Wednesday, December 31, 2008

christmas makes way for Spring...

my last few days in Boston for the year of 2008 were pretty interesting. the snowstorm hit so hard, it was crazy. it was so hard to get my luggage across town to get to the train stop. i chilled (literally) with my friends carly, debbie, mike, brittney, and eric before i left for the airport. we even went ice skating at like 8 o clock at night while it was snowing. snow is beautiful, but sometimes it just gets annoying. hahaha. anyway, the day after i was supposed to leave, it was actually pretty damn sunny in Boston. so the plane departed and landed with no problems.

i must say i'm glad to be back home for a while. i'm here until the 17th. can you believe it? thats so long. my roommates that go to Northeastern are going back to Boston this friday sadly. because they start school next monday. yay for Berklee!

anyway, latest news: i'm shooting a music video with MoveMedia productions aka Scott Yoshimoto for my song "My Soldier". =) don't know when, but theres a scene where we want EVERYONE to be involved in, kind of like a show scene. so we'll actually have like a real show with like cathy and randolph and derek and all else fades, it'll be cool! =D i'll keep you guys updated.

2008 was an awesome year. word of mouth proved to be a great way of spreading my music, and it worked. thank you guys for your support, for subscribing, for watching, for listening, for doing your homework while listening, for chatting on blogTV with me, and for being my inspiration to keep my music going. i owe you all cupcakes. no joke.

for those who haven't seen my number 12 video.. my christmas present for you guys are the mp3's to my youtube holiday video series.
go here and download it.
glowing-vision.net/music.htm"

with love,
AJ

1 MILLION PLAYS!!!! =D


and Boxing Day Video... newest in the Holiday Vid Series.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

i'll be home for christmas..

but for now... im stuck in freakin Boston.

i was supposed to leave at 9AM this morning but the snowstorm cancelled all the flights going to houston where my layover was. i was in line at the airport for freakin 3 hours. the wackest part about this is that i was supposed to direct my choir MVCC in caroling tonight at my house tonight cuz my moms throwing a christmas party. and im not gonna be there. =\ i cant believe this...

tomorrow or tuesday i'll be home. depends on this weather. freakin boston.

miss you all.
-AJ



Friday, December 19, 2008

snowflakes in the air...






snowstorm today. i must say it was one of the most beautiful things i have seen from Mother Nature. reminds me of Narnia. ahahaha. man, i am sure glad to have seen a blizzard before i left back to california. im leaving on sunday by the way. i saw Yes Man with one of my best friends at Berklee, Carly today. it was great. Zooey Deschanel (from elf) is freakin BOMB. omg. seriously. haha and then i walked her back and ended up at Andrew Rhim's house to record a new christmas video. then i walked over to Northeastern Univ to meet up with my friend Chris (who is in one of the pics up there, also his snow angel is up there too) and we took back some architectural stuff that Pablo left in the studio. it was hell! but worth it cuz he is our friend =)

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

here are videos 6, 7, and 8!






much love,
AJ

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

baby, it's cold outside...

it really is. its about 31 degrees Fahrenheit right now. and i hear its going to get 30 degrees colder real soon. hahaha. wow.

almost done with the first semester!!! Berklee has been a weird roller coaster ride for me. hopefully next semester will be 10x better. it really needs to be. hahah. no lie. but yeah i chose my own classes for next semester, including songwriting and lyric writing. and also flo-ology and hip hop production. hopefully those classes will help me love Berklee.

thanks for the requests by the way, i've listened to most of them and i think i have more ideas now for the next christmas videos. you guys are awesome!

quick update: cute drummer girl is in my band. =D

i didnt really talk about this but i've been looking around for members for my band to play my original music. my friend andrew smith from London hit me up first about it, asking me if i was gonna put a band together becuz he was one of the first people to check out my music here at Berklee. he's now my bass player. next i asked my good friend andrew rhim, which you guys might know from my "cascada" video and lydia's "i'm yours" video., to be a guitarist. then my friend bobby villareal had this big epiphany talk with me about starting to spread my music in Boston and thats what im here for. to show Boston and the East Coast what I'M about. he's my other guitarist. then i finally sucked it up, and talked to shiori (shorty) and asked her to be in my band as my drummer. i told her she was my first choice. the aj rafael band (name still in the process) is complete.

speaking of networking and meeting awesome musicians, this is Emily Elbert. check out her "Thriller" cover on her YouTube channel after watching my fifth holiday video =]


i go home on Sunday. finals this week (tomorrow, thurs, and fri) wish me luck! my proficiency test for the vocal department is tomorrow and im singing an Italian piece called "Se Tu Mami" and "Love Dance" by Quincy Jones. i'll tell ya'll how it goes! thanks for catching up with me!
-AJ

ps "Carol of the Bells" is now up on my MYSPACE!! recorded at Andrew Rhim's apartment, with Jourdan and Jade. thank you guys =]

Friday, December 12, 2008

i gave you my heart...

but the very next day, you gave it away...

what a wonderful song. but very sad at the same time. hahaha. anyway... i thought i would take this time to tell you a little about my classes here at berklee. a lot of people have been asking about it, and since theyre all pretty much over, i thought i might reflect briefly on some of them. haha


that up there is my teacher, my favorite teacher, donna mcelroy. search for her on YouTube singing "America, the Beautiful". anyway shes probably the realest teacher out there, and its funny that i've learned SO MUCH stuff in this class becuz it is only a .5 credit class called "background vocals". she has taught us so much about the industry and just straight up how its all messed up right now. i think i remember telling you guys about her! anyway in this class, the first thing we had to do was teach everyone in the class a 3 part verse/and or chorus. so that was my favorite thing since ive been doing that for a while with my choir, MVCC! i probably loved this class so much becuz it reminded me of teaching choir. the final was to have a group, and have everyone teach everyone in the group a whole song and they would sing lead on it. there was one group that had only 2 people so i had to bite the bullet and be in 2 groups cuz no one else wanted to. hahah. i had to learn 7 songs. ay caramba. anyway, im gonna miss this class. our teacher said this was what she looked forward to during the week. wednesdays 4 o clock. ironic that the class that counted for the least credit taught me the most about music, and the life that comes along with choosing it as a career.



this is my arranging class. my teacher is so laid back its not even funny. i mean we learn stuff, but she just loves chillin and taking her time. its so awesome. the first day of class was awesome already. i was feeling like super anti social at first but then i started acting like myself and being super loud and outgoing haha cuz thats who i am. and the class became our teachers favorite class cuz we were just always being goofballs. those are the funnest times. we learn how to notate drums, guitars, bass, and piano on musical scores. most of the stuff we couldve learned straight out of the book. but the class was super fun so im not even trippin. she even lets us play in class as you see up there. most arranging teachers dont have their students do that. and this class is exactly what i imagined berklee to be. playing in every class, no matter the circumstance. and just having fun with music. but unfortunately, not all classes are this way.

k i'll post more about the classes in the next blog. its been raining so hard here. im trippin cuz i wish it were snowing. it only snowed that one day hahah. booooo! and im leaving next week already! i am so confusing. sometimes i wanna be in boston, sometimes i wanna be in cali... gahh.. the balance is not balanced. LOL.

hope you guys like my 4th video. i'd be happy to take ur suggestions for the next 8. =D


-aj

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

o come o come emmanuel...

it is Advent. =D Christmas is just around the bend...

so i tried out for the Bob Marley band at my school (Berklee) and i just found out yesterday that i got in! im so excited. especially because i just walked over to see this semester's bob marley ensemble and they are freakin awesome! i actually made it into something this time =]

but dang, finals are comin' up. actually i've been through half of mine already. im not sure if i've told you guys, but Berklee College of Music is awesome because you can join ensembles which are pretty much bands that you join for CREDIT. i was placed into 4 ensembles this year, one was classic rock, another was a level 3 mixed styles band, one i played piano for, and another was a player/vocalist performance studies one. at the end of the semester we play a recital in one of the recital halls and i am exhausted from them all. freakin 4! usually first semester students are in just one, or not even in one. i had tested out of some classes so thats why i chose to do performance ensembles for electives. i love performing. so im glad i did it even tho it was quite stressful.

