Ari Herstand


Featured Song:'Ordinary Times'

buy links

Listen to the new album,'Brave Enough'

buy links


social networks


social networks


social networks


social networks


social networks



Most musicians now know Ari Herstand (pronounced Ar*ee Her*stand) as the guy who has helped them fly with their instruments, book national tours, get songs placed on TV and make more money with their music career - without the help of a label. In just under three years, Herstand's music business advice blog, Ari's Take, has been nominated by the LA Weekly as the best music blog in Los Angeles and has become a go to resource for millions of DIY (Do It Yourself) musicians worldwide. Herstand started the blog to help musicians from his own experiences managing his music career. "Before the blog, I was getting so many questions from other DIY musicians on how to get their bands off the ground. It got to a point where I just didn't have time to respond to everyone anymore, so I started Ari's Take and just started pointing people there," he explains. Herstand has played over 600 shows, toured with the Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope, opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin and Eric Hutchinson, and performed with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Ellen Degeneres Show. He's had countless songs placed on TV shows and charted in the top ten on iTunes - all as a DIY musician. As an actor, he has co-starred in TV shows like Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, The Fosters, Sam & Cat and Touch. Best known for his live looping shows, Herstand records and layers the acoustic guitar, keys, beat boxing, trumpet and vocals for a full sonic live experience. "January 15th, 2008 was the greatest day of my life," he exclaims. "It was the day I quit Starbucks and officially became a full-time musician." Living in Minneapolis, he had been cutting his performance chops in a town where it seemed every musician had about one degree of separation from Prince. "It was very intimidating," Herstand admits. "Any night I wasn't performing a show I tried to get out and see a show. For awhile, I was out 4-5 nights a week seeing local Minneapolis music." Herstand quickly rose to prominence in Minneapolis, consistently filling the 800 capacity Varsity Theater. As a student at the University of Minnesota (for just 1 year), he played the college cafes, bars and clubs and built his following on campus. With 40,000 undergraduates, it wasn't a bad market to target. Word spread about Herstand's popularity on campus and he got a call from a college booking agency. "The funny thing is, I submitted to this agency a couple times, but never could get a response. Then one day I got a call from the president, with a voice that rivaled Barry White's, and he asked if I could play a gig at a university in St. Paul for $1,000. I thought it was a prank. He assured me it was for real. I played the gig and "Barry White Jr." was there and offered me a spot on his roster. He never actually received my submissions." Herstand started playing colleges all over the Midwest. He showcased at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Northern Plains region, in the Spring of 2008 and booked 50 shows on the spot. A NACA record. That year, he also opened for Ben Folds, played (and booked) a stage at the "World's Largest Music Festival" Summerfest in Milwaukee, released his Whispering Endearments record and self-booked his first couple tours to the coasts and back. He continued to tour the Midwest and his regional club turnouts kept growing. Soon he was playing packed rooms in a 5 state region. His Minneapolis local shows were always a welcomed return and the Varsity Theater remained his home. Herstand always toured solo accompanied by his loop station- incorporating the acoustic guitar, keys, trumpet, percussion, beat boxing and vocals. "I started looping because I was bored with the singer/songwriter format. One of the first concerts I went to was the Dave Matthews Band at Alpine Valley. I was mesmerized by all of the intricate elements they incorporated." After nearly three non-stop years on the road, Herstand needed a change. "I think it was loading into the Varsity in February during a blizzard that I officially made up my mind. No more winter," he remembers. The song "Minnie and Me" on the new album, Brave Enough, is about falling out of love with Minneapolis. Herstand moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010 to begin the next phase of his artistic journey (and get away from the cold). He quickly found a home at the popular Hollywood music venue, The Hotel Cafe. He continued touring extensively, but after returning from an extended run in the summer of 2012, he realized he needed to take some time off the road and explore what LA had to offer. On a whim, he sent out head shots to acting agents. He hadn't actually acted since he played Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar in a Madison, Wisconsin community theater production the summer after high school. The day after the head shots went out, he got 7 calls. He took some meetings and signed with an agent. So far he has starred in a film by Fox-Japan (out late 2014) and has co-starred on 2 Broke Girls, Touch, Sam & Cat, The Fosters, along with Budweiser and Fiat commercials. Herstand grew up in Wisconsin. He went to elementary school in Shorewood (a suburb of Milwaukee) and his family moved to Madison just before 7th grade. The son of a social worker and a guidance counselor, Herstand has always had a strong social justice sense. His song "Who's Deciding" off of his debut, 2005 release, Baby Eyes, and "Do Ask Do Tell" off of his 2010 release, Clean Up EP, promotes LGBT equality - an issue Herstand feels very strongly about. His song, "I Am Mike Brown" he wrote directly following the murder of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO during the Summer of 2014. After a successful $13,544 Kickstarter campaign Herstand went back into the studio in the Spring of 2012 to record his latest album, Brave Enough. He returned to Minnesota to work with long time engineer/producer/friend Paul Marino. Marino arranged for Herstand's "favorite drummer on the planet," Dave King (The Bad Plus), to play drums on the record - along with many other world class musicians. The record is about moving to a new city with an old love. Herstand wrote the optimistic "San Vicente Blvd" after his first visit to Los Angeles: "I had left Minneapolis when it was negative 5 and snowing. I arrived in LA and it was 80 degrees and sunny. I thought, yeah, this is gonna be ok." The album explores the trials of temptation, life on the road and the pain only true love can produce. "I grew spiritually and emotionally through this process and came out not necessarily stronger, but more compassionate with an understanding of what truly is the most important element of life: love. Love is what continued to fuel me even in the darkest moments of this journey and love is what continues to inspire me as a musician and as an artist."

