Friday, April 2, 2010
My American Heart THE FINAL TOUR was AMAZING. dream come true. seriously, the inspiration that band has given me over the years, especially at the beginning when i was first starting to take my music seriously-- i'll just never be able to repay them. but being their main support for their tour helped me kinda give back to them. it was SO fun. the whole band played with me, well Shiori for 2 dates, and my friend Steven Cole subbed in for Andrew Rhim when he couldn't make it. anyway, the experience was surreal, and i thank Jesse, Larry, Nick, Jake, and the crazy Dustin Hooke for that.
The Philippines Mission Trip came literally right after that. the day before i left, i invited Jesse Barrera to a fundraiser for the trip-- Project: LOVE. Jennifer Chung, Passion, Jenny Suk, and Jesse Barrera were featured that night, with appearances by Leejay and WongFu. big thanks to Mama D for putting it on.
The trip was ridiculously life-changing, and i wanna write a blog on that soon. videos are still up on bakitwhy.com/lovewillheal i believe, so check that out if you missed that whole thing! thank God for Twitter and FB status updates. seriously. feeding villages, and the Ondoy victims was the very thing i needed at the time, ya'll know how much the Typhoon affected me even though none of my family was affected.
after this came the music video shoot for "When We Say (Juicebox)"... an awesome 3 days with one of my old friends from middle school who came all the way from Honolulu to be the main actress, and of course WongFu productions. Ted couldn't make it out, but Wes and Phil did an amazing job of capturing my vision and they are definitely pros at what they do. i regret not having much to plan it out so we could have legitimate behind-the-scenes footage and photos, but ya'll won't be disappointed with the final product. a teaser will be released soon.
the next big thing was Vegas-- we went for my 21st birthday. we got a huge penthouse suite for one night at Bellagio, had all my friends pitch in, and the next 2 nights my mom got us a penthouse suite at this resort called Cancun which is like 5 mins away from the strip. had a meet and greet on the last day, and everyone sang happy birthday to me. thanks to everyone who made that weekend special for me.
and of course, in-between ALL of this is me playing for my church in Moreno Valley when i'm in town helping my mom direct the choir, our bff ANDREW GARCIA being on AMERICAN IDOL, and of course, plenty of shows. and there's only been 2 weekends where i haven't had a show since April 2009, and that was Thanksgiving and Christmas. i am so thankful to these concert producers and student orgs who put the shows together and are able to fly me out to travel the world, i'm so blessed to be doing this at my age. this year so 2010 i've visited Boston, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Philippines, Hawaii, Nevada, and Northern California (many times). more to come! check out my MYSPACE and YouTube videos for upcoming shows.
arite, so ya'll ready for the big announcement?!
alright. thanks to the 2 of you who said yes.
APRIL 21st is a BIG DAY for me, and hopefully for some of y'all!!! i'm releasing 3, yes THREE, songs on iTunes-- well ONE you already might have, so i guess i'm releasing 2, yes TWO songs on iTunes!
it's called the JUICEBOX EP
it contains full band versions of:
WHEN WE SAY (JUICEBOX)
& I JUST WANT YOU
another big part of the announcement is that on April 21st, i will ALSO be releasing, along with WongFu productions, the "When We Say (Juicebox)" Music Video!
so happy & proud & blessed to be able to share all this with you. thank you.
ooo and i got a new camera, its the Canon Rebel T2i =] so expect some amazing quality videos haha. hopefully the content will be just as good as the picture quality.
love you guys so much,
Monday, January 25, 2010
I raised over $1,500 for the Typhoon victims online via uStream, hope ya'll remember that broadcast #HealPhilippines, and instead of giving it to a huge organization, I have decided to directly use that money to give the victims of Ondoy items such as but not limited to water, blankets, and food.
help me raise money for my trip =]
the counter was not updating in realtime so i just put a donate button instead -- *all goes to the same place
thank you SO MUCH, from the bottom of my heart =]
means so much. i'm sorry i havent blogged in a while, i just have been so busy with shows, Music Speaks, and this Philippines trip. i love ya'll
Thursday, December 31, 2009
after my time at Berklee came summer 2009, pretty awesome-- i met Jenny Suk, played a show every weekend till last weekend actually but thats when it started (my first break was Thanksgiving and then last weekend for Gabe's one night only concert), and at the same time playing these shows i was cast the lead role in the musical Footloose at RCC, rehearsal every day from 3-9, it was pretty tiring. after that was done, i had to start promoting Music Speaks, 2 benefit concerts for Autism Speaks-- and had a month left to do it. but it came together, and during the month i was promoting, i recorded 3 tracks with my band-- Showstopper, I Just Want You, and When We Say which will be officially released Spring next year.