anyway, it's been a lot of people's birthday lately. special shoutouts to elissa, steph b, stephie, annalynn dy, krissy dabao, eric romulo, and others. which i shall mention later on. heres a video i just did today. wish me luck with finals guys! im stressin out!!! i have a big project due on thursday, which i have not done much for. its an arrangement project for which i have to write a score with 5 instruments on. i'm doing "MidKnight"... also im going to start a campaign to try and get that song on the next Batman movie. coming soon!

holiday video number 3 of 12!

share with your friends, and be merry this holiday season <3
thank you guys for all ur nice comments by the way.
i just made the top 100 most subscribed musicians list on YouTube!!!! yayyyy!
-AJ

Sunday, December 7, 2008

let it snow...






this is kind of old news but i got a digital camera like 3 weeks ago. my friend allyson called me this morning and told me to look outside. it was snowing. amazing feeling. i woke up my roommate pablo and he got up and looked too. =)

(these aren't the best pics in the world, but it'll do)

no words needed to explain =]

oh and new video. 2nd video in the 12 holiday video series. =D a rewrite of my original song, Starlit Nights.


much love,
AJ

Thursday, December 4, 2008

here comes santa claus...

holiday season is here. thanksgiving has passed us, now comes Christmas!!! i went to the Christmas tree lighting today at the Boston Commons and it was awesome. except for the fact that when Brian McKnight was performing with his 2 songs the freakin POWER WENT OUT. WTF!!!! i was so mad. they just bowed and got escorted off stage. one of his songs was about to play the guitar too. but damn Brian McKnight is freakin tall and freakin so good at singing. shoooot.

it was a cool little group we had goin'. pablo, his girlfriend allison, our friends chris amanda teague and my friend lijie from school. i saw some people there from berklee. but there were SO many people there it was crazy. we had new york pizza and then got some starbucks and walked home. we probably walked like 5 miles i would say today. well thats what pablo said.

i dont know about you, but i love the christmas spirit. and i know its all commercial and what not, but the christmas lights and decorations around the city make me so happy. and warm inside. haha wow. i am not ashamed! hahaha. and i've been listening to Christmas music non-stop on my ipod. i love that Jesus was born at such a nice time of year. haha =D

it hasn't snowed yet here in Boston, but i'm sure i'll love it for a day. after that i heard it just gets annoying and crappy. hahah but i can't wait either way. it hasn't been so cold the past few days. probably like 40 degrees. idk thats a really rough estimate. but yeah not too cold.

oh wow i didnt tell you guys on my way back from california to here i stopped in cleveland and was stuck for about 6 hours. i was the only standby passenger on a flight that wouldnt make me late for my performance final for my ensemble. WOW. i went straight to school with my luggage and even brushed my teeth in the bathroom at school. damn.

ok well thats enough of me babbling. i had a nice talk with my arranging teacher today about staying here at Berklee (and about leaving)... and my teacher Donna McElroy is just a big inspiration to me. we'll save that for another blog. love you guys. heres the first video of 12 for my christmas video series. ciao. =)



with Love,
AJ

PS
to those who regularly comment my blog; i really enjoy reading them. and i love that you guys follow my blogs, it really feels awesome and im thankful for YOU guys too. loved ur last comments, made me feel all warm inside, kinda like how christmas lights to. =D

Monday, December 1, 2008

thankful

there's so much to be thankful for.

i'd like to thank God for.. (sounds like i'm accepting a grammy)

-being my strength when i am weak
-waking me up in the morning
-giving me the gift of music
-allowing me to have the courage to do what i love to do; perform
-blessing me with the most awesome family

-helping me find a new church here in Boston
-being accepted into Berklee College of Music
-allowing me to start a brand new life
-giving me my legs to walk to school everyday =p
-the cold weather; so i could wear a nice pea-coat everyday

-the piano
-the guitar
-ironman
-the beatles
-guitar hero

-myspace
-youtube
-facebook
-my laptop
-the wii

-friends who go to all my shows
-friends who don't go to my shows
-friends who have had my heart
-friends who have my back
-friends who are always there for me

-my roommates and their girlfriends
-umass filipino crew
-berklee friends
-allowing me to meet such wonderful musicians this year
-the most amazing and supportive fans ever

-the beautiful city of Boston
-the super chill vibe of California
-the awesome airport of Houston
-the snow i saw today in Cleveland
-my hometown where i leave my heart about every 2 weeks; Moreno Valley

-Change to come
-Peace to come
-Hope &
-LOVE.

i never thought i'd say that Gabe Bondoc covered MY song. well now i can. i love you Gabe. my homeboy. thankful for this guy too, he's helped me get through some tough times and homesickness. thanks again Bro-sef.


with love,
AJ Rafael

Saturday, November 22, 2008

pinoy/pinay

know your roots.

my friend marc from university of massachusetts (umass) hit me up on facebook and told me about an event at boston university called "kamayan 2008". it was a celebration of filipino culture to help unify the filipino community here at the different colleges in boston. i've been to so many PCN's (philippine culture night) that i'm not that excited to see filipino cultural dances too much anymore although they are awesome and i love tinikling haha... but every time im at a culture night/event like that it makes me proud to be who i am.

there was a spoken word piece in the middle of the event by Archipelag-a, a spoke word group from Brown University. they spoke of the struggle that filipinos have when they come from the philippines to america to start a new life. and how sometimes filipinos sacrifice their culture just to fit in with the "american ways". they spoke about how it hurts us 1st generation filipino-americans and how we lose our culture. we need to know where we came from, and not forget about the past and what filipinos have been through. one thing that stuck with me was when they were talking about their filipino moms and how they say "look ahead forget about the philippines forget about the revolution forget about all that just be a doctor, have money in one hand and a baby in the other", and their reaction was "sometimes to look ahead, we must look back".

"give me your philippines, give me your past, then i will give you your american dream"

no need to suck up to the white man to be successful. you can have success in so many different ways, why give up who you are just to live the "american dream". we're all immigrants, we are all from different places, we are all american. you can't lose that piece of where you came from, don't let ur culture be lost in the world where there is ignorance and racism and hatred.. you are who you are, be proud of it.

and in that case, i'm proud to be Filipino-American.

and speaking of which, it brought more thoughts to my mind about Filipino and Asian-Americans and how we have not broken into mainstream entertainment and media. but i believe we can do it. we just need to stick together, and we need to just keep getting better. i promise, this is our time-- if we truly believe in ourselves. like i said before, charice pempengco, arnold pineda (journey), jabbawockeez, ramiele malubay-- they're putting us on the map. hopefully you'll see us in the lights soon.

i must say i had a great day today. met 10 new friends at the Kamayan 2008 event including marc for the first time. we ate in downtown chinatown. they are awesome people. for some reason i've been super anti-social since i've been here, with only 20 or less friends that i would really consider my actual friends. but today made me happy, and i was actually smiling a whole lot tonight. these new friends made me like boston a little more in the short time i hung out with them. very welcoming and down-to-earth.

finally. =]

last night was interesting tho, pablo and some of our friends went to some party on symphony street. left after 30 mins but fun i guess walking over there and what not. love my roommate pabs.


shoutouts to andrew, sylvia, and jessica. jam sessions in the classrooms at berklee! love yall!
-AJ

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

been a little lazy...

