Tuesday, February 24, 2009

feel the freakinBEAT

this weekend was ridiculous. couldn't believe that the event was sold out. i arrived in california on thursday night and hung out for a while. thank you to carissa for picking me up. skip a day, then saturday morning i went to justine's dance competition (ENCORE) and i am just so proud of her. she got 3rd place overall with her solo piece to "luck be a lady".

FRIDAY though, was pretty crazy. sound check was good, i met all the dance crews. FANNY PAK was SO FREAKIN NICE. i had already met one of the members back in the day at someone's house, Glenda, she is awesome. kaba modern, super cr3w, and world famous were all chillin. do-knock from super cr3w (john cruz) has been a homie for a while, and its awesome to see his success with his dance crew. i arrived a little late, so jeremy (passion), gabe, cathy and randolph were already there among others. i brought like 2 cars filled with people with me haha. we pretty much invaded the backstage area. VIP's came in after a couple of hours and that's when it really began. we all began signing pictures that people used hella ink on and guitars and polaroids, and took pictures with a bunch of them. there were like 20 people who paid for the VIP tickets.

the show was about to start, and i heard 5 of my very close friends were outside the venue because it had been SOLD OUT. thats when my heart dropped. everyone kept telling me it would sell out, but when we actually did, i tripped out. i broke some rules and got my friends in, and the show started. Gabe has the most power with a crowd i swear, he was walking on stage and the whole crowd went NUTS. he made a little movement to show that he was anxious while setting up for his set, and crowd went even more crazy. as he was singing "Forever" by Chris Brown, everyone got their cell phones out and i looked at Randolph and said "Look at this bro, we're actually playing for 1300 people with people like Gabe & Super Cr3w"" and Randolph looked at me and said "dude i could really cry right now" and we weren't joking. it was overwhelming.

everyone's set was amazing. i was very proud of Cathy and Randolph because i remember their first show ever... i got them to play at Clark Magnet High School in Glendale with me, and ever since then they have been improving and creating a connection with the audience every time and its really awesome to see them grow as artists. i went on, and signed a ukulele first thing on stage. really overwhelming feeling with all the noise in the audience and flashing lights.

i played and i didn't want it to be over. i dedicated my performance to my father, telling everyone that i wish he was here to watch me in the crowd, and i thanked them for watching me for those 13 minutes that i was on stage. i closed my set with Showstopper and i was followed by Kaba Modern, Passion, and Super Cr3w.

after the show, all of us went to the front where they were selling tickets, and the amount of people in that space had me taken aback. i could barely hear Gabe as we were walking through trying to figure out where to go. i had shirts pressed with PNOYAPPAREL and the V-Necks SOLD OUT. 100 v necks gone in 25 minutes. i couldn't believe it. RB, Roland, Kris, & Dusty were helping me out, and Gabe and Jeremy were on the side and we were all trying to talk to the screaming crowd to back up from the tables and to calm down because little girls were getting pushed and people couldn't get out. the security guards were being wack and NOT helping us out. it was kind of disappointing. all of the artists soon got pulled into the back because the people wouldn't calm down and they would have to pay more for the venue if they all stayed in past 10:30.

i know i can't officially speak on Gabe's, cathy's, randolph's, and jeremy's behalf, but i know we were all overwhelmed and just in awe to the turn out of this show. although jeremy and gabe have played for bigger audiences, this crowd was just full of love and we were all feelin it in the deepest way possible.

we are humbled and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your show of support and love for us as we try to spread our music to the world.

watch my performance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYSG-Hlet1M and to watch the rest of the performances just search "feel the beat [artist name]" on youtube and a bunch will pop up.

i could cry thinking about "Feel the Beat". i am moved to "ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE I EXPIRE".

i just saw a mouse running around in the classroom i'm in. GREAT.

words can't express my gratitude. i am almost there-- representing all of us who were once on the bottom, for us who have had an experience that could have broken us but instead have let it MAKE US, for us who felt like they couldn't make a difference, for us who felt like our race would hold us back from being successful, for us who want to CHANGE THE WORLD.

i will get there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2 more days...

till i go back to California for the "Feel The Beat" concert in Anaheim. here's a flyer =]

this show will be fun. i also have a show in RANCHO CUCAMONGA, well its just a little thing at Starbucks and im gonna go just to chill and jam a little bit for the people at my friends school. Starbucks on Day Creek on saturday from 6-9PM.

lately, i've been pretty busy, so i'm really sorry i haven't written here in a while. from last tuesday til today a lot has happened but not TOO much. i had an audition for "Storyteller's Night" which is a show here that features mostly original songs. i got another callback. the only problem is that i'm gonna be in CA the night of the callbacks. this thursday night. haha. oh well, everything is what it is for a reason.