ever since Music Speaks, i said to myself i would take it easy on myself, but shows kept coming up and of course i wasn't saying no, i wanted to play as much as possible while i still could. during all these shows, i got closer to many other YT artists, and met some awesome people like Quest Crew, Fareast Movement, BarkadaInc, and MORE. though i was tired, i still kept going, and during this time of stressin out playing shows-- the Typhoon in the Philippines hit. i knew i had to do something, and though it was tough for me with everything going on at once, along with personal problems i was having with my family, i pushed through and knew that God wasn't gonna put anything on me that i couldn't handle. though i was physically and emotionally exhausted, i knew that i HAD to keep going... raising awareness, playing benefits, raising money, gathering artists, and just praying as much as i could for the victims of the Typhoon. and at the same time Music Speaks Arizona had just popped up in the itinerary and am so glad that i was able to help people in the Philippines AND help Autistic families at the same time. it's just such a blessing to have so many people supporting you and helping. i've learned to not just take the load myself, but to trust in others that want to help you achieve your goal.
with this year coming to an end, i'll say i have a lot to be thankful for. and i truly am grateful for all of it. of course i am open to many more blessings-- if God has more plans for me i will take them on. but if 2009 was the end of all the success that came my way-- honestly, i would say to God, "Thank you, and I'm so happy to have had the honor to serve you through music, and everything I've done was to serve others, and most especially You".
im not gonna sit here and wish 2010 was better. although i do have a feeling it will be a HUGE year ( ;] ), i'm just thankful for 2009 and what it has brought me.
love you all,
watch the WHOLE video! =]
ps here's the winning tweet to my contest.
@RIKUC0UTURE#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on amazon/iTunes!I Support his music cuz he worked 4rm da ground up&made sumthing out of himself.
here are a couple that cathy jenny and jasmine helped me pick out that just stuck out =]
@koolerbeans#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music bc he not only has talent, but has HEART, which is rare.
@Jer0meskee#MM "I Just Want U by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes!I support his music bc he's the person dat gives us da power 2 step out & try
@Amarith"I Just Want You" by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! I support his music because HE HELPED CREATE "MUSIC 2.0"
@djaee#MM @ajrafael "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music because god gave it to him to make a difference.
@iRaeee#MM I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! iSupport hisMUSIC cuz His Music Speaks For Those Who Cant Speak For Themselves.
@pamiloser#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music bcause it helps reassure me that MUSIC IS LIFE's heartbeat
when your hard work is appreciated and noticed, you can't help but to be proud of yourself-- nothin' wrong with that =]
Monday, November 23, 2009
as of right now, i'm on a plane owned by Virgin America. they've teamed up with this company GoGo to put WiFi on planes (apparently it's not that new of a concept) and they are making it free on their planes for the holidays. so here i am in the window seat, watching 500 days of summer on the screen mounted on the seat in front of me, sitting with no one next to me in the middle seat and the smell of chex mix coming from a bigger dude sitting in the aisle seat. life is good right now in this moment. no distractions, just me spending time with myself, allowing my thoughts to finally settle and just relax.
next week i'll be in Arizona for ASU's MUSIC SPEAKS:ARIZONA on 12/4 (they decided to take on the name since they booked me to perform and half the proceeds are now going to Autism Speaks) and then UCBerkeley on 12/5 for a mission medical benefit concert. the week after that i'll be in Canada once again for a concert in Calgary on the 12th with Gabe Bondoc and Edmonton on the 13th for a solo show.
other than being busy with music, things are good. i met some amazing people these past 6 months through youtube, at shows, and out of state. God has blessed me with amazing friends and they've helped me so much on my journey towards my goal. and what is my goal you might ask? to share my music with the world, like the whole world. not even exaggerating.
if you'd like to help with my goal, i have this song MidKnight i just posted on YouTube and it'd be awesome if you could help me spread it around! word of mouth is still the best tool of promotion in the entertainment industry. =) also i have a big announcement...