im sorry ya'll. i haven't blogged in a WEEK. and im sorry about the raffle video not being up yet, its taking a while to edit. i want it to be good and exciting and amazing. hahaha. anyway, tonight i participated in a show called "Singer's Night". it was my first experience here at a show, and it was at the BPC! (Berklee Performance Center) and as a first semester student, i was fortunate to have been in this production. i was only a background singer, but it was amazing anyway. i really felt like i was part of the show. from the long tuesday and wednesday nights, to the even longer dress rehearsal last night, it was well worth it. i gotta show you guys these singers man, they are PHENOMENAL. i was in an acappella group singing "where did my baby go" featuring this amazing singer dorian allen. there were 5 of us on stage and the crowd loved it. i also was in "superstar" featuring the homie quentin. i met a lot of people at this event and im glad to have done so.

the drummer girl i told you all about was one of the three drummers for the concert, and i was sooo nervous to even say hi. i just said "good job shiori" downstairs after the show. hahah. omg. embarassing.

but yeah it was an awesome experience, i hope you guys get to see me up on the stage singing one of my own songs one day. the BPC is like a dream come true if i ever get to sing in there. one day.

this weekend was awesome being in cali again, i must say, to be honest, the show was unorganized and didnt go as smoothly as planned, but it was a very talented lineup so the show went awesome anyway. seeing everybody, gabe, randolph, cathy, lydia, renabette, derek, all else fades, and the whole family from BLOGTV was pretty tight. met a lot of people by their "username" hahaha. of course, as tradition goes, we all ate in n out afterwards. the flight back home wasn't too bad. i fell asleep on a lady but she didnt tell me till after the flight was done. how nice of her right? i felt so bad, but i ended up talking to her about boston and about me being a musician. i always carry one cd in my backpack when i have a flight, and she was the person i gave it to this time =]

i just wanna thank fred kris marlon andrew frank dusty and rb for helping me make the exclusive cds (with 15 tracks) this weekend. we were literally up till 5AM making them and spraypainting them. hope you guys enjoyed them.

this is what happened the night after. i have no idea what i was thinking agreeing to do this.


and i sold a lot of "AJ Rafael" shirts (or Raphael lol) so thank you to those who actually came up to merch table and said whats up and bought them and wore them. truly means the world to me. without you all i would definitely be nothing.

loved seeing my family this weekend, its always very refreshing. im very fortunate to have been home so much since my leave from home. thanksgiving is almost here!!!


-AJ

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

food to my soul...

mama! i love you!

hey everybody it was my mom's birthday yesterday, 11/10. just wanted to tell you all how proud i am to be her son.

she was born in the philippines, and has 4 sisters and 1 brother. while they all moved to australia along with their mom and dad, my mom moved to LA to be independent. she's a nurse, like most other filipino moms, but she's not just a nurse. she's the most hard-working mom in my universe. she's been widowed twice, and is one of the most STRONGEST people in this world, i know it. when my dad passed away she kept it strong, with my youngest sister being only 6 months, she quickly had to become both the mom AND the dad of the family. things were hard, and i remember every second of the crying, and the hardship, but through it all we had each other. you can really call us the fantastic four. with mom being our leader. i am telling you she is one of kind.

MOM! i know you're reading this because this is how you found out about my lip ring. and i'm sorry again for that. but i am happy you support my decisions. and thank you SO MUCH forgiving me the opportunity to live here in Boston on my own. i know every time i come home i complain about it, but i know you're letting me have this experience because i need it. i hope jasmine and justine are being good to you, because you only deserve the best. and they know that. and mom i know you miss dad as much as we all do, but i know that you are happy with joel too, so if you are happy i'm happy too. im sorry i bitch about him all the time, but i know that you would never try to replace dad. mom thank you for keeping the music alive within us! if it weren't for you, dad's music would never have lived on through us. justine, jasmine, and i have kept MUSIC in our lives because of YOU mom. and you are more talented than you give urself credit for. you are the music in our lives. dad gave us the foundation and the knowledge to know how to use it, and you are enforcing it in us, you have kept the spirit alive. i love you mom. happy birthday


Jasmine Rafae- my sister

can't wait to be back home this weekend.
-AJ

check out my new layout on myspace, and ramiele malubay's as well! i designed them both! =D

Saturday, November 8, 2008

defying gravity...

just came back from watching idina menzel in concert. very amazing and inspiring! i was walking on the way to the Berklee Performance Center thinking i was late cuz it was already 730, but i got there and she had an opening act. it was this guy named Chris Mann, this video below is the song that got me really interested in his performance. he's like a mix of jason mraz and like josh groban maybe.



after this, Idina came out of course. she sang songs from her albums, most of them i didn't know, but the band was amazing and her vocals were insane!!! and then she sang "Another Day" from rent, but acoustic, in the middle of the concert. i had chills the whole 3 or 4 minutes of the song. she had the crowd singing the words "no day but today" it was just amazing. i thought of my friend Flo, she was one of my best friends and was in the original MVCC (the choir i directed) and she left to the philippines to follow her vocation as a religious sister (nun-to-be). she always sang this song, and the part when she goes "theres only us..." always almost brought me to tears everytime she sang it. i can honestly say she changed my life and i will always remember her SOUL because it was pure and perfect. i know shes praying for me out there, i may never be able to speak to her again, but she has made a huge impact on my life.

the rest of the concert was amazing and energetic, and she kept the crowd interested with all her little jokes and inside information about her life, about taye, her dog, and how she came about writing some of the songs on her album. to close the concert she sang an upbeat song, followed by an acappella version of "For Good" from wicked. and she said goodnight.

after the goodnight, the crowd kept cheering for probably another 5 minutes, and she came back out and sang "kiss from a rose" with her band which was an amazing arrangement, and closed again with the pop version of "defying gravity" which everyone was screaming their lungs off for at the end. that part "ohh ohh ohh ohh" at the end, you know what im talkin about?

anyway, it was amazing, even though i dressed up to impress, and had no one to impress cuz i went alone, it was worth it. whats wrong with a straight guy liking musical theatre?

hope ya'll are doing amazing. oh and on my newest video, there is some hater who looked for something irrelevant to hate on, it was just so ridiculous. i laughed. read the comments and see for yourself. hahah.

If I Had You (Showstopper)

Friday, November 7, 2008

showstopper...

yo so im chillin here at the apartment. and my roommate dwight and his girl kelsie are in the other room and kelsie cooked pasta for us all! so sweet =] it was so bomb. i am watching "the batman" season 3 cuz it was on sale at best buy. its the animated series that played on THE WB saturday mornings. amazing. haha im not gonna lie im a big batman fan. "midknight". oh and i never told you guys who i was for halloween. i'll show ya'll soon.

anyway, yesterday the weirdest and most insulting thing happened. i asked my friend in class (and note i have probably less than 15 friends here at berklee) to borrow his laptop. i went to check my email and then he asks for it back before i get the chance to log out. and he asks me "can you send files from this computer to ur email?" and i said yes its possible. and he goes WOW and starts looking thru all my emails. i was like WTF are you DOING? and my friend bobby next to him was like dude are you serious. and the guy was like "dude its a cut throat business, i have originals on this computer" i was very shocked and like laughed at first but then i was like WHAT THE, WHY WOULD I DO THAT? i was sooo mad you dont understand. why would i steal music from a friend first of all? and out of ALL the people in the whole school would i really choose some hick from texas (no offense i dont even know if he lives in texas) who plays BLUES, i mean i love blues but its not my career choice.

wow ok im done being an a-hole but damn that was effed up. how insulting. does he really think im that low of a person to be stealing files from his computer? how idiotic, seriously.

anyway, after that i just left class and cussed at him (bad example don't do it) pretty much saying you're an idiot. i went to the practice room to just let out my frustration. and luckily had a christmas book that i borrowed from the library earlier and just played and it was just awesome playing those tunes. felt relaxing. and then i thought of this song that i heard last christmas called "thankful" by josh groban. i found it on my ipod and just was learning how to play it by ear cuz it wasnt in the christmas book. that video is coming soon. an AMAZING song.

hope you guys are doing good, and hope this new video makes ur day! shoutouts to my new friend CARISSA RAE, shes an amazing artist, super talented-- trust me! she just performed at this show i did last weekend called "Expressions of Faith" and i fell in love with her voice. she's in commercials, music videos, and is seriously doing amazing in the industry! she's also a real good friend of mine now, we seriously became friends in 3 seconds or less. oh and she's super cute too. ;D please check her out at myspace.com/carissaraeofficial and youtube.com/heavenlystar2fly

k heres the video. new song =D
dedicated to my friend juicebox!


