Cris Cohen: I wanted to talk about the song “Finally Be Me,” which seems very much along the lines of “I want to be heard. I want to be seen for who I am.” How much of that song was autobiographical and how much of it was pieced together from other people or life experiences?
Michelle Ariane: I think that song was 100% autobiographical. It was one of those songs that I think wrote itself in one hour. I sat at the piano and I'm like, “I think this is what the song needs to say.” And it was there.
Cris Cohen: And -- how do I put this? -- have you been able to stay in that place where you're finally yourself? You haven't lost it?
Michelle Ariane: No, I think there are always moments where life challenges you and your authenticity will be questioned. You will be put into positions where you wonder, do you want to go there? Is that aligned with what you believe in? I think in the big picture, I I am. And in the little picture, I am almost all of the time. And when I'm not, I try to find my way back there as quickly as possible. I think life has its ups and downs, so you're going to get lost. When I wrote that song, that was one of the most absolutely heart-breaking times of my life. Those times when you think, “I don't know how I'm going to keep living and I don't know how I got myself into this in the first place.” And I don't think you wake up one day and say, “This is me. I'm going to stay this way.” I think it's a constant process. I think it's finding your way there and then working every day to stay there as much as you can.