“Music has always been part of who I am,” Baby Ariel, AKA Ariel Martin, tells us of her exciting decision to break into the art form. But don’t worry — the 17-year-old superstar, who has over 33+ combined followers — is not going to give up her online ambitions. “With social media, I love to entertain and make videos, so combining them is so natural. Both make me super happy!” she adds. Below, we chat about Ariel’s debut single, her rise to musical.ly fame and what’s coming next.
What’s “Aww” about?
The song is based off of having a crush on someone and being in the first stages of a relationship where everything is just perfect. You’re together every single day, you love each other, there’s no fighting.
The video is so fun. How did that come together?
The line “you’re so freaking cute” can be about any relationship — a boy, a girl, a girlfriend, boyfriend, but it can be about a pet or a cute animal, cute food, whatever! So we wanted to make the video based on that, a whole compilation of super cute things. Colors, boys, my friends are in the video, it’s full of happiness. There’s a dog on a skateboard.
Can fans expect more music from your soon?
Yes! From here, I’ll be in the studio all the time, recording and writing every day. I’ll be putting out more music.
Would you do a tour?
For sure. I’ve been practicing my dancing and performance, and I’m excited for that, to be able to sing live. It’s going to be awesome.
Who do you want to collaborate with?
My two favorites are SZA and Julia Michaels. I look up to both of them a lot. If they’re reading this, hi, I love you! And Justin Bieber, or Eminem. I would die.
What does it mean to you to be called the Queen of Gen Z?
That’s insane! It’s humbling and nice, and thank you to whoever says that. I’ll take it!
What was the moment when you knew musical.ly was going to be huge for you?
I think it was once I got featured on the app for the first time. I started gaining a big following on there and on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram. From there, it was like, let’s do YouTube and see what happens. I also got noticed in public for the first time, and that’s when you realize it’s not just online — it’s real people! It’s crazy. [Laughs]
Tell us about #arielmovement, which is your anti-bullying campaign to end harrassment, Internet trolling, and negativity online.
When I first started on social media, it was my first year of high school. To come back from 8th grade and be a freshman and have this lip-syncing thing online, kids didn’t understand — I’d get called weird names in the hallway while also getting comments online. I learned how to surround myself with real friends and ignore people who are mean. I want to help my supporters with that, because I know how it feels.
When I was getting a lot of hate on the Internet and in school, I made a video addressing the situation. I talked about how you have to be and love yourself. My supporters went on Twitter and Instagram saying the video helped, and that it helped them to see someone overcome the hate and negativity. From there, I started using #arielmovement and it’s my biggest message that I want to get across on every scale. It’s a way to connect everything.
What’s been a super cool moment in your career so far?
Meeting Nicki Minaj. She’s my favorite human on planet Earth, and meeting her was…that was insane. We were invited to her music video shoot. She was in her trailer and we made a musical.ly. I honestly blacked out and forgot everything.
What’s something you’ve been passionate lately outside of your work?
I love to draw, sketch, and write. A story, a song, a poem, your feelings in a journal. Sketching and drawing is therapeutic. You have to get away from social media sometimes and do your own thing!
Finally, what are your 2018 goals?
Drop more music, go on tour, release an EP. Watch all of Riverdale and finish Criminal Minds. But music is the main focus!