-AJ

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

08AMA

the time has finally come for someone other than the WHITE MAN is in charge.

i love white people, i'm just saying... time for some CHANGE... honestly i wouldn't have minded mccain, just as long as that cowboy Bush is outta office... anyway thats enough about politics. all i know is that the world is gonna change. bad, good, somehow.

this weekend was awesome. saturday's show, expressions of faith 08, was amazing! i met some awesome and talented people. one singer i was glad to meet was Carissa Rae (myspace.com/carissaraeofficial) she's been in tv commercials, music videos, and is an amazing singer and dancer. she sang at expressions, and my favorite song that she played was "everywhere" by michelle branch. she sang it beautifully. carissa you are one talented lady <33

the show went kinda long to be honest, i played last and the crowd was already sleeping pretty much. so i had to wake them up. in the middle of my set i just pulled out 'sunrise to sunset' whiel marlon was on stage playing cajon with me. it turned out well, and hopefully that helped out the energy. i sold my shirts and cds at the end of the show, and it all went good after that. had some people over at my house and we just chilled like old times.

on sunday, after church, i visited the cemetery with my family to visit my dad and grandmas grave which are right next to each other, and my auntie * mama zeny who recently passed away this year... after the cemetery my family and all my family from la went to in n out. dusty drove the car to the burbank airport after that which is literally the smallest airport i've ever been to. its like a drive-thru.

on the plane i freakin accidentally slept on someone. i hope it wasnt for too long. when i woke up i grabbed her arm and said i'm so sorry. hahahah. omg. how embarassing.

got on the train home and went to sleep. after sleep i went to classes which are my bands that i'm in. talked to this girl in the class and we are going to do some r&b acoustic cover songs to jam out to, and then i went home, had dinner with amanda and pablo, and had a bad acid reflux trip that i thought i was going stop breathing on, and then woke up to SLEEP PARALYSIS and it sucked.

if anyone has read about SCISSORS or sleep paralysis, its a pretty scary thing. its when REM malfunctions and you wake up during the deepest part of ur sleep, while ur body is paralyzed. so ur minds awake but ur bodys not basically, and it causes you to hallucinate and you cant move. it happened to me twice and i literally thought someone was holding me down. pablo (my roommate) and chris our friend thought i was trippin so bad and they even laughed. i was like, that was not funny. hahahaha.

had singers night rehearsal tonight, and saw the drummer chick again, she was walking towards me at the end of rehearsal and i walked away cuz i didnt know what to say. hahah damn it im a wuss. but i ended up waving to her from far as i was leaving... haha woww i dont know what to do.

new video!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

ohh... gotta get outta here...

-relient k

this saturday is expressions of faith! i played this event last year and sang "be my escape" by relient k. and other songs too, but that song just gives me energy to go do something with mye life! haha.

expressions of faith is held at the first united methodist church in hacienda heights, ca. it will start at 6PM i believe. come out and support!

anyway, today was my lazy day. after class, i went to cambridge by myself. the T (the underground train) was ridiculously packed. the door closed on my backpack when i went on. i was like what the heezy. and theres like one pole by the door that everyone tries to grab. it was like whoever's hand is on top wins the prize. i felt like i knew everyone thats how close they were to me. quite disturbing actually. but i was warm. hahahah.

walking from the kendall stop to the garment district (this awesome clothing store) was very cold, but worth it. the garment district had a cape, and a mask, exactly what i needed for my costume. i'll show you guys pics later! im not gonna tell you who i am going to be. you'll see. haha. and when its not halloween, its a huge vintage clothing store where they sell clothing for $1 a pound. amazing.

i walked about another mile to harvard square just to hang out and chill. i love walking in cambridge, there are so many beautiful trees. i dont care how gay that sounds. but seriously there are some crazy trees. i walked thru harvard like the actual school and sat in a bench and pretended like i was a student. i looked pretty sophisticated with my coat, scarf, glasses, and backpack, like i was ready to learn some freakin LAW. =P

hung out in the dorms with carly, joelle, and lauren, and then walked back to the apartment and packed and cleaned so i can just pick up and GO tomorrow! well i leave in 7 hours. im skipping classes for tomorrow cuz i didnt wanna be on a plane during the peak horus of trick or treating. i wanna be with my little sister justine to trick or treat this halloween.

what are yall gonna be?!

Loris - can't wait to meet you, and everybody else on the 15th!
cheryl - new music coming soon, i promise
angel - remind me where you live again? snow doesnt sound so nice when its so freakin cold out here...
tere ann - "dont let anything stop you, even the weather" awesome quote, thank you for that <3

-AJ

heres a new video!


hope this one takes you back. to when it was GOOD with that ONE PERSON that will ALWAYS have a place in your heart...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

half a week before the winter..

(a vanessa carlton song)

its so damn cold. the wind is like 20 mph blowing in my face and my ears are gonna fall off. haha. but im at the apt now and it feels nice. anyway, so last night we had rehearsal for singer's night, which is this show that i'm in, im in an acappella group and we're singing "where did my baby go" by john legend. its gonna be awesome, cant wait to show it to yall, if it ends up on youtube or something.

we practiced the closing song called 'holiday season' written by my vocal teacher joey blake, hes amazing at singing. we do private lessons every tuesday and right now thats one of the classes that i feel i'm actually getting something out of here at this place they call berklee. the other class is ear training but lets not go there, im not doing too well. haha. but yeah remember the japanese drummer girl? shes the drummer for that particular tune and she seriously is amazing at drums. super legit. super cute. her style is so "fly".. can i say that word? fly. can you imagine me saying this to you right now? hahaha. i say hi every now and then like 'uhm, hey, shorty' (thats her name, well its actually shishorty or something) and she just smiles back. gahhh. hahaha.

anyway today was a busy day at school i guess cuz there are more ratings auditions. and i took one, and it didnt go so well. i sang 'i'm yours' and 'you dont know me'. well it was alright, i did very well on the performance part, but improvising was ok and sight reading didnt go so well this time. usually it goes well. this time was just ehhh. =( i think i am just tired of school right now just to be straight up honest. english class is so damn boring im beginning to get used to it being boring and i dont think thats a good thing. all we talk about is hemmingway.

my ear training midterm this morning was not the best thing i've done ever musically. actually its probably the worst i've done musically, ever. i'm not doin so hot. =\

but yeah i have a background vocals midterm today so i'll catch you guys later. thank you guys for everything, the donations, supporting me, listening to my music, watching my videos, EVERYTHING. i owe ya'll more MUSIC. is that a fair deal?

