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Featured Artist Ari Tibi’s Blog Takeover #3

“The less you have, the more you know.” – ‘Orange Hill’ out Sept 4th 

‘Orange Hill’ is the most homemade track I have ever released. It’s about starting from scratch and letting your past be the key, not the lock, that helps you do so. It’s dedicated to my brilliantly beautiful grandmother, who I was living with during the quarantine, and was recorded in her art studio using my Solo Breedlove guitar. 

When shelter in place went into effect in Los Angeles, I welcomed the solitude. I was craving some internal rest from the world outside and began rearranging my priorities. When I heard my grandmother needed a new caretaker, I packed up my guitar, some extra strings, and a bathing suit, and in about 15 minutes, I was out the door. 

When I moved in, my grandmother was 93 years old and living alone in her Malibu house that she built from the sand up in 1950. It’s a gorgeous, bohemian establishment that my cousins and I called home every weekend. My grandmother was the most supportive friend to us all, encouraging our artistic tendencies and challenging us when appropriate. My fondest memories are of her critiquing my artwork because though she was stubborn, she was always right.  

Every night for six weeks I sang to my grandmother as a part of our nightly routine. She got to know all of my songs, and during the day, I went up into her art studio and recorded them. Life was simple. 

On May 27th, like an unexpected flash of lightning, my grandmother had a stroke. Five days later, she passed peacefully in her Malibu home. My grandmother’s dog and I moved out and drove home to Calabasas with my parents. 

‘Orange Hill’ came one evening about a month later. I was journaling in bed and suddenly realized something totally random: I’d never written a song in orange. I have synesthesia, so music and color really dance together for me, but none of my songs are orange. Not a single one. I grabbed my travel size Organic Breedlove and the term ‘Orange Hill’ bounced around in my mind. 

I was back in my childhood home, with a new dog, my music and some clothes. I pictured myself driving through the dry, yellow rolling hills of Calabasas (which means pumpkin in Spanish), and the open windows ushering in a fresh start. Off I go. 

I wrote ‘Orange Hill’ in just under twenty minutes and recorded it in two days. I confined myself to my grandmother’s art studio, soaking in a new kind of solitude. I clapped, stomped, and sang, and left the door open to catch some waves on the mic. My dad later recorded the electric guitar and my brother played the bass as well as mixed the final track. 

With gratitude for where you’ve been, ‘Orange Hill’ represents starting the car and driving off into the distance, with a little bit of faith and whatever else you can carry. I hope it inspires your engine, wherever you’re parked, and that you pick up some new friends (and a guitar) along the way.


Pre-save Orange Hill