Ben Araiza

Ben Araiza


With the release of his debut CD, "The Story of ZA," Ben Araiza has been making some serious waves in the musical landscape. His genre defying sound has garnered praise not only from fans worldwide, but also from some of the harshest critics in the business! Stay-tuned for dates in your area soon...


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


Only If Were Dancin'

Written By: Ben Araiza

Spring time, music blares
Underneath the empty stares
Darkness wraps her arms around
Diamonds glisten on the ground

Cool sand at my feet
Shadows dancing to this beat
Fire embers burn within
Come on tell me if were in?

So hey cowboy, what do you see?
You're looking for your best friend
Now could he be on his way?
Now that is the question

Hey Hot stuff, what do you say?
I think we're being shady

It's neither right or wrong but why do you care?
So hey best friend can you play?

Only if we're dancing

Then we'll groove all night into the day…

Slow Jams, hunnies prance
Cadillac's and Chevy's dance
Standing on the edge of time
Dancing on the 59

Shined up, Motown
Fired up we're laughing loud
Fire embers burn within
Come on tell me if were in?

So hey cowgirl, what do you see?
You're looking for best friend
Now could she be on her way?
Now that is the question

Hey Hot stuff, what do you say?
I think we're being shady
It's neither right or wrong but why do you care?
So hey best friend can you play?

Only if we're dancing

Then we'll groove all night into the day…

And I remember what we used to think
That the Whitehouse should be painted pink

You we're drunk and I was really high

Is that you're Mother or is that a...?

And I remember how you looked that night.
You tried to slap cuz I tried to bite

To each their own we're crusin though the hood
And taking chances cuz we're feeling good!!!


The Story of ZA -2005

Set List

1. Dum Didy Dum
2. Take You Home
3. So Free
4. Only If Were Dancin'
5. California Love
6. Watchin You Get High
7. Star in Heaven
8. Just Ask Her
9. Window To You
10. Under Your Skirt
11. Karma
12. Perfect Day

Acoustic Set List:

1. Dum Didy Dum
2. Take You Home
3. When April's Near
4. So Free
5. California Love
6. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac (cover)
7. Under Your Skirt
8. Only If Were Dancin - new
9. Karma
10. Girls Like You - new
11. Crash and Burn
12. Motorcycle Drive-By - 3EB (cover)
13. Perfect Day