"I JUST WANT YOU" the aj rafael band version [which is up on my myspace] is going to be on iTunes on November 27th (this friday, black friday). so please please tell everyone you know and especially people who don't know my music!
shoutouts to Tito Nonito "Pops" from the PnoyApparel Company up chillin with the big guy up above now. i just played piano for his funeral this morning and memorial service last night and it was touching to see how loved he was and the legacy he left on this earth.
love yall, and here are 3 new videos for you guys.
a special thank you to all who attended the Walk for Autism for TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS. my nephew nathan was very happy to be there and it was a lot of fun. thank you so much!
Two Is Better Than One - BLG ft Taylor Swift with my good friend Kina Grannis
IYAZ - Replay w JR Aquino & Andrew Garcia
MidKnight by AJ Rafael
Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92806
Walk Route Details:
The stage will be located between the "Two Big Hats" and our registration will be immediately to the right. Our Walk Route is one mile in distance; and you're invited to do 1, 2 or even 3 loops of the course. We'll have water and entertainment along the course. The course will give walkers the opportunity to view the inside ball field area of Angel Stadium. This walk is non-competitive – please come prepared to enjoy a casual day in the community for families, friends and children.
Registration Opens 8:00 AM
Opening Ceremonies 9:30 AM
Walk Begins 10:00 AM
Community Resource Fair Open 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Ample parking is free and available at Angel Stadium. Parking attendants will be on site. Please enter through the Orangewood gate.
From Newport Beach and Costal Areas:
1. Take the I-5 North exit on the right towards Los Angeles Drive 0.7 miles
2. Merge onto I-5 North Drive 3.0 miles
3. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 0.5 miles
4. Take the CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Pomona Drive 0.5 miles
5. Merge onto CA-57 North Drive 1.2 miles
6. Take the Orangewood Ave exit on the Right. Drive 0.2 miles
7. Turn Left onto Orangewood Ave Drive 0.3 miles and enter destination
From South Orange County
1. Take the I-805 North
2. Follow the signs to stay on I-805 North
3. I-805 North becomes I-5 North Drive 1.3 miles
4. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 18.6 miles
5. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 33.5 miles
6. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 8.7 miles
7. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 2.1 miles
8. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 10.7 miles
9. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 0.5 miles
10. Take the CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Pomona Drive 0.5 miles
11. Merge onto CA-57 North Drive 1.2 miles
12. Take the Orangewood Ave. exit on the Right. Drive 0.2 miles
13. Turn left onto Orangewood Ave. Drive 0.3 miles and enter destination.
|FAQ – Walk Day|
Are pets allowed at the walk?
Sorry, but pets are not allowed. The reason is two-fold. We are expecting on the upwards of 5,000 people on Walk day and need to maintain organization of space – this is also for the safety of your pet. In addition, many affected children have a fear of animals and even the sweetest pet could cause a meltdown for someone else’s child. Please be sensitive to this issue and leave your pets at home. Only service dogs are permitted into the walk.
Are strollers and wheelchairs allowed at the walk?
Yes. Strollers, wheelchairs and even wagons for the little ones are all welcome!
Are bikes, rollerblades, scooters or skateboards allowed at the walk?
For everyone's safety, we cannot allow any of these items.
I may not make it to the walk when Check-In/Registration opens, can I arrive late?
Sure, Check-in will be open until the walk concludes. We suggest that you check-in when first arriving. Please go directly to the Registration area when you arrive.
What happens if it rains on the day of the walk?
Our events take place rain or shine! We will still be at the venue to collect donations and thank our participants, and our Community Resource Fair vendors will be available. However, due to safety concerns, the Walk itself may not take place, always check our walk home page for any updated announcements www.walknowforautism.org/
What do I need to bring with me the morning of the walk?
If you have donations to turn in, there will be envelopes available. If you have not yet registered online, you can fill out a registration form and envelope at the Registration area on the day of the event. However, we encourage you to register online ahead of time! This not only helps us to get a better headcount for Walk Day, but will make check-in that much easier for you on the day of the Walk.
Also, plan to bring some money if you would like to purchase a plated lunch from Smokin’ Mo’s or if you plan to purchase items available for sale in our resource fair.
How does Check-In work?
