, Ari Gold has released three albums on his own label Gold18 Records, including the most recent one, Transport Systems, which has been getting a lot of support on outlets like the LOGO cable channel. His current single “Where The Music Takes You” broke into the top ten of Billboard Magazine’s Hot Dance Club Play chart last week. (“Love Will Take Over” from his previous album Space Under Sun was also a big dance club hit.) He’s also looked at as a role model for the gay community because of his being openly gay from the start of his career.
Last year Ari was at the Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Film Festival promoting the RuPaul comic/blaxploitation take-off movie Starrbooty in which he played a pimp. I start out the interview by asking how did he get involved with the movie. What was it like working with RuPaul?
“Ru basically wrote the part for me cause he wanted me to be in the film,” he replied. “Ru is a close friend of mine so I didn’t hesitate to say yes—even if it meant having my star-booty in a pair of assless chaps on the silver screen! I have a tremendous amount of respect for RuPaul and what he has accomplished and what he continues to accomplish and doing the movie and promoting it was a blast.”
About his impression of this city: “I have been to Philly many times. I love Philly and feel very at home there cause I grew up in New York and it reminds me of a smaller New York. But for me, it actually feels larger cause I am so familiar with New York that Philly is like a bigger nut to crack for me. There’s great art, theater, and music in Philly and for me, that’s what makes a great city. Plus you can get around without having to drive which I like cause growing up in New York, I never got my driver’s license!”
On that same trip, Ari also promoted his latest album Transport Systems. I ask him how has been the album’s reception been since it came out last year.
“There’s been so many great things that have happened with the album since I released it which has been so great cause I released it on my own label without a whole lot of financial backing and yet it still has been winning awards and getting great reviews in places like People magazine. Not to mention all the great shows we’ve been having from Miami to Switzerland. And the video being #1 on LOGO…I couldn’t be more pleased.”
A maxi-single of dance remixes of “Where The Music Takes You” has also been released and is currently climbing the dance charts. Did you select who got to remix the song yourself, or did you have someone else help you out?
“Yes, it’s in the Top 10 in Billboard this week! I basically chose the remixers. Some of them were people I have wanted to work with like Jonathan Mendelsohn, Randy Bettis, and Quentin Harris. And then some of the other guys actually approached me about wanting to do a mix so gave it a shot and loved what they came back with.”
Since he will be performing at Boys Of Summer 2008 in Philly, I ask him to give a description on what his live show is like.
“It’s energetic, sexy, poignant, and transformative. It goes through many different emotions and vibes and there’s a lot of interaction with the audience. I like people to leave my show with a deep sense of hope and self-love. The show in Philly is really more like a teaser for my live show cause it’s a party setting and it’s just so people can get a taste and have a good time.”
I ask him what’s next for him musically. Are there any performers he would like to work with that he hasn’t so far?
“I just saw George Michael twice at Madison Square Garden and he has always been an inspiration to me and I would love to write with him.”
Finally, since the Boys of Summer party has a swimsuit theme, I inquire what does the handsome Ari Gold wear when he goes to the beach.
“I usually wear a pair of long shorts with lots of pockets for stuff and then get down with my bad self in a Speedo. Speedos are sexy, I don’t care what they say! I’m currently rocking a Speedo that is studded with all these crystals, cause I like everything to bling a little bit!”