Since the emergence of YouTube back in 2009, the platform became the instrument to spread different kinds of music, arts, and entertainment on the internet. Artists from all over the world enjoyed the free access of sharing and watching of video contents both locally and internationally. Part of that milestone are the various YouTubers we grew up listening to such as AJ Rafael–the classic singer and composer of the song of the youth We Could Happen.

Arthur Joseph Rafael known professionally as AJ Rafael, is a Filipino-American singer-songwriter, YouTuber, and TikToker. Born in Moreno Valley, California, AJ is now based in Los Angeles, California, which he said moved him closer to auditions in the musical theater scene and in which he has been “blessed to be a part of the last couple of years.”

Nothing could ever be engaging to watch before than a video showing entertainment and good music all in one. This is what AJ Rafael also known as the Fil-Am Game Changer did when he posted his own composition, We Could Happen on YouTube 12 years ago. But after the millions of views and covers to his song, what makes the music of this Fil-Am guy nostalgic?

AJ started making music and uploading song cover in YouTube since 2006. And up to this date, much has changed with AJ’s career as a music producer. The musician has toured the world from Asia to Europe and back to North America, revealing his beautiful music to his fans all over the world. Never failing to impress old fans and gaining new ones with his awesome fan service and constant communication with them. No matter how time flies, the hit intro of We Could Happen forever lingers into our minds whenever we hear his name. And that is what made him a huge game changer in online music.

Years have passed and a lot of artists have boomed the music industry. Up and coming artists that just like AJ, posted some song covers online and went viral. Others may say that AJ’s early presence in the online world didn’t gain him huge popularity as compared to the emerging artists today, but little did they know that his versatility made his name sound louder even today.

Behind the Pop/R&B rising star of the Bay Area, Samica is also an Asian American AJ Rafael who played the keys in her song “Alright.” Also, during the 27th Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture in 2020, AJ was the one who curated the music program, which will cater the talents of artists from Canada, Philippines, New York, and California. AJ even had a collaboration with the Filipina Singer/Songwriter Moira Dela Torre with his own song, Without You back in 2018.

The kind of music AJ creates may not be part of the mainstream industry most of the people enjoy today, his talent and musicality still leave touches to the buildup of new artists. With over 970,000 subscribers on YouTube, and 900,000 listeners on Spotify, AJ actively makes music of his own, bringing pride as a pioneer for Asian Americans in music and entertainment online.

Written by Karisma Primero

Karisma Primero is currently a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise, and a 3rd year Broadcasting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila.

Andrei de Guzman

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