Tuesday, March 3, 2009

raise the roof!

so i'm on the plane right now and have no internet (obviously-- even though some flights have wi-fi now) therefore im going to copy and paste this blog.

so my trip back home this weekend was awesome once again. i flew in on friday and justin and dez (committee for the event Raise the Roof II) picked me up in an SUV with 2 guys by the name of Jeremy (aka passion) and Gabe Bondoc. haha. i was excited to have another show with them, and i was mostly looking forward to meeting the L to their GLP, Leejay . we got to the college (CalState Long Beach) and went into the green room, put our stuff down only to pick it back up when Justin announced we had dressing rooms. the dressing room that we had was pretty big and had mirrors and lights and a pretty big space to just chill. we chilled for a little, then we went to a mall close by to eat, and met up with Scott Yoshimoto there.

all my friends came through and we got them in with VIP passes, and we all chilled backstage till the show started. it was pretty crazy before the show, lots of kids running around since they were part of dance crews and things, and people interviewing people and it was pretty much chaos. right before the show started i was practicing on jeremy's keyboard and decided i wanted to do a Disney Medley for the show for fun. leejay helped me pick some songs and i created a quick medley to perform as the opener for my set.

i went on and i played the 'prologue' to Beauty and the Beast' and had Leejay come on stage to be that mysterious voice in the beginning of the movie, "Once upon a time, there was a beast.." etc etc. i also dedicated "Showstopper" to my friend Ramiele Malubay who i recognized as someone who has successfully represented us Filipino-Americans on national TV =] i played MidKnight during my set explaining the campaign i was starting to get it on the third Batman movie. i got an overwhelming positive response to that song, with guys from the fraternity that was hosting the event backstage telling me they respected my songwriting. i was humbled.

you can search for my set on youtube! just search raise the roof aj rafael etc keywords like that. GLP was up and i sat in the audience with a few of my friends. gabe leejay and passion did their own songs, and then a medley of old school 90's and some new stuff too. it was pretty dope and inspiring as always.

after the show was super crazy, almost as crazy as Feel The Beat last weekend. we were a little late coming down and i heard half the crowd had left, but it was chaos nonetheless. me gabe and passion were behind the counter that my boys set up for all of us to sell and sign cd's and shirts, or whatever else they were handing us to sign. i sold out of all my regular t-shirts-- i didn't expect that to happen. im glad you guys like the shirts, even if ya'll didn't end up getting the size you wanted. i can't thank you enough for the support and the love. you don't know how much it means to me. if God told me that this was the end of my career for some odd reason, i would be totally happy with what i have achieved presently. i can't really ask for more, inspiring people to keep music in their lives is enough to back up my meaning of "success", although i would love to share my music with as many people possible through however i can reach them-- TV, radio, iTunes, music videos, record deal... =]

it's currently 11:19 PM EST on this place and my heart and mind is still in California, as it always is. it's been hard living in 2 cities at once. i have only written 2 songs out in Boston, and have written 3 back home ever since i moved out here. i need inspiration. lately my weekends back home have been girl drama, shows, friends, lack of sleep, playing ps3, monster energy shooters, and playing at church. i need to start getting back into the songwriting mindset.

sorry for this long blog, just felt like passing the time on this 4 hour and 45 minute plane ride. i'm watching HSM3, AGAIN, (vanessa is just ridiculously attractive), and am gaining ideas for duets that i would like to start writing. i'll be collaborating with other musicians a lot more, and i can't wait for you all to hear what comes out of it.

my band, AJ Rafael and the ... (yet to be named) is currently practicing for 3 shows we have in a couple of weeks. march 26th and 27th at Florida State University and the 28th in New York at Martin Luther King HS. we are doing great, and everybody is just really excited to be in the band. it's really awesome to have musician friends who are on the same page as you musically, and are just looking to play and have a good time.



Anonymous said...

i absolutely love it when you play disney songs. so much nostalgia. congrats on another great show and good luck with finding your way back to the songwriting mindset. it's still there, don't worry. [:

lots of love and support from SD!

Leslie Kaw said...

