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."

with love,


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.

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,

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!

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


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!

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,

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,

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


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
-the beatles
-guitar hero

-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 &

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