Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where we’re you born and raised?
I was born in Long Island, NY, but raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey!
What are some of your best memories from growing up there?
The Bergenfield Music Department played a huge role in my life. It helped shape who I am today and definitely kept me out of trouble while growing up. It also gave me something to look forward to during the school year.
What initiated your interest in music?
I started playing violin in elementary school but I found it difficult to read notes so I spent time listening to the classical station learning the melody lines of whatever I could pick up. Once I was able to play more than just 8 different variations of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” it all went uphill from there. Oh, and Nsync of course.
When did you start singing?
I started singing when I was a lot younger, probably at the age of 9. I mostly sang at family parties but at the time I didn’t think any much of it. After years of playing violin, I started teaching myself how to play guitar and joined my first band in high school (Infusion4). There I started to sing a bit more and it was with that band I sang for the first time in front of a crowd other than my family. After hearing the positive feedback, I added it to my “things to improve on” list. This led me to writing my own music and performing solo once I was a lot more comfortable with my voice.
What type of music do you create?
My music is on the Indie/Acoustic/Alternative side of things. I guess you can say my sound is a mixture of Death Cab For Cutie, City & Colour and John Mayer all into one. I try to write music that people can connect to right away.
Do you write your songs?
What does your creation process involve?
Haha, a lot of over thinking. Usually when I’m writing a song it happens during the times my mind is on overdrive and everything just flows. It’s almost effortless. Don’t get me wrong; there are some instances where I would spend months on a song before actually finishing it. That actually happened to one song, “PENUMBRA” off my latest EP. I just didn’t know where it was going and any time I tried finishing it. I always found myself blanking out.
You released your third studio album SOMNIUM earlier this year. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Putting together this album was for those that have been there from when I first started as a solo artist. This album is a lot closer to my roots. It carries my classical background and is more on the acoustic side. It’s organic and doesn’t have too much going on.
How does your latest album differ from the previous two?
I wouldn’t say it differs because SOMNIUM still carries that same vibe as the other two. I would say that this album is a more polished version of aReJay Ella: a definition of who I am when it comes to sound.
What was the recording process for SOMNIUM like?
The process is always both exciting and hectic in itself. I flew out to San Diego, California to work with [my] producer and friend, Jesse Barrera. I recorded my first album with him back in 2011 and the best part about flying out there is the amount of knowledge I came out with in the end. I always come back a different artist than I was when I first walk in. It’s always refreshing. Recording SOMNIUM was rather quick though. The day I landed in San Diego, we started scratch tracks for guitars and vocals that same day. Then a week later the record was done and ready to be mixed down. I was more than prepared this time around. I not only had all the songs written before hand but also knew where I wanted to go with each song when it came to the arrangements.
The hectic part was raising the funds for the record, promotional material, and printing CDs. Luckily I have been through this before so the stress wasn’t as bad. But being a solo artist for 5 years, raising money was always the hardest part. Thanks to crowd funding websites such as Kickstarter, it has helped me release not only SOMNIUM but also the two albums before it. I also can’t forget my family, closest of friends, and everyone else that comes out to shows to support.
Where can people hear/buy your music?
You can buy and listen to my music on all online platforms such as iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon and Spotify.
What are your plans for the future?
Perform, release more records and travel with my music.
What advice do you have for aspiring singers?
This goes to all artists and bands in general…, never stop working on your craft. Always be true to yourself and your music. Stay humble and put 120% effort into everything you create. Never limit your creativity.
Why do you think it’s important for people to follow their dreams?
We’re only given one chance to live and while we’re alive we might as well follow whatever dream we have. Dreams are only inaccessible once we start limiting our own abilities.
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