With well over one million streams of his song Tongue, rising star AJ is sure on his way to success. The 18 year old New Yorker just premiered his music video for the song and spoke to us about it’s roots, the song and the music video.
“I started out making a lot of bubble gum pop music. I was a young teenager who just wanted to make happy music that everyone could dance to and feel good. Then I started getting a little more serious with my music as I got a little older. I’m 18 now – I wrote [Tongue] when I was 17. I realized I shouldn’t just write music that just makes people happy; I want people to connect with my music in multiple different ways. If they’re feeling happy, if they’re feeling sad, if they’re feeling confused. If they’re tired, whatever it is.”
Don’t pigeonhole him into bubble gum music though, Tongue is his anthem as a songwriter as well. “I want to make sure people can feel something from my music, not just that one thing I was thinking that people should feel. That on a more emotional level, I was feeling. Also on an emotional level, I wanted to write a song about broken promises. I feel like a lot of people in this world, especially in the music industry for me, say that they’re going to help you and just never follow-through with those promises. I feel like I can only depend on my direct team and the people surrounding me daily.”
Speaking of the music video, which is best seen with the YouTube mobile app for the full effect, “It is a virtual reality music video. It’s something that obviously, I’ve never done before, because it’s such a new technology. I’m very, very excited about it. I think it’s going to be innovative. That music video is in 360 degrees. I wanted to do it in virtual reality, because I wanted to give people the opportunity to connect with the story that they felt most connected with. I feel like sometimes with music videos, or just music in general, and sometimes art in general, we tell people, “This is how you should feel.” I wanted to come up with an interactive opportunity and experience for people to experience something and come up with their best way, and how they truly connect with it.”
“In addition to just my musical background of people saying that they’re going to help you and never follow through, Chloe Lukasiak tells the story of some friendships that she’s had in the past. How people said that they were going to be there for her and never stood by those promises. Always said that they were going to hang out with her, and then went behind their back and removed her and only cared about being cool. That’s her story of a broken promise. My friend Twan Kuyper has a couple of relationships, and that’s the more relationship side of the song that I wanted to portray as well. Saying that you’ll be there for them, and then not being there in a relationship.”
If AJ isn’t busy with school and music, he has his sight on using music to make the world a better place. “I’m in college right now. I’m pre-preoccupied with that. I’m trying to come up with the best way to spread my message to the world of making it a better place. Making the experience better for every single person on Earth.”