Ariel Robinson, 32
Musician, retail merchandiser
Hidden talent: I'm a photographer. I actually start at Cleveland State University here in the spring for photography. So I guess photography would be my hidden talent.
Biggest fear: To let anybody else go in my life without making sure they know how I felt about them, on a positive level.
My bad habit: Biting my fingernails. I got to quit doing that.
My guilty pleasure: I enjoy top-shelf Irish whiskey. I started out drinking Jameson, and it's a great drink, but Tullamore Dew I've been drinking a lot more lately.
You'd never guess: I'm pretty shy. I can talk when the environment's there. But I get nervous and I'm kind of the guy just watching and listening.
I can't live without: Music.
My hero: My mother. She has done everything for myself and my sister. She is the strongest person I know. She is the only consistent example that I have in my life as it pertains to walking in line with the will of God.
On my bucket list: I want to play music on every continent.
Biggest accomplishment: Taking our band [Poetic Republic] away from Cleveland and touring. We toured 2 1/2 years on our own dime. We've played with the likes of Mos Def, Slum Village, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick.
When I'm not working: Writing music or designing someone's T-shirt ideas or CD. I do a lot of freelance design work.
Find me here on a Saturday night: When I'm not at the studio, I'm probably at somebody's show. I like the Happy Dog on the West Side. I like Lava Lounge. I like going to the East Side, the Grog Shop. I'm never in clubs. I do not do club.
If I had one wish: I would wish for a thousand more wishes.
Once-in-a-lifetime moment: My uncle recently passed, and I don't have a relationship with really any of my uncles. I had an opportunity to sit with my uncle and talk to him. I realized I was a lot like my uncle. We sat for hours and just talked about life. That will go with me for the rest of my life.
If I won the Mega Millions, I'd spend it on: My mom. She needs a house. She needs to go away!
My No. 1 dating rule: Honesty, the worst thing somebody can do is put on a front.
Deal-breakers: Wanting to be out all the time. I like to spoil the girl that I'm with, but sometimes it's cool to chill in the house and watch a movie.
The perfect date: Seeing D'Angelo live at a premier venue, probably in a city that is live with culture. I have no problem with saying, "Man, let's rock to Chicago real quick and go to a show."
I'm a sucker for: Natural hair. Sucker. Complete. It doesn't have to be long, it can be short. It doesn't matter. If it's yours, I'm with it.
I always, sometimes or never make the first move: I never make the first move. One, because I'm just super shy, and for some reason, I really attract persistent and confident women.
Would you be famous?: Fame is a beast! I don't want fame. I just want to change the world with what God has given me. And if it makes me famous, then great. Whatever God has in store for me, I'm happy with.
Do you rehearse what you're going to say before making a phone call?: No way! I just pick up the phone up and call. "Hey, how ya doin?" I let it go from there. I like the awkward moments. I like the awkward silence, because it lets me know that we're human.
Last time I sang to myself: Probably like an hour ago! I've been writing an album so I've been trying to construct these melodies. I actually just finished a song called "The Maker." You would think it's about a higher power, but it's more so about building up a community where you have the power to make or destroy. And I believe we all have that power in us. Last time I sang to someone else: I've had women ask me to do that, and I just can't do it!
If you could gain one quality or ability, it would be: To never look back.
I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... : My everything. It's hard for somebody to invest and be interested in all of you, but I believe that it's possible.
Celebrity dream date: Sanaa Lathan or Nia Long.
Celebrity look-alike: Mos Def.
Dogs or Cats?: Dogs. Dogs have personality. Sometimes I feel like the dogs I've had in the past, I feel like they talk to me. You see it in their face.
Beach or mountains?: Mountains.
Signature dish: I love my pasta. My mother taught me how to cook, so I'm pretty good at that.
How I stay healthy: I run twice a week. I was running more, but I lost too much weight.
My favorite ... book: Garvey and Garveyism. It's the theory of Marcus Garvey and his ideas on us as a people and our direction. ... TV show: The Cosby Show. But there is this new show on BBC called Black Mirror, and it's like a new version of The Twilight Zone. It's so creepy. ... movie: School Daze. ... music: I love all music, I really do. The only music I can't listen to consistently is country music, but I listen to everything. ... restaurant: J Alexander's. ... app: Instagram.
What I'm reading now: The Awakening of Intelligence. I just picked it up. It's everything to me. So this might be my new favorite book.
IPod embarrassment: I listen to Juicy J sometimes. There's something about that guy! I guess it's comedy to me.
I'm so over: My ex.
Dream job: Working in music.
Dream vacation: I would like to experience Africa for what it really is and not for what the media displays it as. I'd like to see the history that we don't get.
My take on Cleveland's single scene: I think it's a drag right now, because I feel like I know everybody and everybody seems the same. If they're not going to a club to find each other, they're not trying to find each other at all. I don't think there's a lot of honest interaction with the opposite sex.
Are you on Tinder?: I'm not. I think I should. Everybody keeps telling me I should.
The best thing about being single: I don't have to worry about if somebody doesn't want to try something new.
The worst thing about being single: Not having the opportunity to share these things with somebody.
Best date I've ever been on: The best date I had was that date with my first love. That was my best date.
Worst date I've ever been on: I took this girl out. The front was put on that she was enlightening, that conversation was going to be good, and it really wasn't. I felt like this person wanted to juice me. They wanted to suck all of the energy out of me. They just kept asking to write songs with me and create and write poetry. "We should do it. We should do this." But we just met! Let's talk about regular things first. It was very off-putting, and I was completely bored the entire date.
Do you hope to settle down in the next five years?: Definitely. I think the only way you live forever is through your children, and I would love to have some kids and I don't like the dating scene. I want to find my best friend and live the rest of my life with her.