Arie Thompson

Arie Thompson

 New York City, New York, USA
BandJazzAdult Contemporary

Innovative and accessible, Arie is a vocalist and songwriter who focuses on songcraft with classic influences ranging from Billie Holdiay to Dolly Parton to Joni Mitchell. This is music for listening and feeling that translates into dynamic performance which is simultaneously electric and intimate.


Arie Thompson is literally following a dream.

Classically trained as a stage actress, Arie Thompson was in the process of launching a successful acting career that included network TV appearances, Off-Broadway Theatre, independent film and award winning fellowships as a performance artist. In the midst of this, her grandmother appeared to her in a dream and told her to be a singer. She listened.

What follows is the subject of a memoir that is currently in discussion for publication. To summarize, Arie took a hiatus from acting to soul search in Southeast Asia. Upon returning, she got a gig fronting a rock band and eventually went solo. In the course of that transition, she recorded two EP's of original music that attracted the attention of various industry professionals including Grammy award winning engineer and producer Cynthia Daniels. Daniels heard a distinct current of jazz and classic pop in Arie's voice and song writing and encouraged her to explore this.

At that time,
"I always wanted to be an actress/performer, so that's what I was pursuing and I didn't have a strong background with music, but this dream always stuck with me and then one day I realized-- 'I am going to sing now' and that's what I did."

Arie's first music gig was as the frontwoman for the funkrock outfit 4DSEA. "It was a great experience-- the shows were fun and high-energy and I got my first real studio experience recording a full length album, but at the end of the day, I knew I would have to go solo to really express what was in me, so I left the band after a year and a half."

In June of 2006, Arie bought a red Jeep Cherokee from a Gypsy on a Brooklyn street, drove to a rented cabin in upstate New York and made her first solo recordings on an old mac laptop. "I didn't really know what I was doing," she admits. "I just had these songs inside of me and a ridiculously romantic notion of going to the woods upstate to get them out...I was obsessed with Bob Dylan at the time... I'm kind of funny that way. I found a guy on craigslist who gave me one piano lesson on the little keyboard that I had bought. I remember there was something manic about the lesson--in 45 minutes, he gave me an introduction to simple functional harmony, chords and songwriting and then I never saw him again. He was some kind of teaching genius, though... I used the notes from that lesson to write my first real song-- it's on my record."

Arie returned to the city after only 3 weeks at the cabin-- "Yeah, it would be nice to have some story about how I came back after 3 weeks with all of these songs written, but that's not what happened. Between an incredibly persistent raccoon, a feral cat with a bad attitude, and having to choose between opening the windows to breathe or being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I just came back with a clear understanding of what I needed to do. I did manage to write and record about 4 songs and used that demo to start booking gigs in the city. In my good fortune I was able to find really seasoned musicians who were willing to work with me-- alot of really incredible jazz cats who were so generous with their time and knowledge."

After gigging regularly in the City, Arie decided to go back to school for music in order get deeper into the heart of what she had to express as a singer. She enrolled in City College in the spring of 2008 and auditioned for and was accepted to the Jazz Vocal Performance program. "I came to this path at a comparatively late point compared to so many musicians I know who have been playing since childhood. Sometimes that makes it frustrating, but I think that it's been a definite benefit in my songwriting. My musical influences are so diverse and without formal training, my ear just heard innovative ways of combining different styles. Now that I am studying music, I have an easier time consciously doing what I was feeling my way through. " She decided to radically restructure her sound-- using stripped down acoustic arrangements of her songs she connected with musicians Bennett Miller, Kenneth Salters and Ben Cassorla to record another EP entitled "4 Songs."
The following fall, she officially began her studies in the jazz vocal program and had the good fortune to study privately with Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Kate McGarry.

Now, Arie Thompson has released the album "I'll Know Who You Are When I See You Again." The album was recorded in Brooklyn, Harlem and East Hampton and was mixed and mastered by Grammy winning engineer, Cynthia Daniels. This record bears witness to the growing influence of jazz on Arie's sound, songcraft and repertoire. The result is a cohesive collection of music that addresses themes of personal freedom, longing, lost love and redemption. "I see myself as participating in a tradition of vocalists and songwriters like Billie, Nina, Dolly, and Joni who are really coming from their hearts with these great songs that everyone can relate to.