Read more…


Ari Herstand Tour DatesNo upcoming shows are scheduled at this time. Check back soon!

Living Room Shows

Bring me to your living room! I've played countless house concerts around the country and they are some of my favorite shows to play. If I'm touring through your town and have a night off (or couldn't book a club date) we may be able to setup a house concert. Basically, you provide the space and the attendees and I provide the music. I have a small fee (much lower than my private performance rate), but this is typically covered by charging your guests admission of about $15. If you'd like more info on hosting a living room concert email me here


Brave Enough

Vinyl Record (Double LP)

Image of Brave Enough Vinyl Record (Double LP)
$25 (2014)**comes with a digital download

Say What You Will
San Vicente Blvd
Keep fighting
Young blood dig down

I hope I never know
Minnie and me
Brave enough
Let me be alone


Cold water
Candy of Survival

New day
Muggy Minnesota
Love hangs around
*Signed and Numbered

Brave Enough


Image of Brave Enough CD
$12(2014)1. -
2. Say What You Will
3. San Vicente Blvd
4. Keep fighting
5. Young blood dig down
6. I hope i never know
7. Minnie and me
8. Brave enough
9. Let me be alone
10. Float
11. Cold water
12. Candy of Survival
13. Maybe
14. New day
15. Muggy Minnesota
16. Circles
17. Love hangs around



Image of Jewfro T-Shirt
$20Tshirt style 0Tshirt style 1
Printed on SUPER SOFT Tri-blend
American Apparel
Will shrink
(actual jewfro not included... sorry)



Image of Jewfro Sticker
3.5" x 3.5"
Printed on high quality glossy vinyl
Great for bumpers, trapper keeprs or foreheads!

