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Home Stories: Aaron Ridley

Ashley Feraude

Lots of people know Aaron from his bar, Ha Ha Bar, his legendary parties, and his support of artistic talent—ranging from SAFIA and Coda Conduct, to Jess Cochrane and yours truly.

If you’ve never heard of these people, check them out for melodic indie pop, funky hip hop, incredible paintings and—in my case, Magnifik for soulful electronica (if I do say so myself).

Aaron’s a very genuine and generous guy filled with a great dose of youthful interest and optimism. I say this because, despite all his years of experience, Aaron always surrounds himself with those who explore, create, push boundaries and don’t get caught in the standard everyday complacency. He expertly seeks out emerging creative talent and makes it his duty to expose it to those who may otherwise miss it.


His house and his business are an extension of this. You can see the art of many local artists—some new, some that have made it to the big time—on the walls of his house and at Ha Ha Bar.

When photographer Victor and I arrived at Aaron’s place, we were greeted by a supreme spread of food worthy of a centre page in a Maggie Beer cookbook. I thought he was showing off to make his place look better, but he said, “no, I just thought you guys might be hungry”.

We were, so we ate everything aside from one small saucer filled with strange seeds because no one knew what there were, including our culinary expert host. Aaron later admitted that his partner had a lot to do with the beautiful presentation of the goodies and he should really ask her what those seeds were.


Speaking of his partner, I noticed the large collection of Aesop products in his bathroom that would even put my girlfriend’s product collection to shame. I mentioned that I thought he was more of a “man’s man”, to which he replied, “She showed me the light and now I can’t turn back, plus I want to look like you Ashley.” Personally, I don’t know what he’s talking about, I’ve never used moisturiser in my life—this is all natural.


If you haven’t noticed, Aaron favours art that is quite contemporary and ‘street’. He hasn’t admitted this himself, but I would say this is because this type of art reflects youthful energy and optimism, and it expresses itself without the need of standard established critical appraisal by ‘art critics’.


The way he says he knows it’s good is because he presents it to people and they directly respond – sometimes with applause, sometimes with indifference and sometimes with distaste. Whatever way it is, it’s direct and it gives the power to you the be the art critic. Nice one Aaron.




















Photography by Victor Tawagi


Ashley Feraude

Ashley Feraude is a creative consultant, music producer and man-about-town. Under his Sound Technique agency, he provides award-winning consultancy services ranging from branding design, creative content development and event music direction for events and hospitality venues. Under the alias Magnifik, he produces award-winning original music filled with electronic soul and performs melodic DJ sets at numerous night spots, events and festivals. And if that wasn’t enough, Ashley is also the author of this insightful interior design editorial series. So is he suffering from split personality disorder and has an obsession over pointy awards? Not really...he just loves design, music and getting an insight into people’s personalities. Plus he likes being really busy. More about the Author

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