We hope that you will find registration to be a smooth and easy process. Each of our 16 registration stations will be equipped to serve any type of registrant. Approach a station that is available and let them know if you are there to; turn in additional donations, collect your tee shirt ticket if you have raised over $150, collect your Grand Club wrist band if you have raised over $1,000, or if you are coming to register with us for the first time. You will find Registration conveniently located under one of the two “big red hats” that decorate the front of Angel Stadium. Please note that online registration will close on Friday, November 13th at 5:00pm, so that we have time to compile records for our registration personnel on the day of.
Do I need to check-in even if I am not turning in additional donations at the walk?
Yes, we want to make sure we have event waivers signed by all participants.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Walk for Autism 2009
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92806
Check-In is at 8:00AM
Walk starts at 9:30AM
Event info at walknowforautism.org
JOIN OUR TEAM: TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS!
MUSIC SPEAKS: The Mission
By AJ Rafael & Jasmine Rafael
TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS has an important mission, aiming to spread awareness about Autism, and encourage action that would improve the conditions of the lives and families that it affects. A personal experience that inspired this goal is when my nephew, Nathan, was diagnosed with Autism when he was about two years old. Despite his condition, Nathan is a loving, fun, and active child who is very responsive to all of us, and is born with the love of music and dance. The more we love and watch over Nathan as he grows older, the more frustrating it can be knowing that his peers will never fully understand his situation, and these misunderstandings could lead to prejudice and pain for him throughout his life. "Music Speaks" means utilizing the gifts of Music and Dance to inspire those fortunate enough to be born without autism to speak out for those who were, by being aware of their condition and taking action towards improving their living conditions and perhaps even uncovering the mystery behind its cause.
Did you know…
• 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
• 1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
• 67 children are diagnosed per day
• A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
• Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
• Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood
• Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
• There is no medical detection or cure for autism
(note: if you are donating less than $20 you cannot donate through the website, please donate using the widget above)
How to join TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS:
o click on “register”
o then click “join a team”
o select “Music Speaks
o follow on-screen instructions
How to donate to TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS:
-If you are a member
o Log in and donate online
-If you are not a member
o Donate through MySpace.com/AJRafael or ajrafael.blogspot.com using the “Walk for Autism” Widget
§ Use your PayPal account or Credit Card
o Mail your payment (make checks payable to Autism Speaks and make sure to write Team Music Speaks on memo line)
§ AJ Rafael – Team Music Speaks
12625 Frederick St
STE I-5 #303
Moreno Valley, CA
o Give cash donation to a member for them to bring to the walk and/or turn in online
-Any additional donations you can bring to the walk
Guideline to raising $250 for Team Music Speaks
Put in your own contribution of $25………… $25
Ask your significant other for $25…………… $50
Ask a friend for $25………………………..…. $75
Ask a neighbor for $25…………………….…. $100
Ask a relative for $25………………………… $125
Ask your boss or a coworker for $25………. $150
Ask your doctor for $25……………………… $175
Ask your hair stylist or barber for $25……… $200
Ask your local merchant for $25………….… $225
Ask your dentist for $25………………...…… $250
Thank you all so much. It means the a whole to me. God bless...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
TYPHOONS ONDOY & PARMA VICTIMS TO INCLUDE STAR-STUDDED LINEUP OF PERFORMERS RAISING FUNDS FOR ON-GOING DISASTER RELIEF
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Glendale , California – October, 2009 - “We Are One!”, a one-night only benefit concert to raise funds for typhoons Ondoy and Parma disaster relief in the Philippines, will be held on Thursday, October 22 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California beginning at 6:00pm. Typhoon Ondoy violently struck Manila and portions of neighboring provinces on September 25 causing massive flooding and more devastation than Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of people have died with many more still missing and hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the destruction to homes and property. Just last week, typhoon Parma devastated the mountain regions of Northern Luzon , causing landslides and additional flooding and adding to the on-going fatality count.
The evening will include appearances by actress/singer NIA PEEPLES (“Fame”, “Walker Texas Ranger” “ North Shore ”) and actor MARK DACASCOS (ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”, “The Crow”). Scheduled to perform are legendary singer and actress KUH LEDESMA, actors/singers/musicians THE BASCO BROTHERS, spoken word artist ARIANNA BASCO, singer TORI BERBA, actor/singer/comedian/director BERNARDO BERNARDO, jazz vocalist MON DAVID, LITO VILLAREAL and ANTOINE REYNALDO DIEL of the “Three Filipino Tenors”, R&B singer/songwriter J-RICZ, Pinoy pop/rock band THE INTROVOYS, singers BAMBI LOPEZ and MARICAR CABRERA, modern dance artist JOANNE MALLILLIN, acapella group PRIME NOTE ENSEMBLE, “YouTube” sensation singer/songwriter/musician AJ RAFAEL, heavy metal band SCARRED, rising singing sensation EDSEL GODWIN SOTIANGCO, singer/actress ANTOINETTE TAUS, performer LARA AVENGOZA ,student group USC TROY PHILIPPINES and contemporary Christian group BOCES.
