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Moving forward is the theme of blue-eyed R&B looker Ari Gold’s third independent release and never was an album so aptly named.
Transport Systems is a pop music masterpiece chock full of grooving rhythms that are equal part modern pop and classic R&B. This is without a doubt Gold’s most ambitious project yet. Like the first single suggests, Gold seems truly dedicate with this album to Go Where the Music Takes You no matter if it’s in a direction that is indefinite or scary.
Gold’s upbeat attitude and powerful presence is at the forefront of every track no matter what the subject matter involved. Standout tracks on the album include the innovative Mr. Mistress and the funky anthem Soul Killer. Ari Gold is at the top of his game with Transport Systems and it will be a great experience seeing what he manages to come up with next.
Recently, Ari spoke with O&AN about Transport Systems.
O&AN: How do you feel Transport Systems stands out most from your previous album Space Under Sun?
AG: Space Under Sun was really about me trying to find my own space and my place in the world as an openly gay pop artist. I felt like it really spoke to where we were in general as gay people. We were starting to see a lot greater visibility as we started to appear in television and movies and so forth, and I really felt like that was a period of trying to find our space in the world and where we fit in as a people.
WithTransport Systems I’m pointing out how it seems like things have really shifted gears into a mindset of how do we move forward from here within this new space that we have carved out for ourselves. We still have such a long way to go and we can’t afford to sit still. We still have to fight for basic human rights. I’m also asking how we can move forward as a community as far as letting go of some of that internalized pain a lot of us still are dealing with. So many of us had childhoods that made us feel like it was not okay to be gay, how can we learn to more trust and accept ourselves for who we are because the more comfortable we are with ourselves the more open the world is going to be toward us?
O&AN: You are to my knowledge the first ever openly gay R&B artist as well as being at the vanguard of a movement of out performers that are really starting to come into their own in the mainstream world while still maintaining indie cred. How do you manage to balance this sort of “Brave New World” experience with your humble upbringing in the Bronx?
AG: It’s interesting because I am just now starting to get to a point where I’m really starting to own the thought that I am a sort of trailblazer. It really never struck me fully until recently because I was always just doing what came natural. I wasn’t trying to be the first. I was just doing the best I knew how.
It really makes me proud to know that the work that I am doing may be making the way that much easier for the next gay boy who wants to do what I’m doing without compromising who and what he is. I like to think of myself as very down to earth. I started at an early age singing and preparing for a career in music and I really think that the years of experience working as a professional singer gave me the strength to make it to this point. I always knew that I would be a performer. I had already been writing music since I was about fourteen years old, and I always wrote from my personal experience. When I came out, I had to continue to do that so I wrote about being gay. It was very important for me to be outspoken about my sexuality so my music always heavily reflected that part of me.
O&AN: On the same token, you also seem to draw a lot of criticism from some corners for being gay and Jewish as well as being a popular R&B artist. Is that difficult for you?
AG: I realize that sometimes I may make people uncomfortable because they see themselves reflected back in my image and in that sense I tend to become their whipping boy because I make them squirm a little inside.
It’s funny because there are some people who have a much easier time worshiping someone like Madonna than to just be themselves, and I feel like I sometimes make people face that and it can be a hard thing to look at in the eye. There are a few new out Jewish artists popping up who have come up to me and told me that I was an inspiration to them.
Musicians and non musicians alike tell me all the time that I helped them decide to be themselves no matter what and it is so humbling. For someone to come out be they Jewish or not is a greatly affirming thing for anyone. That in and of itself makes any negativity I may draw more than worth the price.
O&AN: As someone who comes from a heavily spiritual background who is now performing music that was kind of forged in the fires of deep spiritual roots, what influence if any do you feel spirituality has on your music now?
AG: I grew up Orthodox Jew but no longer practice. I still consider myself very spiritual and there is a strong spiritual connection to my music for me. I realize the spiritual roots of R&B and I think that coming from a deeply spiritual background, though different from the gospel roots of the deep south, uniquely informs my music as an R&B artist. I feel like my approach to life and therefore music is very deeply inspired by the reality of my existence and all that entails. I will always have the heritage that I grew up with so it can’t help but make its way into my art.
O&AN: What was it like growing up gay and an Orthodox Jew? It can’t have been an easy thing to endure. How did your family react once you finally came out?
AG: It was very difficult growing up gay and Orthodox because especially during the time I was coming up there was no room at all for being gay in the Orthodoxy. I thought that if anyone knew my secret I would be excommunicated from the community or my family might disown me. I really didn’t know what would happen.
Once I left for college I came out to my family shortly thereafter. They were initially very cool and their response was really great. It was really a process and a journey from there because it took some time for the reality to set in that their child was gay and what that meant and what they would have to deal with within the community.
Despite the difficulty my parents have made leaps and bounds and a tremendous amount of healing has happened over time. In many ways my album comes out of all that healing. My mother is over 70 years old so to see her growing and learning is an incredible thing.
O&AN: One of the best tracks on the album is your collaboration with Smooth Jazz artist Dave Koz. To many that may seem like an unlikely pairing, but you made it work fabulously. What inspired you to approach Dave and include him in this project?
AG: When Dave Koz came out on the cover of the Advocate I read the interview and I knew right then that I wanted to work with him. People want to create these strict categories where everything is either Jazz or Smooth Jazz or R&B and so on, but what they fail to realize a lot of times is that the labels are all unimportant.
The music is all interrelated in lots of ways. Artists like Sade’ or Anita Baker are more than just Smooth Jazz or R&B. They transcend the genres because their music is so incredible. On that same note, Dave is an incredible musician and I love his work. The arena that he operates in as an established and well respected musician of over 20 years is well related to the one I do as an R&B and pop artist, so I felt like it was a natural fit from the start. I hounded him a little bit about it until he finally caved in.
Once it was all done he admitted to me he was glad he did it. He said he was glad I was a pushy Jew about it. He’s Jewish too, so he can say that. *Laughs* In all truth I cried some real man tears when I first heard him play on the record because it was a vision I had nursed for about two years finally coming to fruition, and it was incredible for me as an out indie musician to be so incredibly honored by someone of his stature.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.