ok so i saw CORALINE yeterday... WOW... so creepy. hahah so freakin' creepy. i was thinkin' the whole time "how are these little kids not crying right now?" hahaha. i wish all of you have seen it so i can just talk about parts and you guys can go "OMG i KNOW that was RIDICULOUS" hahahah

Valentine's day was fun, went out to eat at the Prudential mall and then played Open Mic at Cafe 939, people really liked my song! i played "I Just Want You". and my friend Chris was joking around like "the only thing that was missing from your performance that i've seen in many performances on YouTube were the hundreds of girls singing along" hahah i was like bro that's in Cali. we're in Boston now... "where no one knows my naaaame, no one knows my name..."

i am currently listening to "In The Heights" which just won a grammy and late last year won so many tony's including Musical of the Year. it's an awesome soundtrack so i suggest all you musical theatre geeks out there to go out and buy this soundtrack. my friend Alex Lacamoire was the musical director, producer, arranger, & more for this show.

hope you guys have been loving my "Classics" series. if not, its alright, i'm going back to normal videos soon. just one more video for this series! it was a very fun series and i'll do another series soon. Disney Video Series MAYBE?!?! hahaha

i love ya'll. thanks so much for all the plays and support. i couldn't believe it i was #63 MySpace artist out of the whole world last night. 45,000 plays for the day yesterday?! WTH! ridiculous. i can't thank you all enough.. maybe soon someone will hear me and take me into their label. LOL. one can dream?

here's my valentines gift to yall. MY FUNNY VALENTINE. its a beautiful song. oh and i've been checking the insight to my videos, and it tells me what the average attention span is for each video. and lately for this series, people usually watch the first 45 seconds and then close the video out. please try and watch the whole video and listen to the whole song, i promise you won't be dissapointed! much love.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

music is love, music is life, i love my life...

thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for all your responses on my last blog. it was very overwhelming and i am so glad to have ur support. there was a comment that i appreciated but was a little taken aback because it stated that i had said something of great arrogance. i just wanted to apologize if i came off as arrogant or cocky about my music and talent through my last blog. frustration can make it hard for me to come out with what i really wanna say. but never have i thought i was the sh*t or been full of myself especially when it comes to my music. that is one thing that ticks me off the most when i see that in an artist or any musician... if i see this quality in them it shuts the door for me to listen to their music with an open mind. i know it should be ALL about the music, but one must be humble and thankful for the talents they have received and use them in a positive way. i definitely came into berklee knowing that i should realize who i'm better than, who is as good as me, and who is better than me.

anyway, after all that frustration from the last blog... i am beginning to feel better. other than finding out that i was the #1 acoustic artist in California on myspace (thanks to all of you guys!!!), i saw the song "Showstopper" becoming a hit on YouTube, with more than 17 covers already, one including hchsknights08... who is my good friend Alyssa Bernal... who also happens to be a YouTube celebrity with more than 93,000 subscribers and with one of her videos playing on CBS during the grammys. this video has helped this song become even more heard throughout the world, yes the world because youtube is a worldwide thing, and thus causing me to release the song on my myspace ASAP.

remember i told you guys that i recorded in San Diego with my friend Clint and Jesse Barrera? well, Clint just got done mixing the tracks and it sounds unbelievable. i dont know if you have ever felt this, but today before i walked to school i quickly downloaded the files that Clint sent me and put them on my iPod.... i listened on the way to school, and was almost in tears, and im being serious, no homo or anything, but really... it was overwhelming knowing i had created music that i know touches people's hearts... but i didn't wanna cry because i thought it was the BEST or anything like that, it was cuz it actually hit me that maybe one day soon-- i might be living my dream.

the other day i watched "Windstruck" with my friend Angel (fallenxangel) who lives about 10 minutes away. it was about a woman police officer who meets her true love in an odd way, and ends up losing him during a mission. he said, before he died that if ever he were to leave this Earth for any reason, to think of the wind as him and if she felt the wind, it would be his presence. now i know this sounds crazy but i feel like my dad (RIP) left me with nothing but music, and so every time i create a piece of music, i feel his presence. especially when i know i did my best and worked hard a song. and today i felt that. walking on the way to school today-- it was as if he were right there walking next to me telling me that it was awesome, and that showstopper was a fun track, and that my songwriting is getting better. and that he loves me, and that he's proud of me.