There's No Other

Written By: Arie Thompson

He thinks to himself she's too light to carry me
But the strength of her wings doesn't show in that dress
So night after night he lifts her to ecstasy
And she's empty for him nothing more
Nothing less
She's empty for him nothing more nothing less

Alone with himself he will wrestle eternally
'Til the grace of her weight pins a count down to three
He enters her ring and she greets him victoriously
By the light of her heart in the darkness he sees
By the light of her heart in the darkness he sees

Fallin through this endless love
So blind I can't see what it means
Fallin through this endless love
So blind I can't see my way through To the Other side

She walks through this world
embracing the mystery
And she knows that the best thing to be is to BE
She knows that her truth is more than her history
And he understands this so she stays and is free
He understands this so she stays and is free

Fallin through this endless love
So blind I can't see what it means
Fallin through this endless love
So blind I can't see my way through
To the other side
I'll have to feel my way through
There's no other side
I'll have to feel my way through
There's No Other
There's No Other
Well, there's No Other
I AM the only ONE


Written By: Arie Thompson

Is it the same ol' story
Runnin' you around?
Why you gonna let it get you down?
You don't have to stay
Until the credits play
You can smash all the idols in this matinee

Walk out of the lie, walk into the truth
And get your money back, baby,
From the Ticketbooth
Whoa get your money back baby from the Ticketbooth

Blood and sweat are flyin
As you sit ringside
Fighting to right
Is just your foolish pride
There's no one here to beat
You only win if you cheat
But you can't seem to let go
Of your front row seat

Walk out of the lie
Walk into the truth
And get your money back, baby,
From the Ticketbooth
Whoa get your money back, baby,
From the Ticketbooth

Now the show is over
And the curtains are drawn
But you keep retelling the story
Though the people are gone
Will you go or stay?
Freedom's a choice away
Is it the dark of the cave
Or the light of day?

Walk Out of the lie
Walk Into the truth
And Get your money back, baby
From the Ticketbook
Whoa get your money back, baby
From the Ticketbooth

(c)Arie Thompson 2008

Of Your Love

Written By: Arie Thompson

I just want to know you
I just really want to show you
How open I am to let you flow through

And I just wanted to feel you
The only thing that's real for me is you
You're the only ONE that can heal this two
Set me free

Light the fire of my soul's desire
Come on and burn me higher
Til I am the flame of your love

Of your love
Of your love
Of your love
Of your love
Of your love

I just want to see you
I want everything in me to be in you
You are everything in me that is true
And I am thee

Chorus Vamp OUt

Left Alone

Written By: Billie Holiday

Where's the love
That's made to fill my heart?
Where's the one
From whom I'll never part?
First they hurt me, then desert me.
I'm left alone, all alone.

There's no house
That I can call my home.
There's no place
From which I'll never roam.
Town or city, it's a pity
I'm left alone, all alone.

Seek and find they always say.
But up to now it's not that way.

Maybe fate has let him pass me by
Or perhaps, we'll meet before I die
Hearts will open, but until then
I'm left alone, all alone

Before You Die

Written By: Arie Thompson

You been lookin' over
Your shoulder,
Trying to see yourself
You been organizing
Your life
With your dreams on the bottom shelf
And you think it would be easier
If your life was more well behaved
Well behaved
Well, don't put the blame where it ain't due
Baby, you're just afraid

You keep your clock a tickin'
But you never find the time
You place your bets on running rats
Who never ever cross the finish line
You underestimate your sould and spirit
When you say your body must first
Get paid
Do the math and at the bottomline
You see the truth,
You're just afraid
(Why? Cuz there's...)

So many things you'd like to do
Before you die
You were born
With wings, but you won't fly
Unless you try

You got no way of knowing
How the road will twist or turn
But you will learn more from the fire
Than you ever will from the burn
You're the only star you
Have to follow
If you want to find
Your way
So guide your ship home safely
To the port,
It's waiting for you
Don't be afraid
Don't be afraid
Don't be afraid


* I'll Know Who You Are When I See You Again 2009
- On the 2010 Grammy Ballot in 6 categories
- CMJ Top 25 chart at various college radio stations across the country
- Plays in heavy and medium rotation on various internet radio stations including, Women of Substance Radio, Breakaway Internet Radio
-available on iTunes

* 4 Songs 2008
- Track "There's No Other" was included and is the best selling track on RPW records compilation "Violet Femmes 2" (available on iTunes)

* Solstice EP 2007

Set List

Left Alone
Before You Die
As Wide As It is Long
Love Them All
Still Good
Tony's In Heaven
I Got You
Of Your Love
Mon Homme
Dirty Little Secret
Blue Bottles in Bangkok