Ben Araiza
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Ben Araiza


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Top Cover Songs of 2005"

#2. Ben Araiza: California Love

This song was originally done by Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre.

Ben Araiza is a solo artist and performed this on an album called "Story of Za" which was mailed to me for review. Ben's version of "California Love" is a completely new song. He really made this one his own and has transformed an early 90's rap anthem into a very relevant
(and rocking) number. It'd be a smart move to throw this one at
commercial radio and see what happens. A rock artist doing this song sounds like a disaster on paper, but on record it kills!

CD: "Story of Za" - WRFR-FM Top 20 Countdown

"The Story of ZA"

A former break-dancing teen turned singer-songwriter from Watsonville, California? Can't wait for the video. Not sure what brings him to the Valley from the Bay Area, but his first album has some likable acoustic rap-rock moments and a particularly angelic female background vocal that makes nearly every number a treat. But Araiza really touches a contact high on the unassuming "Perfect Day," where he finds euphoria in family coming over for a beer-drinking, ball-game-watching summer holiday. Does he know about August here? ( - Phoenix New Times


The Story of ZA -2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ben Araiza
The Story of Za
by Gregg Paz

The Story of Za is a story that has been building for years, with stories of family, heartbreak, learning, love, hate, hard work, and pure, raw talent. It’s the story of a boy from the Bay Area who has grown into a man ready to take over the world with his honest, eclectic, infectious sound!

A former break-dancing teen from San Jose, California, Ben Araiza has grown into a true musician, writer, and artist. Influenced more by R&B and early rap (which is evident in a lot of the delivery of his lyrics), he picked up the piano at an early age. He wrote his first song at 15 but didn’t pick up the guitar until 1993 when he first saw his true idol, Prince, in concert. Inspired by Prince and Santana, Ben rushed out and laid down a cool grand for his first Fender and amp.

After a couple of years tooling around in bands in San Jose, Ben was ready to go at it alone. “Maybe it (being in a band) is right for some people, but not me,” says Araiza from his home in Arizona. “When it comes down to it, it’s hard to find others who can match your own drive and determination.” His move to Arizona has also helped. “I was so spun out on partying and philosophy that I wasn’t thinking straight anymore. Coming here was like going to Betty Ford and getting clean. I was able to sit down and put on paper all the things that had happened over the past few years.”

It’s taken Ben over two years of blood, sweat, tears, and all of his income to finally get The Story of Za to the masses, partially because of the honesty he conveys in all of his songs. Having gone through a rough break-up a few years ago, many of the songs reflect some form of heartbreak but always with a tinge of hope and personal strength and growth. “When you feel something that strongly, it makes it that much easier to remember every detail later on. Those details tell a whole story in four minutes.”

One of the songs that showcase Ben as an artist and a human being is the lead track, “Dum Didi Dum”. The song reflects his character when challenged or threatened. It not only has faint echoes of the rap influence of his youth and today, but also the funky bass of a great R&B song with the catchy chorus of a great pop song. It even has a dig at a former band in it, a testimony to his unflinching honesty about his past. As Ben puts it, “This song is all me.”

Another standout track is the beautiful and haunting “Perfect Day.” It started out as a song for his old band Wrekhouse, but the other members thought it to be too soft for their sound, so Ben tucked it away for almost a year. Walking down the hallway of his sister’s Arizona home, where he was staying at the time, he came across a photo of his entire family. He grabbed it off the wall, grabbed a six-pack of Coors Light and his guitar, and headed into the garage. He emerged with “Perfect Day.” “This song is about who I am and where I come from. It’s a snapshot of one of the greatest moments of my life.” Included are even some special words from his Uncle Pete, who sadly passed away from cancer. “I asked my aunt to send me some video of him saying something that really captured the meaning of family. He made a toast at my grandparents 50th anniversary, and that part is captured in the song.”

His most daring track on the album may be his cover of the rap classic "California Love" by the immortal rapper Tupac Shakur. “I know that the original will always be a classic. I just wanted to show my love for him.” Stripping the song to its core, he turns it into a true California song. “I completely redid it my way but with his intensity. I think he would appreciate the difference as an artist if he were here today.” With the bouncy instrumentation and catchy chorus, this is sure to be a hit all over again.

As you can see, The Story of Za is eleven chapters in the ever-emerging life of a promising talent and a passionate musician, with many more chapters and volumes to come in the future. Asked where he pictures himself in five years, Ben says this: “I have no idea. My dream would be to play for a huge crowd somewhere like Shoreline (Amphitheater in Mountain View, California) where I saw so many concerts myself. I know I will give it my everything and work as hard as I possibly can. One thing is for sure…I’ll be happy—with a big smile on my face and an ice cold beer in my hand.”

For More Information, please contact:
Raquel Ruiz -Media Relations
Media Magik Music Group
(310) 691-5009