-aj

ps, heres a video of last sundays show at holy family grade school. i think its one of the best 'starlit nights' performances i've ever done. love you guys thanks for the inspiration.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i need your help...



http://glowing-vision.net/donate.htm

THANK YOU SO MUCH. i pretty much got stuck with a ticket that i didn't have the money to pay for because a previous one interfered with my classes and it so happens that that ticket was NON-REFUNDABLE, and my mom has been getting on me for using the credit card that is connected to her account. i love you mom i will pay you back with help from this video! =)

for ever $2 you donate, you will have one "raffle ticket" which i will make personally and in another VIDEO i will choose the winner(s) for a free shirt and CD!

thank you from the bottom of my heart. i was freakin out when i found out that ish was non-refundable. i was like WHAT AM I TO DO?! (sweating and pacing and what not)

-aj

Saturday, October 25, 2008

don't forget

so this week has just been a little hectic. south park in concert rehearsals were every night this week, and we performed it last night! it went awesome. the voices and the characters and the whole orchestra pit was truly amazing. offensive or not, this was a great production. hopefully it will be on youtube soon.

i just came back from practicing for my background vocals class midterm. we are split in groups, and we have to make moves and sing a song with background vocals. we are doing debarge's "i like it". its going to be amazing! hahah. for those of you who've heard that song, you will probably giggle when you hear that i'm singing lead. yes im singing lead. go listen to that song its funny. hahah. in my group are 3 of some of my closest friends here at berklee, carly, laruren and TS. after carly and lauren left, TS stayed and i sang for her. and we jammed for a little bit.. and she told me some encouraging words. to stay focused and don't ever give up on my dream. along those lines anyway. it was really just what i needed. i know it sounds so cliche, but it was like the moment. haha. i love you TS!!!!

i just figured out the 'renting classrooms' deal. anytime you can reserve a classroom if they are available for 2 hours at a time. and EVERY classroom has a piano its awesome. uprights or grand pianos. love ittt =)

honestly, today is one of the nicer days in boston. im beginning to love this city. coming from california on tuesday into my apartment actually felt good. it was crazy. i was like hey, its my bed, im going to sleep in it. and then i slept.

hahah.

anyway, i have to study for my midterm for ear training. its gonna be so hard =\ its also my roommate dwights birthday, hes turning 20. i'll see you guys soon! with a new video. can't wait to be back in california though next weekend. =]] halloween will be fun! im dressing up with my friend. and then were gonna go see a show "rocky horror picture show" at fullerton college at the midnight showing. im going to get mexican food right now. hold on.

ok im back.

im watching forgetting sarah marshall. its pretty funny. anyway, yesterday i received two letters, one from that little man AJ that sang with me (read the previous blog =]) and the other from his parents. they sent me an awesome letter that basically thanked me for my music and for inspiring their kids. it was awesome =] it made me smile and i showed my roommates and theyre just happy for me. amazing, so inspiring. i can't stop now. im on my way... like i can feel it. does that sound corny? haha... well here's my newest video. demi lovato is also an inspiration to me. no homo. hope ya'll enjoy it.



-AJ

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2 MILLION!!!!

i am SO excited =) this is a big day for me, 2,000,000 plays on the MYSPACE. i am so thankful for all the blessings that god has given me lately. it is overwhelming at times. especially the show (from the previous blog) on saturday. SUNDAY was as touching to me. i love you guys so much, you dont even know.

sunday's show was awesome, the security and coordinators greeted me with open arms, took me to the back, and a parent came up to me and said 'my son watches ur videos everyday, and knows ALL ur music, his name is AJ too, may he sing with you?' i was kinda iffy at first but i said 'why not? get him in here!' a little man with a super crew shirt and a fitted DC hat came in, like seriously half my height. i asked him what song he would wanna sing, he said "when the sun sets on hawaii"

he sang it to me while i played and i was just so happy that he knew ALL my lyrics and even all the AD LIBS, i looked at my friends and they were smiling right back. during my set i brought him up, and his mom was in the audience: crying, and singing along, just proud of her little boy. because she knows how much he loves my music, i almost cried just looking at her crying at us. it was a good moment, and im glad i let him sing with me. here's a video (forgive the screaming girls):



i appreciate my fans so much, thats even an understatement. i cant even explain how much it keeps me going. my family was there at both shows this weekend, and they were just shocked. my auntie vicki (my dads sister) told me on the phone after, "i have been looking for the reason why the Lord took your dad and my sister (my auntie zenaida -mama zeny) away from us, and it is because YOU need to carry on the music for the family" and she began to cry, and i couldn't speak. i can honestly say that these 2 shows this weekend have changed my life.

i wanna do big things. im GOING to do big things because i have no other choice. it is written in the stars for me, and that sounds so totally cheesy, but i really do believe it. and the best thing about it is that i WANT to do this. its not like im being forced to pursue music... because honestly speaking my father didn't make that much money... and my mom knew that and she still loved him very much but i know that she didnt really want us to be musicians because it is one of the most unstable jobs out there. but she knows it is our passion and she supports us 200%. but i am determined to make this my career, my love, and my LIFE. music, that is.

i met this guy on the plane going back to boston, and he was a musician as well and told me that he knew i was a singer from the moment i spoke. he said it was 'edgy' hahah i was like thanks! anyway, i told him what aj stood for, and he was like 'wow, those are powerful names'. i was like why? he said 'well, arthur is like KING arthur (duh), but JOSEPH means "He who adds", not subtract'. i needed that. powerful right?

i arrived this morning by the way, my flight got delayed sunday nite so i was like screw this im going back home, so i called my mom and she turned around and picked me up. it was fun spending one more day in moval, but it was so chill. thank you to randolph and anne for coming out yesterday =) and bri and best friend dusty for eating with me and christy in the morning, and michi too for comin to hang out for like 30 minutes. and especially to my best friend RB and christy and randolph for going to the airport. oh and ramiele sorry i couldn't visit again, dont be mad at meee anymore!! =) i love you duude!

oh and SATURDAY we PARTIED at rb's house like there was no tomorrow! i had to celebrate my happiness after saturdays show hahaha. love every one of you who came!

here's a video of me and gabe covering "details in the fabric" by jason mraz and james morrison at St Genevieve's on saturday. thanks gabe, i can honestly call you one of my best friends man-- all music aside.



-aj

Saturday, October 18, 2008

just.. AMAZING...

today's show was insane. the flight was so crappy (6 hours straight) from boston to LA but damn this show made it so worth it. i wasn't feeling so good earlier today, but once i hit the stage... it was all amazing from there! i sang my first song with cathy nguyen (myspace.com/cathynguyenmusic) and i love her so much i just realized how much i miss her. we sang "lucky". i sang "little piece of home", then called up Gabe Bondoc (youtube.com/gabebondoc) and we sang "details in the fabric"... it was so good for us not practicing too much. i sang 'my soldier', invited my little niece up to sing (which was so cute by the way) and then i sang my last song, "i just want you".

"i just want you" will never be the same to me after today. i said this one is called 'i just want you' and the crowd totally SCREAMED so loud all at once that i got scared and was startled. hahaha. so i sang the first part, and couldn't sing anymore, cuz EVERYONE in the crowd was singing along and it was just so overwhelming... i cried for the first verse and chorus and was just playing guitar to everyone singing along. i'll show you guys pictures soon, and vids will be on youtube... but seriously how INSPIRING and MOTIVATING for me... i cried cuz YOU guys support me and sang to a song that I wrote. so loud i felt you guys were on stage with me. thank you so much. i cant explain how i felt. i was looking at my mom and she just looked so proud. and my aunties and everyone looking at me it was just amazing. thank you. so many of you there that i met and who bought CD's... thank you so much. i probably met all 400 of you i feel like. im not even sure how many people were there it was insane. man, it was CRAZY i love YOU guys!!! music is TRULY universal and i'm SO GLAD ya'll can relate.

i'm home now. gonna go party it up with my best friends!


-aj

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

just a day, just an-- ordinary day...

so today in my background vocals class, my teacher donna mcelroy was telling us the realities of the music industries and how its a dark, corrupt place to be. but just from the perspective of the dark side of the moon as she put it. and was telling us about berklee and how it needs to guide students on where to go, cuz it was really true about this place-- it is purely self-motivation. now school should be like that, but its to the point where no student knows about the clinics that really matter and blah blah blahh i could go on for days. but anyway her speech was really helpful, there were even people crying in the class. i would go on in detail but i am tired. hahah.

