Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera and Viridiana Morandini

Photographing Arca's biggest fans around the world

To celebrate the completion of her KICK era, Arca threw parties in London, New York, Barcelona, CDMX and Tokyo.

by Frankie Dunn
|
06 December 2021, 3:21pm

Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera and Viridiana Morandini

Proving yet again that she’s one of the most prolific and visionary musicians of our generation, last week Arca released four albums. All part of her KICK universe, they follow 2020’s GRAMMY-nominated KiCk i, with its killer single “Nonbinary” and features from Björk, Shygirl, SOPHIE and Rosalia. It’s a record that shifted everything for Arca, catapulting her from an alt realm and into mainstream consciousness -- a place of Lady Gaga remixes, Loewe campaigns and scoring episodes of Euphoria.

The new albums -- KICK ii, KicK iii, kick iiii and the surprise kiCK iiiii -- are “an experimental electronic opera cycle”, as Arca told us on release of the first KICK. “I figure that each part represents a different side of me,” she explained. “I can’t say that I can contain all my multitudes in one album, but I can open an era and let them do their thing without over-controlling it. You don’t have to get stuck between yin or yang. I speed the tempo up on one album, then slow it down for the next one – it’s like a world map, and I’m just building it. There's mythology, there are characters, there are settings. And there’s Electra Rex.”

And indeed, the KICKS are not ‘follow ups’ of one another, but evolutions of the same world, each with a distinct musical and emotional theme. They graduate from a dystopian club sound to twisted ambient sound design and out into a space of lullabies, piano compositions and ASMR spoken word. With the completion of her KICK era, all five stages of it, Arca has ascended to another creative plane and we're beyond excited to both luxuriate in this suite of music and see what she has planned for 2022.

To mark the release of her KICKS, Arca threw listening parties for loyal mutants across the world, and we sent photographers to every one. In the spirit of celebrating the musician and all that she embodies, we photographed fans in New York, Barcelona, Tokyo, London and Mexico City, quizzing them on why they love Arca and what they think to her new music.

PERFORMANCE SPACE NY, NEW YORK

a man stands wearing a white faux fur stole and a chiffon headscarf over muted workwear trousers and a checked shirt
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Acudus, 24, documentary photographer

Why do you love Arca? Arca reminds me of lots of friends from our community, so every time they’re on billboards it always feels like seeing a friend shine for us. What’s your review of her new music? I had a good dream. @acudus1069

a person with tattoos and hip-length dark hair dyed bright blue at the roots stands in front of a red curtain
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Galle, ancestral, DJ

Why do you love Arca? La vision del transfeminisma. She made me question my vision of desire and made me proud of being femme. And what’s your review of her new music? She’s giving mutant <3 @gallermic

a woman wearing leather trousers and a bralette with knit arm warmers poses in front of a red curtain
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Ashley Alcantar, 27, dominatrix

Why do you love Arca? Por la representación Latina-trans. And what’s your review of her new music? It’s about transformation and evolution and I’m down for it. @quecholatanrica

a person with long acrylic nails, a long blakc leather jacket and an intricate crown of braids stands in front of a red curtain
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Maahleek, 25, model and stylist

Why do you love Arca? I love Arca because she blends her cultural roots with her music and it’s fabulous. And what’s your review of her new music? I love the reggaeton blended with experimental. It’s very fresh – I’m excited for more! @maahleek

a person with a colourful knit jumper, pale jeans and tabi boots stands in front of a red curtain
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Viva Vilar, 22, art student

Why do you love Arca? Because she is a trans legend representing mis trans Latinas. And what’s your review of her new music? Her new projects are amazing. I see Arca’s music as contemporary art -- there’s so much more than just sound. @vivavilar

a person in a 90s style dress and platform buffalo trainers poses holding a yellow saddle bag
Photography Ada Navarro Aguilera

Angel Ray, 23, model and content creator

Why do you love Arca? Her individuality and expressions of gender. And what’s your review of her new music? I’m so excited to go home and get high and listen to it more in bed. @terrellem

M7 CLUB, BARCELONA

somebody with blue hair wears a fitted pinstripe suit and shiny tabi boots
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Ignacio Bermúdez, 26, stylist and makeup artist

Why do you love Arca? Because of how she shows her soul. And what’s your review of her new music? It’s unbelievable; full of nuances. I can’t find words to describe how it moves me inside. @azul.prusia

a close up of a person with a fluffy mohawk wearing a bright yellow jacket and yellow eyeshadow
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Alan Neil, 27, music producer

Why do you love Arca? I got to know Arca through her work with Björk and she is one of the most powerful influences I have. And what’s your review of her new music? I love the new sounds and her collaboration with the Venezuelan producer Cardopusher. @alanneil.vk

_0005.jpg
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Luz Martinez, 21, artist

Why do you love Arca? The thing that I love most is her visionary idea of music. And what’s your review of her new music? No words… she teleports me to another reality. @luz.os.cura

_0006.jpg
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Polvi, 20, student and dancer

Why do you love Arca? I like her ambiguity in music. And what’s your review of her new music? I think it’s the best thing she’s ever done and it’s going to surprise everyone! @p0lvi

_0007.jpg
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Chase, 29, freelancer

Why do you love Arca? Her aesthetic and her uniqueness and talent and charisma and nerve. And what’s your review of her new music? It’s avant garde and emotional -- full of her passion. It’s unique like never before. @miameal

_0008.jpg
Photography Viridiana Morandini

Joel, 18, musician

Why do you love Arca? She is the most avant garde artist of this moment; one of the few not stranded in retro-futurism. And what’s your review of her new music? It’s so cool -- it keeps opening barriers. The fact that it merges reggaeton and witch house made it even more incredible. @lobotomy.typebeat

