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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Survivor Winner Aras Baskauskas

What do you do when you’ve won $1,000,000 on Survivor?  Well, we’d probably quit working and live on an island, but not Aras Baskauskas, who has decided to start a musical career.  Aras started taking guitar lessons once a week about a year ago and formed a band and is now playing shows.  While they don’t have an album yet, and are hoping to release an EP, RadarOnline.com went to their show Friday night at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles and really enjoyed the concert.

His music was a mix of sweet and sad ballads, and Aras told RadarOnline.com “When I first started writing songs I wrote from sadness so I do have a lot of songs that are sad, I was in a breakup, and I was going through a common human experience.  It gave me some material, but not my best because I feel like my best is yet to come, but I was just going trough that human experience and music was a form of cathartic release.”

Aras told us his favorite song is The Tree in The River which he didn’t finish during the show, but instead just made a joke about not having the song completed.  “My plans for music are to continue to enjoy myself,” he told us.  “I would love it if it became huge and successful and I’d love it if it never did because I just love music so I’m just going to kind of let it take me where it does.  I’m not going to fight the river but just let the river take me where it’s going to take me.”

A business school graduate, Aras also runs his own hat company Tundra gear, which he expanded and took over from his dad, who imported Russian winter hats, but added a twist, college team logos. Aras told us “I did my thesis on my dad’s company, and I was like, wow, you could really expand this hat company to be something successful. It’s turned out to become really, really successful.”

The funniest thing that Aras told us was that despite winning Survivor: Panama – Exile Island in 2006, people still don’t recognize him.  “When I won the show I was in New York City and I walked by the Ed Sullivan theater and there were these tourist looking in and talking about Survivor and I stopped and said those are the survivor buffs and they didn’t know who I was. I had just won a million dollars the day before.”

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