"music is a vehicle... let it drive you to freedom, clarity, and beauty"
-donna

anyway, during that class, my friend brittney asked me if i wanted to be in the musical. and turned out it was South Park: The Musical. hahah. i went to practice from 9-10 and it was some crazy freakin songs. from mr hanky, to kyle's mom's a b*tch... and all these cursing songs and what not. haha. crazy. but yeah im in the chorus. should be fun. the shows next friday. =O crazy right?!

i try not to include a lot of my personal life here on these blogs, but what the heck, cares. so i've been looking around, and here in Boston... the girls here... well lets just say cali is the place to be! hahaha. no but really.. its hard enough meeting someone here at a music school esp cuz most of the girls are divas. but theres this girl who i always see around the halls, and shes an international student (from japan) and she plays the drums. cool factor #1. so i've seen her a couple of times and she's always wearing super dope kicks, supras. and wears a backpack, and has headphones on all the time. (wow i sound like a stalker but i swear i'm not its just cuz we pass by in the halls like every tuesday and wednesday ok anyway going on) and the headphones aren't just ear buds, they are those big headphones, the cool looking ones. so shes just a COOL dope looking chick. thats basically how i would put it. short hair, and asian. haha.

i never really had the courage to talk to her or anything, shes in Singer's Night with me (im a background vocalist for this huge concert here at berklee) she plays drums for one of the tunes but we never get to talk to the band. anyway i was chillin today in the voice department waiting for my vocal teacher and she came out of a classroom next to where i was sitting and we looked at each other and i couldnt just not say hi, so i said "hi" in like a startled voice cuz it just came out. hahaha. and i stood up and was like 'hi i'm aj' and i'm thinking to myself "wow i havent done this in forever"... and i was like "so uhm you play drums?" (even though i knew she played drums cuz we had rehearsal together for singers night) and shes like "yeah! do you sing?" i was like "yes i sing.. heh..." (awkward smile). and she was starting up convo and i was like relieved that she wasnt trying to leave right away or anything. i swear all the students who aren't american here are SO MUCH NICER than the americans. hahah. we, americans, are so rude and we don't even know it. all the italians, japanese, chinese, koreans, everyone else they are just so humble and kind-hearted its amazing. anyway im done with my story.

the one thing i forgot to do was say, "it was nice meeting you, we should jam some time!" damn it. i am going to be sad for a while cuz i didnt ask. hahaha.

ok random story im done. im a dork. gahh
new video. add my friend andrew rhim, guitar principle here on myspace CLICK =]

love, me

Saturday, October 11, 2008

in my life...

there are places i'll remember all my life, though some have changed... some forever not for better, some have gone and some remain.
-lennon


"as long as you did your best"
-my dad, arturo rafael [rip], after i failed my 3rd attempt of getting a black belt from my red/black belt... lol...
ps i am a black belt now. =)


so i've been having problems lately, just inner problems i guess. its been a great struggle moving here, i'm sure some of you can relate. but i've been talking to some people lately just randomly and i've gotten some great words of advice and different quotes and what not. i just emailed kina grannis (youtube.com/kinagrannis) just telling her about boston and what not and how its been hard not being in california and she told me, "just remember that that is a great thing-- to have a home worth missing."

so uplifting. then my good friend ramiele malubay (myspace.com/ramiele) has been helpin me out too because she also moved away from home to move to california from florida. we're kinda helpin each other out i guess since we've changed coasts. "you gotta do what you gotta do."

chadwick (m. meow, asian persuasion show, titan radio-CSUF) helped me realize something last night. in one of his many IM's to me there was something that stood out.. he said something like "you have so many people out here who want to see you make it..." and seriously thinking about that, i am so BLESSED to have you all, my family, my friends, having my back. it honestly helps me so much. just KNOWING that you all believe in me is a HUGE amount of inspiration. thanks chad for helping me realize that. i am so lucky. seriously...

my friend lijie (lijiemusic.com) here from berklee was talking to me today in the mall after we jammed in the practice room... she asked me, "what do you wanna do after berklee?" i said "i wanna be famous." why sugarcoat what i really want right? "i want to share my music with as many people as i possibly can." she said asked me what my backup plan was. i told her i didnt have one. she said, "good, cuz someone with as much drive and confidence as you had a backup plan, you would fall back." i smiled.

me being honest:

now don't go telling ur parents "AJ RAFAEL said not to have a backup plan!!!" it's always good to have one, but for me, i am just so infused with this idea that MUSIC believes in me as much as i believe in MUSIC, i really have no choice. and im not saying that you're not allowed to NOT have a back up plan. ah i dont know im just going to write. anyway, my father died in the name of MUSIC. like seriously. his hands were so sweaty when he played piano, like extremely sweaty, he wanted to fix it. so he got surgery, and it turned out to have complications, and he died 3 weeks later in the hospital from pneumonia. this was when i was 10. i took his place in the church playing piano, and here i am. it's in my DNA.

i would not be the person i am today if my father did not leave me with the strength and the music to cope with his loss. i am eternally grateful to him for providing me with a musical backbone so thick that nothing could break it. i'm here at Berklee because i feel like it's a stepping stone to my success in the music industry. and who knows how long i'll last here, but all i know is that i am finally thankful to be here. it's a great experience. and to be in a place so far away from home-- it's not as bad as I think it is. my friend christy the other week told me that she feels like i'm at peace. and its so true. i can walk around Boston by myself for hours without having to call someone to come walk with me or anything because i dont mind it. it's peaceful walking around by yourself sometimes, you should try it. moreno valley might not be the best place to do it though... hahaha.

God i hope i make it. representing all the asian-americans too who have not broken into mainstream yet, and not only asian-americans, but all the great unsigned artists who the world has not yet heard. i will make it.

here's a song i wrote back in 2005. this song means a lot to me because a lot of people relate to it. and for them to tell me 'thank you for writing this song' is the greatest reward.

-aj

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

john mayer... information/inspiration

there was a songwriting clinic today. the berklee performance center was packed. the line was like 3 blocks long hahah. anyway, special thanks to my good friend lijie who got me a ticket to this thing, it was INSPIRING. let me tell you. he is so down to earth. cussed a couple of times which made me look at him as a regular person. haha. he's just an honest guy and i totally look up to him. he started off by talking about how he was at berklee and all this stuff and he sang a couple of songs on the guitar. he changed up 'waiting on the world to change' and it was amazing. he spoke about dynamic, and solo-ing, and then i started writing everything down. the name of his clinic was information inspiration. meaning that information comes first, ie knowing chords, and modes, and scales, and voicings, and then inspiration comes out from the information that you processed.

one thing that he said that stuck out to me is to trust that people will know that you're good. for example, i ALWAYS worry about playing the WHOLE 6 minutes of "here all alone pt 3" or all the verses of "my soldier" at a show cuz i feel like people get bored. or i always try to play my newest fresh hit just so i can prove to people that im good. but one thing he said was to trust the public, and know that they are smarter than i am. trust them in knowing that they will know a good song when they hear it, so just freakin play. and if they dont like it then what the hell, you were just being you, and thats all that you can be. he said to give people more credit for listening to your stuff.

he also talked about how rewarding it is when someone comes up to him after a show and says "thank you" or opens up to you just becuz ur music connected opposed to someone who comes up to you and asks what chords or modes you used in the song (calling that type of fan "predatorial"), and i realize that sometimes i take that for granted, and i just wanted to tell everyone who reads this blog, goes to shows, listens to my music, watches my video, chats with me on blogtv... THANK YOU. from the bottom of my heart. i am already successful in a sense that i have touched so many more people than i ever thought imaginable.

he played a new song for us that he was still working on for his last tune, and it was simply the epitome of music that comes from the heart. thank you John Mayer for inspiring me, because i needed that inspiration and that extra kick. there's so much more to say about the clinic, and i feel like everything he was saying was to me, and thats a great speaker right there. i can only dream of being at the top where he is. oh by the way he is buff and has some nice tattoos. no wonder he got jessica simpson and jennifer aniston. hahah. no homo.

i'll be here in Boston walking around. inspiration is coming at me, i can feel it.

