Avatari has premiered his new single titled ‘Broke’. The modern pace of life doesn’t allow time for artistic focus. In order to make something spectacular, it can take silencing all of the machines and white noise to make space for digging deep. That’s the approach Los Angeles musician AVATARI took to make his latest single, “BROKE,” and the results speak for themselves.
AVATARI is the brainchild of Ari Welkom. After years of fronting bands and playing festivals like Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and SXSW, Welkom decided to step out on his own with AVATARI. His first single, “LEGACY,” was licensed for a Rolls Royce commercial. Other songs were used in TV shows Startup and Absentia. In true LA fashion, AVATARI perhaps sees music and film as linked.
“BROKE” is a heartfelt ballad full of the sincerity that comes from a hard, honest look inward. Musically, the song features AVATARI’s beautiful tenor on top of piano-driven alternative rock. AVATARI recalls, “I’ve always wanted to write a song that expresses that most deep, dark, and dysfunctional part of myself. The part that feels completely broken and like I just want to push a button to leave the planet.” AVATARI’s songwriting is cinematic – capturing the wide-open feel of Hollywood while maintaining a tight groove. The repeated mantra of “stuck with myself and I know I’m broke” becomes almost like a battle cry when surrounded by strings and crashing cymbals. The song builds to a crescendo before leaving us to contemplate the darker corners of our own lives.
Sometimes, acknowledging the despair within us can help us to feel seen. Beneath the plaintive melodies and chord progressions of this new single, there’s hope that still remains in AVATARI’s heart. “BROKE” holds space for all of us who long to be whole.
You took a year in the studio to write and record. Was that process refreshing for you? What was it like to intentionally put aside time for creativity?
It was incredible. I really enjoyed being able to submerge myself in creativity, honing my voice and sound, collaborating with some amazing artists. I had a vision in mind that I wanted to achieve. I kind of knew my destination. But I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there. And I allowed myself to just find my way through the dark. Also, as I said, it felt great to be supported by some like-minded and incredibly talented guides and co-creators.
Does music have a healing power in your life? How did this song help you articulate things inside that just needed to come out?
Music has always been a medicine for me. From when I was a five year old and discovered Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and sang it in the first grade talent show, to some of the darkest nights of my soul a few years back. ‘Broke’ is a reflection of those challenging times. In many ways, I feel like this song has always been inside of me waiting to come out. It came from the most shattered corners of my heart, places I believe we all have, to different degrees and in our own way. There are moments when the sheer act of living feels overwhelmingly painful. This song reflects that part of being human. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the transformative power of sharing our pain. It can turn suffering into strength. This alchemy is at the heart of my bond with music, and it’s especially true for ‘Broke.’ My hope is that by sharing it, someone else might listen and think “that’s how I feel” and that maybe it will help them to feel a little bit better.
You’ve worked a lot with Will Carpenter. What was it like to work together again on this song?
Will is a consummate professional and master of his craft. He’s also a gifted songwriter and front man with his own project Ships Have Sailed. Our bond goes beyond just professional; we resonate on the same frequency, making our collaborations seamless. Over time and multiple projects together, we’ve cultivated a shorthand in our communication. We’re starting to finish each other’s sentences. Will is both a cherished friend and a trusted professional ally. In an industry where it’s easy to feel isolated and on your own, having someone like him by my side reinforces my hope and reminds me of the importance of genuine connections on this musical journey.
Are there other songs that have yet to be released from these sessions? How do they compare to “BROKE?”
I have a few songs that are finished and ready for release. The one I’m most excited about is the one I’ll be releasing next. It’s a holiday song (called ‘Holidaze’) and I’ll be releasing it in November as my last release of 2023. A dear friend of mine asked me “why haven’t you written a holiday song yet?” At first I sort of scoffed at the idea. (Not that I don’t like holiday songs – I actually love them) I couldn’t see how a holiday song could fit within my genre and writing style. But then, it was recommended that I write ‘my own rendition’ of a holiday song. That opened the door and it took me about fifteen minutes to write the first draft of the song. I finished it with Will, and I cannot wait to share it with the world. It’s definitely my version of a holiday song.
Are you planning any shows to wrap up 2023?
I’ve got two shows before the end of the year. Both will be in my hometown of Los Angeles. December 1st I’ll be headlining the Viper Room and on December 12th I’ll be playing a really fun night of music at Hotel Ziggy through WFNM (We Found New Music). If you’re in Southern California I hope to see you there.