Arca (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Arca at Sónar in Barcelona, 2019
Arca at Sónar in Barcelona, 2019
Background information
Born (1989-10-14) 14 October 1989 (age 31)
Caracas, Venezuela
  • Musician
  • singer
  • composer
  • DJ
  • record producer
  • mixing engineer
Years active2011–present
Associated acts Edit this at Wikidata

Alejandra Ghersi[5] (born 14 October 1989), better known by the stage name Arca, is a Venezuelan musician, singer, composer, record producer, and DJ based in Barcelona.[6][7] She has released four studio albums — Xen (2014), Mutant (2015), Arca (2017) and Kick I (2020) — and has contributed production work to artists such as Björk, Kanye West, FKA twigs, Kelela, and Frank Ocean.

Early life[edit]

Arca was born in Caracas, Venezuela as Alejandro Ghersi.[8] Her father was an investment banker and the Ghersi family relocated to Darien, Connecticut, when Ghersi was 3 years old, before returning to Caracas when she was 9 years old. Describing her upbringing in Venezuela as "in a bubble," the family lived in a gated community, where she was privately educated and began taking piano lessons.[9][10] She released music in her teen years by the name of Nuuro, and received moderate popularity in her home country, with praise from big national artists such as Los Amigos Invisibles.[10] She also did collaborations with fellow Venezuelan artists during this period, such as programming the synthesizers in La Vida Bohème's Grammy nominated album Nuestra. She later attended the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU.[11]


On 1 February 2012, Arca released her debut extended play (EP), Baron Libre, through UNO NYC.[12] Later that year, she released the Stretch 1 and Stretch 2 EPs on 19 April and 6 August respectively.[13][14]

In 2013, Arca was credited for additional production, programming and songwriting for five of the songs on Kanye West's Yeezus, which was released on 18 June. She also served as one of the three production consultants.[15] That same year on 23 July, she released her &&&&& mixtape through SoundCloud and Hippos in Tanks.[16] The project included an audio-visual performance alongside Jesse Kanda, who contributed the visuals, at MoMA PS1 in October 2013.[17] On 17 September, FKA Twigs' EP2 was released, on which Arca produced and co-wrote every song.[18]

Her debut studio album, Xen, was released on 4 November 2014 via Mute Records.[19] Arca made significant contributions to Björk's eighth studio album Vulnicura which was released on 20 January 2015.[20] She was credited as the co-producer of seven of the tracks, and the co-writer of two.[21][22] Arca collaborated with American singer Kelela on her Hallucinogen EP, which was released in October 2015. She's credited for producing, recording, mixing and co-writing two of the tracks, including the title track, which is an instrumental from Arca's &&&&& mixtape with Kelela adding improvised vocals.[23] Her second studio album, Mutant, was released on 20 November 2015.[24] She released the Entrañas mixtape on 4 July 2016, following the single "Sin Rumbo".

On 22 February 2017, Arca signed with XL Recordings and released "Piel", the first single from the eponymous third studio album, Arca,[25] which was released on 7 April 2017 to widespread acclaim from music critics and was featured on numerous year-end lists.[26] Later in 2017, Arca collaborated with Björk again on her ninth studio album Utopia, co-producing the vast majority of the record.[27] Björk explained that the album explored "the Arca-Björk overlap."[28] A music video featuring Arca for "Arisen My Senses" was released on 18 December 2017.[29] Arca also collaborated with Kelela on her debut studio album, Take Me Apart, released in October 2017. Kelela said she "anchored" the album and produced a bulk of it.[30] She is credited for producing on four tracks, and co-writing two.[31]

In September 2019, Arca performed during a live shoot for a "yet-to-be released project".[32] On 19 February 2020, Arca released a 62-minute single named "@@@@@"[33] along with an audiovisual directed by Frederik Heyman.[34] The track was released on XL Recordings on 21 February.[35] Along with the single, 13 international tour dates were announced for Spring 2020.[36] Her fourth album KiCk i, featuring Björk, ROSALÍA, Shygirl and SOPHIE, was announced on 8 March 2020[37] and released on 26 June 2020.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Arca came out as non-binary in 2018, later adding that she identifies as a trans woman, and goes by she/her and it/its pronouns.[39][40][41] In 2020 she stated in an interview for Vice: "I see my gender identity as non-binary, and I identify as a trans Latina woman, and yet, I don’t want to encourage anyone to think that my gayness has been banished. And when I talk about gayness, it’s funny because I’m not thinking about who I’m attracted to. It’s a form of cultural production that is individual and collective, which I don’t ever want to renounce".[42]

Arca lived in London[43] and resides in Barcelona as of 2018.[44] She dated the German photographer and director Daniel Sannwald,[45] and later the Spanish multimedia artist Carlos Sáez, who has often collaborated in the realization of her projects.[46]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Award nominations for Arca
Year Awards Work Category Result Ref.
2016 AIM Independent Music Awards Mutant Independent Album of the Year Nominated [47]
2018 Libera Awards Arca Best Outlier Album Nominated [48]
"Reverie" Video of the Year Nominated
2021 Grammy Awards KiCk i Best Dance/Electronic Album Nominated [49]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Breakthrough Artist Nominated [50]
Libera Awards Best Dance/Electronic Record Pending [51]
Herself Best Live/Livestream Act Pending


