Ari Herstand

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand.jpg
Background information
Birth name Ari Seth Herstand
Born (1985-06-01) June 1, 1985 (age 33)
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Music Industry Blogger
Instruments Vocals
Beat Boxing
Boss RC 50 Loop Station
Years active 2003–present
Labels Proud Honeybee Productions
Associated acts Breanne Düren, Ron Pope, Roster McCabe

Ari Seth Herstand (born June 1, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter, author, actor, and blogger based in Los Angeles, California (previously Minneapolis, Minnesota) who specializes in live-looping of the guitar, piano, trumpet, vocals, and percussion.

Herstand is popular in the United States where he has played at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI and the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX, as well as Carnegie Hall.[1][2] He has played with various major artists including Ben Folds, Cake, Sister Hazel, Phil Vassar, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, and Ron Pope.[2][3][4] His music has been played on popular TV shows such as The Real World,[5] One Tree Hill,[6] "Friendzone",[7] "I'm Married To A...," The Real L Word,[8] The Hard Times of RJ Berger.[9] as well as a GMC commercial.[10] He has received airplay on NPR's program All Things Considered[11][12] and Cities 97 [13]

He is known on television for his co-starring roles in Transparent,[14] Aquarius,[14] Mad Men,[15] 2 Broke Girls, Touch, The Fosters, and Sam & Cat.[16]

He is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician (Liveright) [17]


Ari Herstand grew up in both Madison, Wisconsin and Shorewood, Wisconsin. He is self-taught on the piano and began playing guitar at 14. He picked up the trumpet in 5th grade.[2]

Herstand briefly studied music education at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. In 2004, he transferred to McNally Smith College of Music (MusicTech at the time) in St. Paul, MN and began his career as a singer/songwriter. While a student, he played coffee shops and club shows extensively at and around the University of Minnesota usually with cellist Lucas Shogren.[citation needed] Through grass roots promotion and a buzz generated from live performances on the UMN campus Herstand gained popularity.

Herstand's music gained wider acclaim in 2006 when his songs were played on The Real World.[5] He performed at the South by Southwest Music festival in Austin, Texas in 2006 and 2007 and was a speaker in 2015, 2016 and 2017.[18] He performed Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and helped book and run the Chipotle Rhythm Kitchen and Tiki Hut stages from 2006 - 2010.[19]

In 2008, Ari Herstand showcased at the NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) Northern Plains region, where he booked over 50 shows for the 2008-2009 school year. He showcased at NACA Northern Plains region again in 2013[20] and Nationals in 2014[21] along with showcasing at various APCA conferences. He continues to play college campuses around the country fairly regularly in addition to his heavy club touring schedule.[22]

Herstand has played the majority of his shows solo. He spent the beginning of 2012 in Minnesota recording his new album with producer Paul Marino, drummer Dave King, bassist Jim Anton, guitarist Jake Hanson, keyboardist Joey Kantor and vocalists Alicia Wiley and Tonia Hughes. He funded this album primarily through his successful Kickstarter Campaign.[22] The album was mastered by Bernie Grundman Mastering in September 2012. The album entitled, Brave Enough, was released at the Hotel Cafe on March 29, 2014 with an 8 piece band.

He released the book, How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician on December 20, 2016.[23]


Herstand is best known for his live looping technique. His shows consist of melding the acoustic guitar, keyboards, trumpet, vocal percussion (beat boxing) and tambourine.[24][25] Herstand primarily tours solo and uses his looping technique on most of his songs during the show.


Herstand has been reviewed positively, where he has been noted as breathing "much-needed warmth and verve into the acoustic rock formula" with "impressive" talent.[26][27][28] Grammy winning producer Kevin Bowe has also stated that "the positive, intimate nature of Ari's writing and singing bring to mind artists such as Cat Stevens, but his style is current enough to sound right at home on the radio."[citation needed]

Proud Honeybee Productions[edit]

After graduating McNally Smith College of Music, Herstand started Proud Honeybee Productions (PHP), a music production company. PHP oversees business aspects of various Minneapolis-based artists, including Roster McCabe. PHP was responsible for Roster McCabe's Billboard Magazine placement and Herstand's placement on One Tree Hill. The name of the company was based on Herstand's song 'Proud Honeybee' from his first studio album, Baby Eyes.

Kickstarter Campaign[edit]

In January 2012, Herstand successfully funded a new studio album with a campaign on Kickstarter. He raised $13,544 from 222 backers - surpassing his goal of $12,000.[29] During this campaign, Herstand streamed rehearsals on UStream and offered demos of new songs to backers (such as "One by One" and "Say What You Will", inspired by the recent economic collapse and the Occupy Wallstreet movement, respectively). The campaign concluded with a live concert in Los Angeles that was also streamed on UStream.