Brave Enough


Image of Brave Enough Poster
11" x 17"

Black and White


Image of Black and White Poster
11" x 17"



Image of Live Poster
11" x 17"

Silver Lake


Image of Silver Lake Poster
11" x 17"

Clean Up EP


Image of Clean Up EP CD
$5(2011)1. Home Tonight
2. Clean Up
3. Do Ask Do Tell
4. Vegas Is My Weakness

Live at the pause


Image of Live at the pause DVD / CD
$18(2010)Contains a CD and a DVD
Filmed in Northfield, MN, March 2009
Solo, live looping show
1. Blanket-Go-Round
2. Center of a Kiss
3. Itch Inside Your Ear
4. Float on By
5. One Bell
6. Whispering Endearmenets
7. Wrinkled Skin
8. Last Day
9. Rose Stained Red
10. Wonderwall

Whispering Endearments


Image of Whispering Endearments CD
$12(2008)1. One Bell
2. Whispering Endearmenets
3. Last Day
4. Rose Stained Red
5. Itch Inside Your Ear
6. Center of a Kiss
7. Your Eyes
8. Blanket-Go-Round
9. Beneath the Moon
10. Christian Dear
11. Sleep


"I am a Fan"

  • Brave Enough CD
  • Jewfro T-Shirt
  • Jewfro Sticker

"I am a NEW Fan"

  • Brave Enough CD
  • Clean Up EP CD
  • Live at the Pause DVD/CD
  • Whispering Endearments CD
  • Jewfro Sticker

"I Love Vinyl"

  • Brave Enough Vinyl
  • Brave Enough CD
  • T-Shirt
  • Sticker
  • Poster of Your Choice

"I'm Brave Enough"

Signed Brave Enough Vinyl, Signed Brave Enough CD, Signed Live At The Pause DVD, Signed Whispering Endearments CD, Signed Clean Up EP, Signed Poster of your choice, T-shirt, Sticker, Brave Enough Behind The Scenes DVD, Float On By (Through The Years) Self Burned CD

The Brave Enough Behind The Scenes DVD is 22 minutes of footage shot and edited by Ari from the Brave Enough sessions.
The Float On By (Through The Years) CD contains 5 recordings of Float on By. Ari will burn this CD made to order. It ain't fancy packaging:
1. Ari's High School Band's CD Recording (2003)
2. Ari's first solo performance at the European Grind in Minneapolis (2003)
3. Live looping with band version from One Take (out of print) (2006)
4. Live From KUMD (Duluth, MN) radio show (2007)
5. Live at The Pause (2009)


"Maybe" Music Video


Ordinary Times

I Hope I Never Know

What Sarah Said by Death Cab For Cutie (live looping)

(Looping) Float On By

Music Videos


Clean Up

Vegas Is My Weakness

Rose Stained Red


Say What You Will

Float On By

Rose Stained Red (Cities 97)

Love Hangs Around


Chandelier by Sia

Burn by Ellie Goulding

Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel

Ho Hey by The Lumineers



Singles, EPs

Ordinary Times

  1. Ordinary Times


Maybe (Brave Enough)

Words and music by Ari Herstand and Chris Koza Copyright 2012 ASCAP On a street in Nebraska I find some quiet to call You pick up and you’re crying Please come home, please come home, please come home Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought Maybe it’s the road Maybe I was crazy to leave you back waiting I forgot that you’re my home Maybe I’m afraid to tell you the truth Maybe you’d understand but I’m not okay always away I forgot that you’re my plan Watching old friends get married Helping new friends start a life Saying I love you for the first time Swearing that heartbreak is all left behind Please come home she said please come home, please come home, please come home Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought Maybe it’s the road Maybe I was crazy to leave you back waiting I forgot that you’re my home Maybe I’m afraid to tell you the truth Maybe you’d understand but I’m not okay always away I forgot that you’re my plan In the dark of California In our bed where I am not Close your eyes and feel me hold you This is love this is pain this is sacrifice Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought Maybe I was crazy to leave you back waiting Maybe I’m afraid to tell you the truth Maybe you’d understand but I’m not okay always away I’m not okay always away I’m not okay I’m coming home


Check out my #Snaploops

Find me: ariherstand


Ari started acting professionally in the Summer of 2012 after he returned home from recording Brave Enough in Minnesota. Wanting to find a way to spend more time in LA (and off the road), Ari sent out some head shots to agents around town. Shortly thereafter he signed with an agent and started auditioning. Since then, he has shot many commercials, a few TV shows and a movie. He balances acting and music (along with blogging) and refuses to just pick one.

