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