Araya Ventures Down The Neon-Lit Rabbit Hole in Search of Love in "Makima"


Photo: Fenn Paider

New York native and interdisciplinary artist Araya shares the newest glimpse into his neon, hyperpop-meets-R&B world with "MAKIMA." The single, produced by longtime collaborator Frankie Scoca, sees the Thai-Chilean artist utilize the Yamaha VOCALOID DAW/sample generator pioneered by Japanese hologram artist Hatsune Miku and details the different forms of love we encounter.

The single (spoiler alert ahead) named after the main antagonist of the anime/manga series Chainsaw Man, opens with subtle piano keys and lilting, spacey synths floating in the background. The singer's rich, warm vocals croon poignant lyrics about love and heartbreak. Then, the track builds into a spacious, echoing chamber of sound that transcends the current landscape. The intoxicating production glitches underneath Araya's bright, full vocals, dripping in the love for life that goes into his songwriting.

Of "MAKIMA," Araya says, "I originally wrote this song about a long-distance crush on a boy that didn't feel very mutual. However, while shooting the music video for 'MAKIMA' in Thailand, I had befriended a girl named Patty who worked at a local dispensary. Patty very naturally ended up costarring in the music-video and later revealed to us (completely unplanned) that she was a recently retired Makima cosplayer. Patty and I became very close; the song would evolve to represent both the love that we have for each other as well as the memories we made. Although I'm all the way in New York, 'MAKIMA' is a love that is mutual and pure; a love that remembers."

The accompanying music video, directed by Araya and Fenn Paider, is a vibrant visual that follows the artist throughout Thailand's enigmatic, neon-lit streets. As the footage plays on, it ushers viewers into the serendipitous, gorgeous world of Araya's multi-dimensional artistry and even features a cameo of the dreamy single's namesake.

"MAKIMA" is the beginning of a new chapter of Araya's journey as an artist, serving as the first chapter of the queer animated journey of personal growth and a natural continuation of his heart's journey expressed through his music. In February of 2022, Araya released his sophomore LP, Ethos, to significant acclaim just over a year after his breakout debut, Atlas. Since the release of Ethos, Araya has been steadily collaborating with a myriad of producers and artists, such as CLIP, Y2K, Yeek, Monte Booker, Junior Varsity, Cautious Clay, and more, while piecing together his most recent EP ARENA, as if it were a puzzle of his very own beating heart.

Watch the "MAKIMA" video below:


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