Arca was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His father was an investment banker and his mother studied International Studies. His family moved to Connecticut for a time, before returning to Venezuela, where he was privately educated and was introduced to piano lessons. He describes his childhood as "kind of in a bubble", and had difficulty accepting the fact that he was gay. He released music in his teen years by the name of Nuuro, and received moderate popularity in his home country, with praise from big national artists such as Los Amigos Invisibles. He later attended the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU.