Anthony Arya

Love Your Local Band: Anthony Arya

Anthony Arya plays Michael’s On Main on Sunday, Sept. 8

Last October, after an amazing experience performing on The Voice for three rounds, local singer-songwriter Anthony Arya returned home and performed at the Food Lounge. A packed crowd was excited to see Arya—only 15 at the time—strum some tunes on his home turf.

“A bunch of people I never met before came and packed the Food Lounge out,” says Arya. “All that Santa Cruz support was incredible.”

He had started writing music just a year earlier, steeping his sound in blues, jazz and folk, and playing wherever he could. But after his post-Voice success, he reached out to Tom Miller at Michael’s on Main and started playing as much as humanly possible. In 2019, he’s played shows with his band, as a duo with girlfriend Emily Hough (also a Voice contestant), and with his Grateful Dead tribute band Chasing Ophelia. Right after The Voice, he also recorded his debut album Going To California, which featured 11 of his pre-Voice tunes. 

The Voice was a launching pad,” Arya says. “Now I’m getting to play a lot of amazing venues that I grew up going to, like Michael’s on Main.” 

He may be doing a lot, but he prioritizes writing and performing original material above all else. Arya’s got a new album in the works of songs he’s written since his Voice experience. Like his first record, it’ll be diverse, but he also came back from The Voice having learned a few things.

The Voice band is very dynamic. I really got it in my songwriting that I wanted to make music that had dynamics, that had a flow, but also energy that built up,” Arya says. “These new tunes, you’ll hear that there’s a lot of energy to them.” 

INFO: 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 8. Michael’s On Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777. 

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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