  1. ^ Eede, Christian (11 September 2014). "Listen: Arca – Thievery". The Quietus. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  2. ^ Houlihan, Finn. "Listen: Arca – 'Thievery'". Acclaim Magazine. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Arca". Time Out. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. ^ Morse, Eric. "Arca Talks Working With Bjork, Screaming About Sex, Explosive New LP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  5. ^ Ghersi, Alejandra (8 March 2019). "My 2,500 Hours Playing Guild Wars". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  6. ^ Frank, Alex (8 March 2020). "Arca Is the Future We Hope For". Garage. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. ^ Hahn, Rachel. "Arca on the Warrior Princess Style of Her Performances at The Shed". Vogue. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  8. ^ "How cruising, graveyards and swan songs inspired Arca's new album". Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  9. ^ adminexclama (23 January 2015). "¿QUIÉN ES ARCA?". Revista EXCLAMA. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b Hutchinson, Kate (17 July 2015). "Arca: 'Nothing is off limits emotionally'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  11. ^ Zeichner, Naomi (29 October 2012). "GEN F: Arca". The Fader. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  12. ^ Hockley-Smith, Sam (1 February 2012). "Download Arca's Debut EP Baron Libre". The Fader. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  13. ^ Hockley-Smith, Sam (19 April 2012). "Download Arca's Stretch 1 EP". The Fader. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  14. ^ Ryce, Andrew (17 August 2012). "RA Reviews: Arca - Stretch 2 on UNO (Album)". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Yeezus Credits" (PDF). Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  16. ^ Minsker, Evan (23 July 2013). "Download Arca's New Mix &&&&&". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Pitchfork's FORMS and MoMA PS1 Present a Multimedia Event Featuring Arca and Jesse Kanda". Pitchfork. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  18. ^ Neyland, Nick (19 September 2013). "FKA Twigs: EP2 Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Arca Signs to Mute. Debut album Xen out on 3/4 November. Hear the first single Thievery". Mute Records. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  20. ^ Friedlander, Emile (30 September 2014). "Arca Finds Xen". The Fader. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  21. ^ Michaels, Sean (1 October 2014). "Björk working with Kanye producer Arca on next album". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  22. ^ Brandle, Lars (14 January 2015). "Bjork Shares Details on New Album 'Vulnicura'". Billboard. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  23. ^ Mistry, Anupa (7 October 2015). "Kelela: Hallucinogen EP Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  24. ^ Minsker, Evan; Strauss, Matthew (15 October 2015). "Arca Details New Album Mutant, Shares "EN" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Arca Signs to XL Recordings". XLR8R. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Arca by Arca". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  27. ^ Bulut, Selim (5 September 2017). "Björk on finding paradise and her ecstatic return". Dazed. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  28. ^ Bulut, Selim (15 September 2018). "What we learned from Björk's live Q&A". Dazed. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  29. ^ Murphy, Sarah (18 December 2017). "Björk Documents Her Own Birth In "Arisen My Senses" Video". Exclaim!. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  30. ^ Price, Joe (1 August 2017). "Kelela Returns with New Song "LMK"". Complex. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  31. ^ Take Me Apart (CD liner notes). Kelela. Warp. 2017.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  32. ^ "Arca - The Shed". The Shed. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  33. ^ "Arca Shares New 62-Minute Song "@@@@@"".
  34. ^ "Arca - @@@@@". YouTube.
  35. ^ "Arca broadcasts from a post-singularity pirate radio station on @@@@@". 20 February 2020.
  36. ^ Exposito, Suzy (19 February 2020). "Block Out an Hour for Arca's New Song". Rolling Stone.
  37. ^ Frank, Alex (8 March 2020). "Arca Is the Future We Hope For". Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  38. ^ Enis, Eli (26 June 2020). "Arca unveils new album KiCk i: Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  39. ^ Fallon, Patric (8 November 2019). "Arca Is the Artist of the Decade". Vice. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  40. ^ Moen, Matt (7 April 2020). "Arca: Embracing the Flux". Paper Magazine. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  41. ^ Sanders, Wren (26 June 2020). "Now List 2020: The Divine Mutability of Arca". them. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  42. ^ Dunn, Frankie (25 June 2020). "Arca: "We're all transitioning: from birth to death, it's inevitable"". i-D. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  43. ^ Hahn, Rachel. "Arca on the Warrior Princess Style of Her Performances at The Shed". Vogue. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  44. ^ Sherburne, Philip (20 May 2020). "Live From Quarantine, It's the Arca Show". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  45. ^ "Previiew / Interview Daniel Sannwald". Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  46. ^ "Arca's Mutant;Faith Was A Captivating, Challenging Display Of Experimentation". Stereogum. 30 September 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  47. ^ "AIM Awards 2016 shortlist revealed". Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  48. ^ Knopper, Steve (18 June 2018). "The 2018 A2IM Libera Awards Will Be a Declaration of Independents". Billboard. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  49. ^ "Grammys 2021: Poppy, Arca, BTS y Noah Cyrus se cuelan en las nominaciones; mira las mejores reacciones". MOR.BO (in Spanish). 24 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  50. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (28 January 2021). "GLAAD Unveils Nominees For 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards; Deadline's New Hollywood Podcast Honored With Special Recognition Award". Deadline. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  51. ^ Grein, Paul (22 March 2021). "Phoebe Bridgers, Run the Jewels & Perfume Genius Among Top Nominees For 2021 Libera Awards". Billboard. Retrieved 22 March 2021.

External links[edit]