Glad to hear that you made it through the plane ride without your ipod. The show was great. Sorry I wasn't able to stay afterward and talk to you, but I talked to Dustin for like 10 seconds and we'll definetly be in touch soon. We're still working out scheduling. Again, great job on Friday, we'll talk to you soon. Take care!

Loris Saprid. said...

It was so tiiight to finally meet you! (: You. are bomb. I'm so sad you were behind a counter cos I was seriously ready to give you a huge hug. The BTVfam who were sitting next to me can confirm that I was smiling the whole time you played your set. Hahaha. (: & they were impressed when I instantly knew that you were gonna play after the very first hint that the MC gave out. THAT'S when you know you're an OG fan. Yeeee. <3 Aaaaand no one could tell, but when you recognized me, I was ecstatic.

Come back soon, AJ.

Oh, & I think you should bring back the shoutouts at the end of your blogs. (;

Anonymous said...

Gosh, your inspiring.
One of these days, I will meet you =)
Sucks how you perform out of my area.

ShawnEP said...

wow i don't think i would've been able to last without music flowing through my ears. sadly i still haven't seen HSM3, i've got to go get it haha.

looking forward to seeing you in NY! :)

Amy said...

i loved your disney medley! it was amazing AS ALWAYS. :)

hopefully you'll find some inspiration in Boston! i love your songs :) isn't there a phrase that's like 'inspiration can be found in unlikely places'? or something like that.

anyway! i'm quite excited for your NY show!!!

keep it upp!

sophianerarie said...

congrats on another great show! I'm sure i'll once see one of your shows! I may come fly 0ver the sea for you or maybe once upon a time you will perform in holland ^^ i'm so hoping you'll do!!! I hope your songwriter mindset will pop up in boston again! I love all your songs so i'm always happy when you have a new song!!! love you!!!!

cheryl said...

Sounds like a fun weekend! I saw a couple youtube videos and I could tell it was an awesome show :D

Inspiration will find you.

<3 Cheryl

<3 Alicyn Wonderland said...

Hii! this is really random but I was wondering if you could tell me what type/brand guitar you're playing in your Lucky cover with Cathy
please and thank youuu =D

Angel said...

haha i love the disney songs you've played that was awesome
oh yeah that high pitch part was surprisingly perfect haha. i didnt know you can hit such high notes.

glad you had a safe trip and well yeah you gotta miss california. best state there is haha. well for us at least :] right?

hmm girl drama :[ hope the figure out soon. i hate those. us girls are the worst i have to admit that lol. lack of sleep = sleep more =P duh.
mosters tsk tsk tsk even though i dont know you that well i still say dont drink it =P its bad for ya. drink OJ or something :] yum yum haha

HSM3 i think is the best out of all the HSMs. most interesting and i love the songs that they sing. my fav scene is where vanessa and zack are on top roof dancing :] that was super cute

anyways i guess ill start using my blog again and start to read your page when i have time.
its so much more interesting now. :]

mimi said...

What is AAMP at the FSU concert?

NH said...

So...I assume you're thinking of coming out with an album one of these days...I wonder if at some point you'd consider like a sort of oldies/jazz/big band type thing, maybe mixed with some other stuff?
I have to say I really love when you sing Sinatra (ie, Funny Valentine) and the like (enjoyed your Jason Mraz cover too)...just a thought, anyway.

ponoono said...

AJ and the Rafaels ????

Anonymous said...

Loved that video it made my dayy =] I wish I was there I really do I hope to meet you one day btw i'm from the UK. But yeah it wud be an absolute honour to meet you. I'm glad things went well at raise the roof. "girl drama" haha hope everythins well with that Lol. Nywayz hope to hear from u seen =D. All the best!

sabrinasiow said...

hey aj, i've been following your blog for a while now and it's really nice to see you succeed in your dream in so many ways. keep on inspiring your listeners world wide. you will be recognised one day that's for sure. :D

btw, greetings from Singapore! ;)

marilyndeasy said...

ALYSSA BERNAL is attractive too..

Anonymous said...

EY! Im in Florida and I was wondering if there is any other info on the show at FSU. Is there a cost or anything, cuz i was going to drive out there.

pure said...

i really really love your voice.you are so very talented...pls do come tothe philippines...