After graduating from Yeshiva High School in Manhattan, Ari studied at Yale and received his BA from New York University. Living in one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world, Ari took full advantage of his surroundings and began performing his own original music at NYC hotspots Joe's Pub, China Club, and CBGB's. All the while, Ari was busy recording the material that would soon become his self-titled 2001 debut CD. His debut anticipated pop music's move to a more R&B sound and included something that was unprecedented in that genre: explicit love songs sung by a man to another man. That album won Ari the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording. His debut also caught the attention of legendary tunesmith Desmond Child (Ricky Martin, Cher, Aerosmith, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken) and their first collaboration "I'm All About You" (Island Universal) debuted on the top 20 UK pop charts, becoming a top 10 dance hit. Co-written and produced with UK garage sensations DJ Luck and MC Neat, the song blended the sounds of R&B, pop and two-Step, an underground sound that was just then breaking in the UK
Ari released his sophomore CD, Space Under Sun on his own label, Gold18 Records, to critical praise. His appearance in the groundbreaking and highly-rated VH-1 special My Coolest Years: In The Closet solidified Ari's status as an emerging gay icon. Ari's "Wave Of You" music video was also featured on VH-1's Totally Gayer.