NEO MASQUERADE, TOKYO

@mahoubin1014 00.jpg
Photography Adi Putra

Maho Miyagi, 22, art student

Why do you love Arca? Empowerment beyond gender and their avatar-like body. And what’s your review of their new music? I’ve listened to all of their albums. When the music is played with a high quality speaker, it goes to another level and is absorbed into my body much deeper. @mahoubin1014

@im_so_horry ??? ::8.jpg
Photography Adi Putra

Yuki Horie, 35, corporate employee

Why do you love Arca? A chaotic world where beauty and ugliness, inorganic and organic, are all mixed together. And what’s your review of her new music? Since KiCk i, her music seemed to become open to the world, but this time felt a lot more intentional. That was also the case with the tone of the prepared piano, which killed me. @im_so_horry

@banaotasweeeer and friend.jpg
Photography Adi Putra

M and T, 21, creator and student

Why do you guys love Arca? Because of her iconic sound. And what’s your review of her new music? It felt like a movie and I was so drawn into it. It was almost like there was an emotion within each and every sound. I’m curious to know what’s going on in her mind. @banaotasweeeer @_022jinu

@reina6079.jpg
Photography Adi Putra

Reina Kawarai, 25, sales representative

Why do you love Arca? Her music constantly pushes boundaries and reaches new fields. I believe that the culture would not develop without someone doing this, and so I always love and am thankful for her music. And what’s your review of her new music? It is experimental but danceable — these two coexist, which I love so much ♡ @reina6079

METROPOLIS STRIP CLUB, LONDON

Bailey.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Bailey Marshall, 20, model

Why do you love Arca? I love Arca because of their freedom with gender and music. And what’s your review of her new music? I think Arca’s new music is cunty and beyond our knowledge of sound. @baileybbzz

Robin.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Robin, 26, software developer

Why do you love Arca? She is the pinnacle of freedom and opened a space for safety within music. And what’s your review of her new music? Beautiful. Powerful. Transcendental as always. @indikun

Bowen 3.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Bowen, 31, bar and club owner

Why do you love Arca? Authentic expression is a beautiful thing. And what’s your review of her new music ? Cerebral – I’m excited to hear more. @mangopostalservice

Lawrence.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Lawrence Arun Jarrett, 22, student

Why do you love Arca? She translates these beautiful and esoteric philosophical concepts around gender and the metaphysics of identity into music that feels completely unique (and fucking slaps). And what’s your review of her new music? Incredible. It feels so much more precise and intentional, while still letting her perspective shine through. @vpvd_

Annique and Christine.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Annique Simpson, 34 and Christine Ochefu, 24, music journalists

Why do you love Arca? A: Arca has a voice. They have something to say about life and art. What’s not to fucking love about that? C: Arca is an incredible musician and artist, and I think her production is consistently forward-thinking. I’m also a really big fan of the visuals associated with her projects too. What’s your review of her new music? A: I feel conflicted. Drawn in by the touches of popular genres that feel familiar -– reggae, pop acoustic -- and then, all at once, I’m drifting in a sea of sharp, disjointed screeches and heavy bass. Thrilling stuff! C: 10/10!!! I actually got to listen to it early so have been enjoying it for a long time now. @annsim87 @noir_christine

Susei and Fillo 2.jpg
Photography Nora Nord

Susei, 21, hair stylist and Fillo, 21, set designer

Why do you love Arca? S: The hope and love she’s giving to the people who like her. F: She taught me to push boundaries in different aspects of my life, my identity and my art. What’s your review of the new KiCk albums? S: The music of the future. Just being a body and mind and heart experimenting with art; creating new sounds and feelings and emotions. F: I’ve listened to reggaeton since I was a kid -- I remember dancing to “Rakata” in high school. Her mixing this type of music with experimental noise/glitch inspires me so much. @rotavlasmunimohsusei @fillodeportaberta

BAR ORIENTE, MEXICO CITY

id-arca-10.jpg
Photography Karla Ximena

DJ Guapis, 27, model-artist-puta-DJ

Why do you love Arca? X travesti. What’s your review of her new music? Experimental diva of the empty years. @djguapis

id-arca-01.jpg
Photography Karla Ximena

Fernando Campaz, 19, model

Why do you love Arca? Because she’s la presidenta de Venezuela y la amo. What’s your review of her new music? It’s extremely joyful and powerful. Miauuu. @fernandostufff

id-arca-07 222.jpg
Photography Karla Ximena

Carlos Morales, 25, audiovisual producer

Why do you love Arca? Because she is a queen in everything she does. And what’s your review of her new music? I love it. It’s iconic. @carlosmmorales

@alonsobravo.mx + @xec_hernandez:.jpg.jpg
Photography Karla Ximena

Xecani Hernandez, 21, student and Alonso Bravo, 29, artist

Why do you love Arca? A: Her art. X: She’s a goddess. What’s your review of her new music? A: <3 X: So good. @xec_hernandez @alonsobravo.mx

id-arca-29.jpg
Photography Karla Ximena

Immanol Maqueda, 20, student

Why do you love Arca? Because she gives visibility to the trans/nonbinary community. In terms of music, her art inspires me in everything. What’s your review of her new music? Exciting. She’s an experimental diva, always innovating. @immmmaterial

**
Credits**


London photography Nora Nord
Barcelona photography Viridiana Morandini
Tokyo photography Adi Putra; assistant Misaki Kaneko
New York photography Ada Navarro Aguilera
Mexico City photography Karla Ximena

Tagged:
Music
Features
Photography
LGBTQ
Arca