Ari's Take

Ari’s Take is Ari’s music business advice blog, rated as one of the best music blogs by the LA Weekly. Check out more on

Recent Articles

What Is SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI, PROs, HFA And How To Get All Your Royalties

What Is SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI, PROs, HFA And How To Get All Your Royalties

A lot of noise has been made about Adele's decision to withhold her new album 25 from streaming services (at least for the time being). To not get into the hairy mess once again, it did illuminate some massive holes in many musicians' knowledge base during the debates concerning what royalties can be earned from all the new digital platforms. The indie publishing powerhouse Kobalt calculated that there are 'over 900,000 distinct royalty payments for artists and songwriters.' What are these royalties? Where do they come from? And most importantly, how do you get them? I'm not gonna lie, it's complicated, but I'm going to attempt to lay all of this out as simply as possible. In plain English. I'm here for you. We'll get through this together. Bookmark this page and take a deep breath.

Ok, let's go.

As you study more about the music business, you'll see the distinct…

Read More

When Greeting Fans, Never Say 'Nice to Meet You'


I just finished playing mediator between two of my good friends. To protect the innocent, let's call them Jeremy and Jamie. Jeremy had shot a video for me and Jamie a couple years back. On shoot day there were about 10 people on set. We all had a long, albeit fun, day and the video turned out great. I organized the shoot and was good buds with everyone there. Everyone got acquainted, but no one became besties.

Fast forward two years. Jeremy brought a crew to Jamie's show at Room 5 in LA. Now, Room 5 is one of those small, ahem, intimate venues with no green room. We've all played these kinds of spots. Before her set Jamie was sitting at the bar watching the act before her. Jeremy went up to Jamie to say hi. And now here's where, because I wasn't there, I have to go off of what Jeremy remembers. He claims that Jamie showed no signs of recognition and was extremely cold to him. He said he attempted to jog her memory, discussing our video shoot, but Jamie was dismi…

Read More

To Own Your City You Need To Find Your Jam


I got back last night at 5am. It was one of those special evenings that only happen once in a long while, but is so inspiring that it changes the course of your life.

The night started off at Genghis Cohen. My buddy from Minneapolis (now in Nashville) Elliott Blaufuss (Eric Hutchinson's MD, guitarist/keyboardist) setup this last minute show for his short trip to LA. On the bill was Alt-Americana songstress Jessie Payo, Elliott and me. I played first and towards the end of my set I noticed how many heavy hitting musicians were in the house.

It's a small room, holds maybe 50 at capacity. I asked a few of them to join me for my last song. I had co-written a song a few months back with power house singer/songwriter Nina Storey. She was there so I decided to play our song last. Drummer Rob Humphreys who played my last big Hotel Cafe show was in the house and there was a house kit setup, but he didn't have any of his gear because he wasn't p…

Read More


"Herstand's work shows a strong melodic gift and an adept handle on a sound that is rich, organic and inclusive." Music Connection Magazine "The diversity of Brave Enough makes it impossible to listen to without finding something to love. Whether you prefer the Santana-esque vibe of Say What You Will, the crashing cymbals into soft piano found in Let Me Be Alone, or the slow breathing melody of Float, you will not regret getting your hands on this album." "The Future of Music is In Good Hands" The Mac Weekly "Ari Herstand puts a new twist on the singer songwriter aesthetic by playing keyboard, guitar, singing, and beatboxing all at once." Phoenix New Times "What becomes obvious through watching all this is how much control Ari Herstand has over his performance...Ari Herstand has come to the level where his music is both exact art and science." Second Supper










Website Design by Drew Preiner | Website Development by Micah Herstand

Sign up for Ari's mailing list
and get 4 free songs

I hate free music
(continue to site)