Kenia Arias

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Kenia Arias
Kenia Arias RAW LMNT MIA 2013.jpg
Kenia Arias performing live at LMNT in Miami's Wynwood Art District
Background information
Birth name Kenia Arias
Born San Juan, Puerto Rico
Origin Medford, New York, U.S.
Genres Pop, dance-pop, electropop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, model, author
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Website www.keniaarias.com

Kenia Arias, known by her stage name Kenia (/ˈkʔnjʔ/ KEN-ya), is an American pop recording artist, lyricist, film, stage, and television actress. Since 2000, she has independently released two mixtapes, one EP and three albums. She has collaborated with various independent rap artists throughout her career. Kenia has appeared in films such as Brad Bird's Tomorrowland and USA's television show Graceland.

Kenia Arias performing live at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida.

Biography[edit]

Early life and influences[edit]

Arias was born to Jaime Arias and Mercedes E. Hernandez. Arias was raised with her older brother Jimmy Arias in Medford, Long Island, New York. Arias has three half siblings, one of which is deceased, from her father's previous marriage. Her ethnicity is Puerto Rican and Dominican.

Arias first showed interest in performing at the age of four and at the age of six decided she wanted to become a professional singer and actor. Arias was 12 when she and a neighbor formed an all girl group entitled "The Lazers". The group recruited a third member and would perform covers of Salt n' Pepper songs for their neighbors on the block. Arias has been quoted as saying "I just felt an urgency to entertain; I wanted to put on a good show for people and make them feel happy".[1] It was at this time Arias started her lifelong journey of taking vocal lessons. Arias was, 14 when she first performed professionally at a resort in Puerto Rico and shot her first commercial. This same year she started recording covers at a local studio on Long Island. Her first recording was Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". At the age of 16 Arias began writing her own material and recording at several recording studios in Manhattan, New York.[2] Arias grew up listening to Madonna, Mariah Carey, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Celia Cruz, Fania All-Stars, Groupo Mania, Janet Jackson, Selena y Los Dinos, Little Kim, Juan Luis Guerra, Alanis Morissette and many more; which have all, to some degree, inspired Arias' music. During this time Arias signed a production deal and released her first self-titled album.

While attending Patchogue-Medford High School,[3] Arias was involved in New York State beauty pageants and was awarded the titles of "Miss Teen Long Island" and" Miss Teen Talent New York State" along with many sub-categories such as "Miss Congeniality". She was featured in many local papers pertaining to her pageant career. Arias also performed on Showtime at the Apollo, Puerto Rican Day Parade and Club New York; all before the age of 17. She earned her bachelor's degree from Florida International University in Miami, FL.

Behind the scenes at LMNT in Miami, Florida.

Career[edit]

1996-2009[edit]

Arias had her first entertainment job at the age 14 when she was cast a dancer in a national dance television show; she remained on the show for two years. Arias convinced her parents she needed a talent agent and within one week Arias was signed with two talent agencies.[2] Arias began modeling for print and trade shows. After several years as a teen model, Arias decided to end her modeling career to exclusively focus on her music. Arias recorded her first self-titled studio album in Manhattan, New York. She was involved in the production as vocalist; songwriter had a minor role as the producer on the album. Arias relocated with her family to Florida in 2001, a move she did not want to make. Arias attended Indian River State College where she was first cast in a theater production. Arias had never taken acting classes and was not involved in the theater program while attending. However, she decided to audition for a play the department was casting and landed a supporting role. During this time she auditioned for a musical at her local community theater and was cast in a supporting role. Arias sang at several community festivals in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and Stuart, Florida. Arias also attended Florida International University where her artistic career was featured in the University's newspaper.[1]

David Bercuson, P.A and Kenia Arias at Ball & Chain: Live Music Miami, Florida

2009-Present[edit]

Arias continued submitting demos to several agencies and was eventually signed to a distribution deal. Arias recorded eight songs and is credited as vocalist, lyricist and producer on her album entitled "Karma'. The album was consisted of pop-rock, hip hop and Latin genres. During this time Arias produced a self-funded national tour for the album. Mid-production the tour was cancelled due to Arias' father suffering a stroke. Arias decided it was best to pause production until further notice; the tour never developed past its pre-production stage. During this time Arias decided to part ways with her publisher and began to self-distribute her own material. It wasn't until three years later that Arias decided to record new material; she recorded an EP entitled "Unconscious" and partnered with Spinnup/Universal Music for the release. The EP reflected the journey she was on during the stroke and cancer diagnosis of her father. She was also featured in two issues of the Stuart Magazine which was distributed through Barnes and Noble retailers.[4] Arias continued her work as an actor and print model in the Miami and Orlando, Florida markets. In the spring of 2014 Arias released a self-titled compilation album. In spring of 2016, Arias relocated to Los Angeles, California to further pursue her career in acting and music. She is a current student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and is working on new music. Arias is also in the process of starting her own record label.

Personal life[edit]

Kenia currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, actor Alexander Stein, whom she met at Indian River State College. Stein is credited as a producer on several of Arias' productions since 2003. The couple was married in February 2015.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Karma (2010)
  • Unconscious (2013)

Singles[edit]

  • "Animal Instinct" (2012)

Tours[edit]

  • Karma (2010/Cancelled)

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Director
2015 Tomorrowland DQ Patron Brad Bird

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Episode Director
2015 Graceland Physical Therapist "Master of Weak Ties" Lucy Liu

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Calero 2010.
  2. ^ a b Maselli 2004.
  3. ^ Patchogue-Medford High School
  4. ^ Hayes 2013.

References[edit]

  • La Voz News, Latin Chamber of Commerce of the Treasure Coast (November 2004). "La Cámara de Comercio Latina de la Costa del Tesoro". La Voz del Treasure Coast. La Voz News (04): 10. 
  • Maselli, Natasha (September 2004). "Local Soapbox: Kenia Arias". The Muse: Local and National Music News. Dreamsong Entertainment, Inc. 1 (2): 12. 
  • News of Brookhaven, Pennysaver (May 1999). "Community News". Pennysaver News. News of Brookhaven, Inc. 41 (18): 13. 
  • Calero, Ronald (November 2010). "INSTANT KARMA: Student releases R&B album". LIFE!. The Beacon. 21 (32): 9. 
  • Hayes, Amy Lynne (December 2013). "Pop Sensation: Singer Kenia Arias is shown a light after a year of darkness". Stuart Magazine. gulfstreammediagroup.com. 13 (8): 56. 

External links[edit]