“America’s Best Dance Crew” champions QUESTCREW (Season 3) and WE ARE HEROES (newly crowned champions of Season 4) will be on hand as well as Tony Award winning singer and actress LEA SALONGA, to perform a couple of songs. “So many artists contacted me when typhoon Ondoy hit asking if they could be a part of a benefit to raise monies for disaster relief,” said producer/director Ted Benito, “that the response from our Filipino and Filipino-American talent has been overwhelming. Thank goodness there have been and will continue to be many benefits and fundraisers for our talent to participate. Everyone has been so giving of their time and talent and Lea Salonga was so kind and gracious to take time from her current tour to be with us that evening.”
Hosts for “We Are One!” include KTLA News anchor CHER CALVIN, acclaimed Philippine director MICHAEL DE MESA and actress, singer, dancer, model GISELLE TONGI. “You can expect a few surprise guests,” hinted Benito, “but the main reason we are there is to raise funds for the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Parma .” JANNELLE SO, the host and producer of KSCI’s “Kababayan L.A.” who will emcee a part of the evening, is also organizing a silent auction at the Alex Theatre with all the proceeds going to the Kapuso Foundation. “So far, we have a wonderful creation from designer Oliver Tolentino, art pieces, fantastic jewelry and gift baskets,” said So, “and there are more items being donated everyday. Hopefully, we can add a lot more to the net proceeds from the concert.”
GMA Pinoy TV’s Jush Andowitt contacted Benito last week when he heard “We Are One!” was going to be produced and offered to tape the benefit for broadcast on GMA Pinoy TV. “We are excited about being a part of this concert,” said Andowitt “because we will have the opportunity to televise it, beginning first with our affiliate stations in the U.S. and Canada , and then afterwards, through our GMA Pinoy TV affiliates around the globe. We want to show the concert so we can solicit additional donations for direct disaster relief through GMA Pinoy TV’s Kapuso Foundation.” In addition, PNB-RCI (Philippine National Bank) Remittance Services will be on hand at the concert to process direct remittances of donations to the Philippines . “Audience members can remit donations to the Kapuso Foundation on the spot,” explained Andowitt, “and those who are not ready can just walk into any PNB branches and remit to the Kapuso Foundation with all charges waived until Saturday, October 31.” One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the concert and silent auction will be donated to the Kapuso Foundation for direct assistance for the victims.
Tickets will be available at the ALEX THEATRE BOX OFFICE on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 by calling 818-243-2539 , by visiting their website at WWW.ALEXTHEATRE.ORG or by visiting the Alex Theatre Box Office (Wednesdays through Sundays at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, California 91203). Mastercard, Visa and AmEx cards welcome. Additional tickets and information as well as reservations are available by calling the “We Are One!” ticket hotline at 818-433-6711.
WHAT: “We are One!” A concert to benefit victims of typhoons Ondoy and Parma
with Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma, Nia Peeples, Mon David, Bernardo Bernardo, ABDC Crews “QuestCrew” and “We Are Heroes”, The Basco Brothers, Arianna Basco, Antoinette Taus, Maricar Cabrera, The Introvoys, Bambi Lopez, J-Ricz, Edsel Godwin Sotiangco, Tori Berba, Prime Note Ensemble, Joanne Mallillin, Boses, USC Troy Philippines, Lito Villareal, Lara Avengoza, Scarred, Antoine Reynaldo Diel, AJ Rafael, Cher Calvin, Giselle Tongi, Michael de Mesa and Jannelle So.
WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2009 at 7:00pm
WHERE: The Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Boulevard , Glendale , CA. 91203
TICKETS: $25.00, $35.00, Limited $50.00 VIP
ON SALE , FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2009 at the ALEX THEATRE BOX OFFICE
818.243.ALEX or via website at WWW.ALEXTHEATRE.ORG
MASTERCARD, VISA, AMERICAN EXPRESS ACCEPTED
TICKET HOTLINE: 818.433.6711