-aj

Monday, October 6, 2008

back to boston...

the weekend was awesome. my sister's debut was a great success. i only messed up once on the cotillion (waltz) which is REALLY good for not practicing it for a whole month! =) hahaha. but yeah my family was there and many friends, lots of friends i haven't seen in forever and it was just amazing. me and brian jones, peter martin, and joe martin, played dinner music. we are called the last minute quartet. and literally we were pulling out tunes we've never done and just did it. loved it. so good. can't wait to be in cali again. leaving wasn't as hard as leaving the first time, but it did bring me down a little bit. i'm happy to be in boston tho dont get me wrong.

chillin yesterday at my house with everyone was just really what i needed. we all played football/sniper. haha sniper is this game we made up where we have a nerf football and there is one sniper on one side and the other people are civilians. the civilians walk around and one the sniper throws the ball (aiming at the cilivians) the civilians must stop wherever they are and if they get hit they get to be a sniper. the catch to becoming a sniper is just that you never know where ur gonna get hit. hahah. it could be face, stomach, arm, crotch, hahaha. i got hit in the back by a bullet that dusty threw, it sucked. hahaha.

thank you to everyone who came thru to come see me before i left. i love you all =) it was fun while it lasted. i'll be back in 2 weeks dont even trip ;]

anyway, the flight wasnt too bad, i just woke up like once i think. waking up sucks on a redeye flight. but im glad i was tired. i went home, slept for a little, went to class, went back home, slept, went back to school and saw john mayer hanging out in the front of Berklee. i was like WTF WAKE UP CALL hahah it was so crazy. i took a pic with my phone but it was a crappy one. found out he was doing a clinic on wednesday that my friend got me a ticket for. can't wait! i then saw him around 6oclock cuz this guy was talking to my teacher saying 'i'm playing for john mayer right now but i cant find the practice room' and he was like A15 so i went straight there HAHAH and i just peeked in and saw him and a bunch of old people. hahah. but yeah then i walked home, called gabe and talked about my john mayer experience becuz thats his biggest influence, and now i'm here on my computer.

i had a talk with my teacher nancy morris before i walked home tho, and she told me some really inspiring things. she wants to get me to play and sing cuz she can tell thats what i love to do. she said my musicality is amazing, and that she hasn't seen someone like me in many years, i try not to think i'm the sh*t or anything, and you know that i always try to keep it humble, but she told me that i NEEDED to know my place as in: know who i'm better than, know who i'm as good as, and know who's better than I am. i told her that its hard for me to be here for all 4 years cuz of the cost, so i was just trying to take all the performance classes and other classes that i KNOW for sure i would learn something in as soon as possible, before my time here might run out. she wants to help me out. i'm really glad i talked to her. she's the only who's seen that in me while i've been here. i'm really working on trying to stand out. i need to, for me, and for you guys who listen to my music =)

i'll make a new video tonight probably, i'm kinda bored. haha. miss you all. haven't eaten all day =\ i found out i lost 10 pounds since i left. but i dont think its healthy cuz its not like i worked out or anything. gahh. freakin forgetting to eat sucks.

heres a video from jasmines debut:

-aj

Thursday, October 2, 2008

one more day...

till i come home to see my family and friends. 

today i went to class, got offered to be in another ensemble (to play piano not just sing, yay!!!) and ate lunch by myself at the prudential mall. haha. i then studied with my friends Kofi and Bobby for the harmony I final since we're in harmony II... and i think i'm gonna be ok. pray for me, please. i'd love to pass this test. hahah. after that i went to staples with pablo and his friend amanda and we got a table (finally) for our "living room" which is really an awkward shaped hallway. hahah. its a banquet folding table. its all right, good enough i guess. we took it home and i felt like it was the longest walk ever my forearms are probably going to be strong as hell tomorrow. hahahah =P

ramiele malubay messaged me back on myspace!!! =) hopefully we get to collaborate. if you havent heard of her, shes one of the top 10 finalists on american idol this past season... look her up on youtube =) super talented filipino-american. 

also, shouts to everyone who writes in my blog comment box thingy. i love you guys! also, blogtv is killing me, its keeping me up til like 2 AM every night. hahaha. anyway, i found this video, hope you guys enjoy, its of me and my friend heidi, who is now a rising superstar in the philippines =)



-aj
p.s. cali, im coming home, for a weekend, but i'm stoked, can't wait to be there. and eat some freakin IN n OUT!!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

little piece of home...

so last night's chat was awesome! sorry i was kind of out of it. glad you enjoyed the new song, and the disney songs, and of course thank you to Gabe and Randolph for helpin me out. anyway, i had a test this morning in ear training.. failed =[ i guess i REALLY needed to study last night, but i was on blogtv all night!!! hahah freakin addicting man.

so i didnt think it was gonna rain today so i didnt bring an umbrella, and after 2 hours in the practice room after class i went outside and it was sprinkling... halfway thru my walk it started actually really raining. and then like 2 minutes before i got to my house i was thinkin 'yes, almost there', then BOOM thunder and it started raining like CRAZY. i just had a hood on and my hat under my hood backwards. gah. 

now i'm home, waiting for class. i come home in 2 days! i cannot wait to see the california sun again. and all my friends. 

loris-4 chord tribute is the ultimate jam session, foreals! =]
genesis-u crazy dawg. love u man.
jsmlove, janice, clariza, charlene-i'm glad u guys liked the mulan vid. hope it made ur day =]
mj-blogtv.com is so addicting right? thanks for watching

i leave you with my new song. very raw. love yall..


-aj

Monday, September 29, 2008

normal...

feelin not so normal today. not happy, not sad. just in the middle somewhere. it's not weird either. but my normal is usually super happy and friendly, but today's a little different. but i'm content with it. i know i need this transition type of feeling. i was walking thru the park today and just was being optimistic about things i guess. i know it sounds really corny, but i was thinking to myself "damn, i'm in Boston, i can do whatever i want, and i need to make the most of this." i looked up and was just like, wow, this whole city is just waiting to be figured out. and i can do that. no distractions here, just me and music. chillin. i think i'm at peace.

had lunch at Chicken Lou's today or something like that next to Northeastern University. it was good and a good breath of fresh air to be at another college. especially after my Ear Training test, which was freakin me out all night last night, but i did well. i got an 80 on melody and 93 on rhythym. its alright i guess.

walked around with my roomie pablo, his friend chris, and andrew. also met a guy named Teague who went to berklee but transferred to northeastern. went to this hiphopunderground.com store which is a store but has its catalogue online and you order stuff and then the guy working gets it out for you in the back. bought this new hat.


went home, took a nap, and then walked back to class. this class is pop/rock player/vocalist. we play songs and each person has to sing and play. we only have 4 people in the band. i play piano. the teacher is awesome, shes really nice. she told me today that she knew i wasn't feelin so hot (even tho she has only known me for a week), so she said to just let it out with the music. i asked everyone if they could play the 4 chord tribute cuz i know it makes me happy when i sing and jam like that. so we did it. and i felt much better.

went home again, bought bread at 7eleven. ate 2 sandwhiches, and co-hosted randolph's show, and now i'm learning a few songs for my private lessons. Visions by Stevie Wonder, and Love Dance produced by Quincy Jones.

oh and i have a new video. also, my show is tomorrow on blogtv.com so please check it out!! thanks guys!!! ya'll are hittin up the mulan video like crazy! new disney medley tomorrow at the show! hahaha.




