MP3 Raquel Aurilia - Where Was I (Radio Edit)
Great pop songs with a rock edge.
1 MP3 Songs
POP: with Live-band Production, ROCK: Classic Rock
Emerging pop-rock songstress Raquel Aurilia blends the influences that have inspired her lifelong passion for music with her own contemporary sensibilities for a sound that’s as fresh as it is sophisticated. On her debut album Finding My Way, Aurilia’s crystal clear vocals flow organically through ten elegantly crafted tracks spotlighting her stylistic versatility and natural way with a song. It’s a confident and compelling statement from a new artist who’s clearly ready to claim her dream of a life in music.
Based in Scottsdale, AZ, Raquel recorded Finding My Way both in studios close to her Arizona home as well as in Los Angeles, CA. She collaborated with a team of seasoned music world veterans including GRAMMY-winner Tony Papa (Survivor, Weird Al Yankovic, Sylvie Vartan, James Brown), who produced and mixed the striking debut disc. Aurilia originally met Papa through mutual friends, and he became a musical mentor for her, advising on song selection and bringing in the players who would comprise the stellar working band for the album and select live dates.
Finding My Way is out on Shea Records, with national distribution through Aezra/EMI. Stand-out tracks include the lead single, “Where Was I,” a powerful pop-rock burner that steadily builds in intensity, and turns the tables on the expected emotional formula. “It’s one of my favorites,” says Raquel, “it’s got a lot of passion. It’s about taking responsibility, about messing up and missing what a friend was going through. Usually, songs are about getting hurt yourself – this is about hurting someone else and owning up to it.”
Other highlights include “Feels Like,” which generated regional AC buzz last year during a limited advance release of the track, and “The Need,” an uplifting piano-driven ballad written by Billy Trudel, who also handled vocal arrangements and sang back-up throughout Finding My Way. “I totally fell for ‘The Need’ when Billy first played it for us,” says Raquel. “To me, it’s about how if you have enough hope, and enough faith, you can get through anything.” A limited-edition CD single of “The Need” was pressed to help benefit Hurricane Katrina victims via a 2006 fundraiser at the Great American Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds (Rich Aurilia’s team last season).
Raquel also delivers fresh new versions of two classic hits. On Stephen Stills’ Buffalo Springfield anthem “For What It’s Worth” (a 1967 #7 Billboard single), her nuanced vocal reimagines the song while keeping its message potent. The track also features a smooth rap from rising star Kojo at the end that gives it a 21st century spin. “I feel the song is very relevant to what’s going on today,” says Raquel. “By having Kojo add a message of peace to it, I’m hoping it will connect with contemporary fans.” Aurilia also covers Gary Wright’s 1976 #2 pop smash “Dream Weaver,” and the song’s ear candy magic sounds as sweet as ever. “It’s a favorite of mine,” she says, “I want to hear it over and over. I need to feel that way about any song I record, whether it’s the strings that get me or a certain verse – I have to want to hear it again and again.”
Citing influences including Elton John, Billy Joel and Bette Midler, and on the contemporary end of the spectrum, Ciara and Justin Timberlake, Aurilia is now branching out into songwriting as she envisions future projects. Going forward, she’s also excited about playing more concerts with the ace team of musicians who helped make Finding My Way come to life. In addition to Billy Trudel on backing vocals, they include: Bruce Watson/guitar (Sugarland, Jewel), Ace Baker/keyboards (REO Speedwagon), Jody Cortez/drums (CSN) and Will Macgregor/bass (Pretenders). Past performance highlights include a major benefit event with Alfred Molina, and being on the bill for the Phoenix stop of B.B. King’s 80th birthday tour, when the legendary bluesman brought down the sold-out house at Dodge Theatre. “It was an amazing opportunity for me,” says Raquel, “to open up for somebody of his stature.”
Raquel was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. She left the Southwest to attend college in Anchorage Alaska, another scenically stunning spot – “Going to classes,” she says, “you might just see a moose walking around. The mountains and glaciers were amazing, and the summers were incredible, the sun never goes down.” She went on to earn a Masters degree in educational psychology at Arizona State University, and was taking pre-requisite courses for her Ph.D. when she met Major League Baseball infielder Rich Aurilia, now her husband. Settling in Arizona and being back closer to her roots also made Raquel cherish Santa Fe more. “Growing up,” she says, “I didn’t appreciate all the beauty. When you leave and come back, it becomes so much more meaningful.”
This year, Raquel will also reconnect with another beautiful place, San Francisco. She and Rich – and their two young children – head back there as he rejoins the San Francisco Giants, with whom he became an MLB superstar during a previous nine year tenure with the team. “We love it there,” says Raquel, “the city has always been so receptive to Rich and welcoming to us all.” It’s a move that’s certain to inspire Raquel’s songwriting and creative development, and spark her passion for music even further. “It’s all so exciting,” she says, “I feel as if so many doors are opening. I always wanted to have this chance to share my music – it’s so important to follow your dreams.”