Music Industry Blogging[edit]

In Spring 2012, Herstand started the music business blog Ari's Take[30] to help independent musicians build careers without the help of a record label. The blog is based on Herstand's experience as a touring musician (with 600+ shows) as well as his work founding Proud Honeybee Productions and his education at McNally Smith College of Music. Herstand also offers a "Get Specific" program that lets readers video chat with him to work out individualized plans for their own music careers. Popular[31][32] posts have included those referencing his successful Kickstarter Campaign. His post "Carry Your Instrument On The Plane – It's The Law" received viral attention and was read by over 250,000 visitors.[33] Ari's Take articles have been featured on, CD Baby, Music Connection, TuneCore, American Songwriter, and Hypebot.[31][32]

Herstand is also a contributing writer for ASCAP, CD Baby and Reverbnation advice blogs.[34][35]

Herstand became a staff writer for Digital Music News in December, 2013.[36]


Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician.[37] The foreword was written by Derek Sivers.[23] The book was released on December 20, 2016 with Liveright Publishing. Music Connection Magazine reviewed the book and wrote "How to Make It in the New Music Business might well be the best “how to” book of its kind."[38] Andy Grammer said "There is a great divide between what the young musician thinks being a rock star is and what actually working as a musician entails. Ari fills in the blanks with his light hearted yet blunt demeanor. He's the informed older brother most of us never got in this crazy, confusing industry."[39] Derek Sivers said "This is the single best book on the current music business. An absolute must read for every musician."[23] Jack Conte said "Ari is at the front of the front. He gets it. I've read a hundred how-to-make-it-in-the-music-biz books, and this one is today's definitive, comprehensive manual."[23] Peter Hollens said "Ari understands this space. He gives a tremendous amount of information. Anyone wanting to make music for a living should read this, period."[23]



Studio releases[edit]

Released independently:

Live and other EP releases[edit]

Released independently:


  1. ^ Volney, Katie. "Crowd favorite Ari Herstand returns to Gustavus for another performance." The Gustavian Weekly 2 October 2009: Arts.
  2. ^ a b c Maccabee, Leora. "A few words with Sexy Minnesota Jew and Acoustic Pop Musician Ari Herstand." 16 February 2010: Arts.
  3. ^ Malahy, Mary. "Local favorite returns to La Crosse." The Racquet 16 November 2009: Arts.
  4. ^ Lampe, Greg. "Up and Coming Musician Performing at the Warehouse." The Racquet 11 February 2009: Arts.
  5. ^ a b "Ari Herstand: Live At The Pause DVD/CD Release, 02/26/10 at the Fine Line – Borangutan". 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  6. ^ "One Tree Hill Music". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  7. ^ " "Friendzone - Music Guide". VH1. 2013-10-11. 
  8. ^ "The Real L Word - Episode Guide - Season 3 - Episode 7 - Showtime". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  9. ^ "The Hard Times of RJ Berger (Season 1) | Songs from the Show". MTV. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  10. ^ "GMC 2016 Canyon Innovative Technology". Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  11. ^ "All Things Considered - Music Guide". NPR. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  12. ^ Ross, Danny. "3 Reasons Why Indie Musicians Are Over SXSW". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-03-24. 
  13. ^ "Cities 97 - Live From Studio C". KTCZ-FM. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  14. ^ a b "Ari Herstand". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  15. ^ Claiborne, Alex (2015-05-10). "From Madtown to "Mad Men" - Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin". Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  16. ^ "2 Broke Girls - 'And the Broken Hip' Episode Info - MSN TV". 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  17. ^ Herstand, Ari; Sivers, Derek (2016-12-20). How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician (1 ed.). Liveright. ISBN 9781631491504. 
  18. ^ "SXSW Panel Explores Whether Musicians Still Need Record Labels". KJZZ. 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  19. ^ "Musician Ari Herstand - Neon Entertainment Booking Agency Corporate College Entertainment". Neon Entertainment Booking Agency Corporate College Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  20. ^ thebrightestagency (2013-04-23), Ari Herstand NACA Northern Plains 1, retrieved 2016-12-23 
  21. ^ thebrightestagency (2014-04-02), Ari Herstand: College Musician - NACA Nationals Showcase 2014, retrieved 2016-12-23 
  22. ^ a b Chua, Meghan (2012-04-12). "Ari Herstand finds Midwestern muse : Daily-cardinal". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  23. ^ a b c d e " How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician (9781631491504): Ari Herstand, Derek Sivers: Books". Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  24. ^ McDonald, Jon. "Musician Ari Herstand Returns to Des Moines." The Times-Delphic 9 February 2009:Features.
  25. ^ Hebel, Ryan. "Ari Herstand Back in Madison." The Daily Cardinal 15 February 2008: Arts.
  26. ^ Tulman, Jennifer. "Minneapolis 'folk/hop' artist returns to the hill." Manitou Messenger 29 March 2007:Arts/Life/Entertainment.
  27. ^ Belling, Erin. "Guitars, Beer, and Candlelight / Ari Herstand puts the happy in happy hour." The Wake 04 May 2006: S&V.
  28. ^ Voss, Ashley. "Local Singer Comes Home." The Badger Herald 22 February 2007: Arts.
  29. ^ "Ari Herstand Wants You To Help Build The Loop by Ari Herstand — Kickstarter". 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  30. ^ "Ari's Take - The Biz Behind Full-Time Independent Music by musician Ari Herstand". 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  31. ^ a b "How I Made $13,544 In A Month (on Kickstarter) | TuneCore Blog". 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  32. ^ a b "5 Big Lessons From A Successful $13,000 Kickstarter Album Funding Campaign". hypebot. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  33. ^ "Ari's Take: Carry Your Instrument On The Plane - It's The LAW". 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  34. ^ "Booking Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide". 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  35. ^ "Become a Local Star: How to Pack a Club in Your Hometown « DIY Musician Blog DIY Musician Blog". 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  37. ^ Ross, Danny. "An Artist's Step-By-Step Guide To Making Money And Impact in Music". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-03-24. 
  38. ^ "Book Preview: How to Make It in the New Music Business". Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  39. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 

External links[edit]