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Ozzy Osbourne's "quiet" daughter makes some noise as ARO: Q&A

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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To most, Aimee Osbourne is the oldest daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne -- and the child who chose not to be part of the family's "The Osbournes" reality show.

But that doesn't mean she has no interest in the family business.

During October Osbourne released "Vacare Adamare," her debut album under the moniker ARO (for Aimee Rachel Osbourne). The title is Latin for "to be free and loved," and the music demonstrates a streak of independence; Certainly different than her father's heavy metal, Osbourne's ARO mines dramatic, ambient, synthesizer-filled arrangements more akin to Kate Bush and, at times, Evanescence. ARO made its virtual live debut last fall from Los Angeles, and while the pandemic has made it a challenging time to launch a new act, Osbourne, 37, is balancing the tasks of spreading the word about "Vacare Adamare" and keeping the pipeline open for even more new music...

You are the "quiet" Osbourne, largely out of sight compared to the rest of your family. What's your musical path been to this point?

Osbourne: I've been working on music for a long time. It just kind of took me a bit of awhile to get it to this point. I have such a great, solid team behind me now. I feel a lot more secure about everything, and it's such a relief to finally have an album out and doing the live show was a lot of fun, even though there was no audience or anything. So I'm just grateful and really happy it's all finally out.

When did you know you'd want to go into the "family business?"

Osbourne: It was what I would always find refuge in. I would be in my room. listening to all my music -- that's where I felt most at home. It was kind of secret for awhile. I kept it to myself 'cause you never want it know that you want to do what your parents do. Eventually it became undeniable. I felt like it chose me, this force that pulls you towards something you can't really ignore. It was a very natural, kind of unconscious pull in that direction, I guess. It makes sense I'd feel that, I think.

When did you start writing songs?

Osbourne: I started writing, secretly, as a teenager. I also would write a lot of poetry -- I was always creative in that way, less academically inclined. My parents overheard me kind of singing in my room. It was a friend of my parents who said, "Oh, you should come and stay with me and work with some producers and see what happens." I was excited but completely terrified. I had never done it in front of anybody. I didn't know if I would open my mouth and some frog noise would come out!. But it went really, really well.

How did you arrive at the sound we're hearing on "Vacare Adamare?"

Osbourne: I've had so many influences. Definitely the whole Bristol sound that came out in the 90s -- Tricky, Massive Attack, Portishead, all those really ambient, experimental bands. I'm a huge Annie Lennox fan as well, Eurythmics. I love Shakespear's Sister as well. There's a lot of Prince I listen to, even a lot of Lauryn Hill; Growing up she was kind of my god. And then Talking Heads, the Cure...just all kinds of stuff, really.

And dad?

Osbourne: I still haven't figured that out. (laughs) It's a constantly evolving thing, because the idea that you're this person's daughter is always immediately at the forefront -- which is fine. It's not a bad thing to be associated with that. For me the tricky part is the business side and how that influenced the people I would become associated with there, the pre-conceived notion thing. That's the most exhausting part. People have all these assumptions, and obviously I'm not making the same kind of music as my father does.

How involved are your folks in the ARO universe?

Osbourne: They're great. I'm very aware of what my parents have achieved and how they work and their reputation and how they treat people. My parents have amazing qualities in that sense; They're really good and decent people and also successful. All those are incredible things to be influenced by and grow up around. My father really doesn't overstep any boundaries. He's super supportive, super sweet. I think he's really happy I'm finding this path for myself. My mum's definitely a little more, "Well, why don't you do this?" or "You should call this person?" My dad is more, "Are you happy? Does it sound good? Great!"

You famously declined to be part of "The Osbournes" series, or "Osbournes Reloaded." Any regrets?

Osbourne: No. It wasn't even something I ever contemplated. I never saw it as an option, so it didn't feel like a hard decision. I knew (the show) was never something that would have made me happy and would have benefitted me long-term. The show was real; There was no script, and I think they got some messages out there that were important, and people got to see their gentle charm and quirkiness. I think after that you saw reality TV take this perverted twist, and a lot of it is so bogus and NOT reality.

What was it like watching the shows from the sidelines, then?

Osbourne: It wasn't that shocking or surprising 'cause I grew up with it, with a very well-known father. So it wasn't unfamiliar. What was pretty surprising was how successful it became, overnight. I don't think any of us were anticipating anything at that level. There's nothing that could prepare you for that kind of exposure. It was interesting, to say the least.

You've done some acting -- most notably "Wuthering Heights" back in 2003. Any more ambitions there?

Osbourne: I kind of ventured into that world very young and very quickly ventured out. The whole #metoo movement that came later, I personally witnessed a lot of things I wasn't comfortable with, general entitlement and unkindness. I was just like, "This is too screwed up for me. I'm way too sensitive for this." I'm just not the type of person who can go along with that time of environment, so I got right out. But that's not to say if the right project came along I wouldn't happily get back into it.

Where are you at with a next album? Now that one's out, do you feel like you've established a distinct path for yourself?

Osbourne: I've started writing sessions now. It's kind of a relief; I really felt like I had to claw my way here, so it's such a nice feeling that I'm finally getting somewhere with this. I'm just ready to keep it going.

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