Having already impressed us with a wave of bold and dynamic RnB-inspired releases over the last few years, LA-based singer and songwriter Minolta Araya is back to share her latest impactful single 'Runaway'.
Taking influence from acts like Billie Eilish, Sia, and Halsey, this new offering brings together a mix of warm and wistful acoustic guitars with a bold and pounding beat and bassline. Produced by Sebastian Pringle (Crystal Fighters), her newest jam sees her as a true innovator on the scene with bags of creative energy.
So with her new single finally with us, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what first brought her to the world of music.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The first instrument I fell in love with was definitely the guitar. I got my first acoustic guitar when I was 16 and my mom told me I was too old to play but I didn’t care. When I started traveling around and basically living in the woods my guitar became my companion, my best friend. I’m not a very technical player but I don’t think you have to be perfect to express yourself.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
The most prominent inspiration behind my music so far has been my life experiences. I like to dive deep into my interactions, observations and moods. I have many versions of self and have been so many different people on this journey, each one shares a little space. I’m inspired by the events of the world and the events of my heart, so my own little personal world. I am mostly inspired by existence and whatever that means.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Really resisting the urge to be completely obnoxious and say I loved everything (I did!) but if I had to pick what I listened to most it was definitely a mix of Hip Hop and Emo, I was really in my feelings at the time. Imagine pulling up to Warped Tour blasting Three 6 Mafia, that was my vibe. I actually went to a lot of shows as a teenager, I loved mosh pits and crowd surfing.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Wow, that’s a great question! I can’t remember the first song exactly but I do remember the moment I thought a career in music was possible. I was pretty young at the time watching Good Morning America before school and Alicia Keys came on to sing her new song Fallin’. I remember seeing this woman with her cornrow braids on National TV and just being in awe. I used to wear my hair braided as a child but I’d never seen anyone who was so much like me in music. It made me feel like maybe I could do it too, she was incredible.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
That depends on what mood I wake up in, which could be wildly different from day to day. Often I listen to the frequency 528hz and start the day with visualization. Sometimes I wake up and twerk. On Sunday mornings it’s Motown and cleaning time. If it’s raining I’ll probably listen to Billie Holiday.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Well, that’s a dangerous question. I don’t think I’ve written any songs completely about a specific person, though I bet they think the songs are about them and we all know why, I draw more on my experiences in my writing. If I’m telling a story, the characters are usually a mix of reality and fiction, several different people all rolled into one.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
There have been so many memorable moments, every time I get to share my music I feel grateful. One of the moments that stands out the most is when I had the opportunity to perform with the Open Kanvas Tour in Los Angeles. This was way before Covid-19 - we were in a packed venue wall to wall, standing room only and the love and support I got from the community during my set was just incredible. Being able to perform live with so many talented artists and receiving such strong energy from the crowd was such an amazing moment.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
I love food and feeding people. All the amazing combinations of fruits and veggies, the spices and colors. I’m vegan and I actually started a company as a private chef before deciding to focus my creative energy solely on my music.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
If I hadn’t committed to disappointing my parents, I would have likely become a professional in the medical field. I’ve always loved science, was an over-over achiever in school and a Biology major in a previous life.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to stay productive through the coronavirus lockdown?
Self-care! Take care of you. We are not only in the midst of a global pandemic but also a global effort to dismantle years of systemic racism and oppression of black people. We are going through a mass collective trauma; I believe the most productive thing we can do is take care of ourselves. I have used this time to write, I’m alone in the woods, so I’m very fortunate in having the space to create and writing to me is healing. I’m also getting weirdly addicted to podcasts. What works for me though won’t necessarily work for all musicians. I think whether you write tons of new songs, learn a new skill or just breathe - you are doing enough.
Minolta's new single 'Runaway' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.