Honors for this video (9)
-aj

Sunday, September 28, 2008

weekend...

yesterday was that wedding, and it went real well. i went to the mall after and chilled by myself, talked to a good friend on the phone for like 50 minutes and had a good vent, and called one of my good friends andrew rhim. he met up with me at the prudential center (the mall) and we ate, and i talked about all my problems, and im glad he was there to listen, cuz hes missin home too and girl problems or whateva, he relates esp cuz hes a songwriter like me hahah. were so emo sometimes. wowww!! but yeah then chilled at his house and jammed for like 5 hours.

the walk back home wasn't so bad, i called randolph, and talked to kristina and she kept me company for my walk home. it was like 12:30AM and i was walking alone on the phone, with an umbrella in one hand. i swear i could be on the new jonas brothers album cover HAHAHA

thats exactly how it looked. hahahah. except not so wanna be panic at the disco. went home, wrote a song that pablo inspired the title for, and finished another song i was writing on thursday... im excited for you guys to hear them. ill be introducing the newest one entitled "Little Piece of Home" on blogTV.com on TUESDAY! so check out my link http://blogtv.com/people/ajraf for the schedule. 

can't wait to show you guys! the other one is a collabo with a very talented musician. more details to come! i also co-hosted RuSoul last night on blogtv, it was fun, thanks russ! today's a good day, the rain's not too bad, but it's not helping my current situation of the feelings i am having right now. hahah. tonight i play mass at the six o clock mass.

today at church, i really felt welcomed by the community. i sang "Here I Am To Worship" for meditation and people came up to me afterwards telling me they were crying and they were moved. see that's what music's about. and especially when its for the Glory of God, people can relate. to be honest, i think about leaving this city everyday, but being at church really makes me feel at home. playing music is my passion, ya'll know that right? but playing music straight up for the Lord is more rewarding than anything. forgive me for the sudden spiritual blog topic but im just being real here, feel me?

my mom texted me back this morning from a text i sent her yesterday telling her sorry for getting the lip piercing behind her back. she said it was ok and she supports my decisions. people, don't disobey your parents. hahah. im a bad example of that, but it truly did hurt when she was disappointed in me. im glad everythings ok now. love you momma. i know you read this. hahah.

anyway, hope you guys liked my new video. another video coming soon. shoutouts to everyone who comments my blogs regularly, i really do appreciate everything. 

oh also! i went to COLLEGEFEST today. by myself. hahah. a bunch of booths like energy drinks banks websites, got a bunch of free ish, but it was 10 bucks to get in. the longest line was for the PLAYBOY lounge, didn't go, too many weirdos in line and not worth it probably. not that i WANTED to go in there. ok i'll shut up now.

-aj

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"i think i'll go to Boston..."

whasup guys. so as you know, lyddz and i have been collaborating on music and what not, so very soon you'll see more vids from us! we're so glad you enjoy them. anyway she left yesterday at around 1PM and walking her out to the taxi was hard, that "little piece of home" was going "back home" haha.

and a real quick PS, i know only some of you guys read this but: me and lyddz are JUST FRIENDS, please no gossipping! hahah.. no foreals. k thats all i have to say about that.

anyway, i'm coming back next week to visit my sister especially for her birthday but also family and friends thank God. i needed this break from Boston. and lydia being here was kinda my break from Boston, i'm real glad she came. who's next?! save me from my loner being. hahah

also: GOOD NEWS! i finally got a wedding gig out here, i'm playing piano for a wedding today cuz the pianist is sick (thats the bad news but its ok pray for him) and i'm getting paid! just like how it was back home.. finally some help with the bills. the wedding is in 2 hours and i'm excited. can't wait to start playing more weddings, they are seriously touching, and the fact that i was there for that couple's most important day is INSPIRING to me.

here's a video that pretty much explains my life right now. hahah. special dedication to lyddz who came ALL THE WAY out here, though we've had our problems, i know we'll get through it. miss you girrl! (sorry bout the emo-ness in the video)
click here to watch!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

first visitor..

just wanted to thank LYDIA PAEK haha for being here in Boston and being a familiar face. i really needed it. 

we have just been doin videos, and last night we just hung out at harvard square and went shopping. we've just been catching up and what not, but most of all we have been makin music. thats whasup! 

sorry this is such a short post, but just thought i should keep you guys updated with what's going on. she leaves tomorrow =( sucky! i cant wait to be back in California tho... next weekend (the 3rd) for my sisters birthday! but im goin back on sunday... ahhh sucky. school has been alright, i've missed a couple of classes but nothing drastic, miss you all and i will post soon. new videos, tonight!

check out our new video!



with love,
aj

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

musiq soulchild

ok so i have a special guest blogger for u. she went with me to the musiq soulchild concert tonight, which was totally INSPIRING, and she arrived last night around 11PM. ladies and gentlemen, here is lydia paek! =) yayyy

hellerrr :]

hey bloggers!! so tonight was freakin awsome! MUSIQ SOULCHILD is unbelievable.Too unbelievable that i cannot describe how unbelievable it was.You guys just have to expirience yourselves. The opening acts did pretty bad, out of tune and the audience booed :[ which was not nice at all,they looked nervous. So far Boston has been a stress reliever and a time for me to take a fresh breath of air. I have met really nice people and shopped around newbury st. and me and AJ both bought Supras! so much money! MINES is better though HAHA. More videos to come from AJ and LYDDZ. im so lucky to have talented musicians and singers to play instruments and sing with me. AJ is a great friend and you guys that have not met him yet will love it when u meet this dood. SHOUTOUT to  RANDOLPH i love you nigguhh. YOU are an inspiration to me and keep doing what youre doing. me and aj were talking aboutt how you would bee jumping up and down at the concert and we really wish you were here. love and miss you..more videos from me and randolph too soon to come!! RB and DUSTY-i wuv you guys so much and thanks for being great friends to me.till we see eachother again wich will probably be like next week, miss you guys!checkout my dance crew-www.myspace.com/questdance.

-lyddz<33>

love yall mucho, lydias so sweeeet<3>

here's a video we did. more to come.


ohhh and i had another audition today... i sang here all alone pt 3 and got so into it and i literally choked up and like pretty much cried like for a millisecond.... booooo! pray for me tho =)

-aj

Monday, September 22, 2008

no more air bed stress...

sleeping on this airbed for the last 3 weeks was hell. hahah. i mean it was okay for the first week. but after that its just a chore to sleep rather than it being a good thing i guess. hahaha. i'm getting my order in from iKEA!!! woo! that i placed 2 weeks ago! they lag so bad. wow. i am excited. i finally get to furnish the room and actually be comfortable being here. if im not in school im on this cheap kitchen stool with my computer on the kitchen counter or laying on the awkward mattress. 

i ordered a bed, matress, bed base, matress cover, desk, and a side table with some drawers in it. i am too excited. my roommate dwight just got his stuff in right now, so pablo and i are just waiting. oh real quick, thank you to those who watched the last minute blogtv show. special thanks to the ops and all the other artists who were there.

and thank you to all my friends who still text me to see how i'm doing, or even on rare occasion-- call. haha. miss ya'll! i'm getting a visitor today! surprise! =]] this means videos to come. many videos i believe.

besides assembling all the stuff, i'm gonna be going to the airport at around 11pm and then come back to build some more. i do have class from 4-6 tho. sucks. =\ haven't got the results from the callback, but you KNOW i will let yall know!

**EDIT
here's an email i got about Singer's Night just right now.
Hello, and thank you for your exceptional audition and callback for  2008FA Singers' Night. I'm sorry to have to inform you that you were not  selected for the show this semester. But your performance was excellent,  and we hope you will audition again next semester.  Thanks so much for your efforts, Sean
damn it. =\

-aj

dj - "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger right?" totally true.
genesis - of course aj rafael loves genesis
szue may - thank u for tuning in all the way from the UK =] and yes its tough, but we'll get thru it right?
janice - thank u for the pointless story, it wasnt pointless, i enjoyed it