At just 18-years-old, AJ has already proven himself to be a mogul, an entrepreneur, and a musical game changer.
His unique, but cohesive sound, stems from knowledge gained during writing sessions in a number of diverse cities and countries, and in-depth research of different genres of music.
Earlier this year, the singer/songwriter released the music video for his new single “Tongue” and its something we’ve never seen before (in a good way, obv). Starring Chloe Lukasiak and Twan Kuyper, the video is set in virtual reality and can be viewed in 360 degrees — how cool is that?
“The song is about broken promises, which I feel like is something we have all dealt with,” AJ tells us. “The line ‘am I slipping off the tip of your tongue’ is about people saying they would be there for you and then they never really having your back. I wanted to write it so that I could realize I need to rely more on myself, my family, and my direct team around me, and that’ll take me further than anything!”
“Since the song is about broken promises, I wanted to portray that in as many different ways as possible because everyone has their own story they can connect best to,” he continued. “We decided to be a little experimental and make it out first virtual reality video we’ve ever shot so that the viewer can choose which story he or she connects with most.”
Check out the music video for “Tongue” and learn more about AJ in our Q&A below.
Celeb Secrets: You’re extremely passionate about your music and you’re only 18. How did you get involved in the music industry?
AJ: “When I was younger, I was always in school choruses and in the plays, and right when I would come home I would go to YouTube or put on the TV and I would sing along with my favorite artists. Something that a lot of my favorite artists would say was to “try to get your name out there in any way you can” so what I did was recorded myself singing a few songs and sent it to every email address of people I could find in the music industry!”
Celeb Secrets: For our viewers who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
AJ: “I would describe my sound as “Urban Acoustic,” combining rhythmical elements with singer-songwriter styles.”
Celeb Secrets: We heard you pride yourself in songwriting. What makes you so passionate about it?
AJ: “I feel like music is one of the only things that everyone in the world can connect to, regardless of language, and therefore, I feel like songwriting gives me the ability to send a globally heart-felt message, not just through lyrics, but through the emotion of the sound of the song.”
Celeb Secrets: Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?
AJ: “I like taking a word or a phrase, playing around with some double-meanings with it, and then trying to come up with the best way I connect to it, or something that I have experienced with it.”
Celeb Secrets: Are you working on an album or EP?
AJ: “I am working on a lot of new music that I am so excited to share soon!”
Celeb Secrets: You recently locked a deal with Justice, who are launching an app with you? Can you tell us more about this project?
AJ: “Justice is such an amazing brand that spreads positivity to today’s youth on a daily basis, and I look forward to helping do that as well!”
Celeb Secrets: You collaborated on a cover song, including a mashup of songs, that included a beautiful video with a beautiful message. What made you come up with this idea and video?
AJ: “There has been so much hate in the world recently, so I felt like it was necessary to put out a video to spread love, which I believe is the most important thing in the world.”
Celeb Secrets: Why should our readers listen to your music?
AJ: “I would like people to listen to my music because I hope it connects with them on some level. It doesn’t matter to me whether it makes them happy, excited, or sad, I would just love people to have their own connection with my musical stories because that’s what music is all about!”
Celeb Secrets: Our favorite thing about you is that you are a Teen Ambassador for DoSomething.org. Why it so important for you to help and connect with people?
AJ: “I feel so fortunate to have music as a platform to speak with people all across the world, so I want to use it as a way of spreading important messages of confidence and self-love. I feel like social media has made a lot of us angrier than we need to be, so I want to make it my goal to flip that around, and I hope people join my pledge.”
Celeb Secrets: Since we are Celeb Secrets, is there a secret about yourself that your fans may not know about you?
AJ: “I really, really don’t like ketchup. I still love you if you like it, but it’s just not my cup of tea…or ketchup…definitely not a cup of ketchup please ;)”