what an awesome gift he has left me. even though it's gonna be so hard in the road ahead to become a professional musician and to reach my goal, i started this whole music thing because it was given to me by my father. i practiced because i wanted to be better. now i create music not only to make him proud, but most of all to touch other people's lives-- just like how my father touched mine. i hope my music can inspire you, i can't even begin to tell you how touched i am reading the messages i get saying that they picked up a guitar because of me, or that they wrote a song after watching one of my videos, or that they wish they had friends like mine (my friends are awesome and are the ones who help keep me grounded). i can't thank you guys enough for all the support. it's finally coming true, all cuz of all of YOU.

i am humbled.

i decided to share my gift of music with a few people here at Berklee by making them a part of it-- here's my new band playing Showstopper. AJ Rafael and the ... (name in progress)


Thursday, February 5, 2009


kicks in after only so much. it's hard to take in all this rejection. i mean, last semester i got called back to the biggest shows at berklee for vocalists, Singer's Showcase and Singer's Night... and didn't make the shows, but i was like its ok this is my first semester theres always next.

this semester i got called back again to both, and at the showcase callbacks i was like ok if i dont make it, its ok theres always singers night. and my accompanist for the showcase auditions, enrico, told me that showcase is pretty big, and i have a great chance to make it into singers night playing "little piece of home".

so i did it, and the 4 judges who were in there said they loved it. the main woman in charge was like "do you have that song recorded? we need to get you in the studio here and put some strings or somethin on that" and i was like havin a good vibe like yeah for sure im down! i'll see ya'll later!

i was feelin really good, went out to dinner with my friend loren who also got a callback (and later made the show) and i was havin a feeling about this callback. and now i didnt wanna get my hopes up too much, but there was definitely somethin in the back of my head that was like "aj, this is your time."

i checked the official LIST of the people who made it on the 3rd floor of the 1140 building with my friend Luis who had made it already. i wasn't on there. i looked at him and said 'represent for us cats who didnt make it, do ur thing bro' and went back downstairs.

now i know having a positive attitude about all this stuff is whats supposed to happen... but sometimes i can only handle so much... i mean i'm ALWAYS getting called back and i know ur probably thinking "at least you got a callback"... but damn its like, why do they keep calling me back and wasting my time when they say that it was really great and awesome but dont end up choosing me for some other factor.. like they already knew that they weren't putting me in the show... like 'hey maybe this kids got somethin! lets give him a callback.... *2 days later at callbacks*.. oh never mind'.

ok so maybe im just angry, but i came to BERKLEE in BOSTON to SHINE and STAND OUT because this was a place that didn't know my music... a place where i was not known at all and a place where i just was willing to start over and just spread my music and my name...

if berklee's not giving me a chance to shine, then damn i just need to move on... and make music for the WORLD instead of worrying about some show that doesn't even mean anything to the rest of the world...

california is lookin' like a really good place to be right now. i feel like im suffocating in this freezing, cold-ass weather just to be turned away by people who can't see the music in my eyes and in my performance... i just wanna make it already.

i will make it. i promise you...

a song that helps bring me up when i'm feelin down.



Monday, February 2, 2009

spreadin the music

in every way possible. here's a tutorial for "I Just Want You"

i got bored last night (super bowl sunday) cuz i wasnt watching the super bowl so there's the end result. oh and i also made a chord sheet for Showstopper cuz Alyssa Bernal (hchsknights08) requested it among many others.

click here to download the .doc file

anyway, if you're wondering if i made Singer's Showcase or not.. i didn't =/ but its all good.. i did my best and i guess that's not what they wanted this year. i sang "Moving Too Fast" from the Last Five Years, a musical by Jason Robert Brown. performing on that stage of the Berklee Performance Center was like a dream come true. although it was only callbacks, i performed like it was the real thing. so i'm not gonna complain about not makin it, cuz i know i did what i could and i performed well =)

now tonight is Singer's Night callbacks... i NEED to make this show.. gahhh =[ i'm trying out with "Little Piece of Home"... i'll let you all know what happens.

this weekend was cool, i hung out with my homies Sid, Mik, Alex, and Jordan and i fell asleep at the dorms. dorm life is pretty cool, but i can see how someone can get tired of it. saturday i saw Notorious and it was SO DOPE! haha im not even kidding. very inspiring and i felt very informed at the end of the movie. so many things i didnt know about Biggie's life its crazy. hung out with my friend Angel from Northeastern, (FallenxAngel i think from blogtv!) haha she's super dope and so chill. church on Sunday all day, and today i got class at 4. callbacks proceed immediately after class. haha catch ya'll laterr...

i apologize for being almost absent for a week on this blogspot. blogtv was fun last night!