Dressed in her moms pearls, clip on earrings and must have suede boots at the age of three, and ignoring all laughter and stares made by strangers at her latest ensemble, it became clear that AJ was born to stand out and born to entertain others. However, her true talent other than her fashion sense at three, or her one man renditions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat would be revealed much later on in life, for it was not until her years in middle school were her talents truly reveled.
At the age of fourteen, AJ was encouraged to participate in various local musical theatre competitions throughout British Columbia including the Coquitlam and Kiwanis musical festival where she received an award for highest honors in the musical theatre Category. AJ’s spirit as well as her talent had also won her various awards such as the Caulfield Merchants Society’s Community Spirit Award and The Good Samaritan Award through her high school.
In her grade eight year, AJ received a part in her school play and the year after that she had received the lead role beating out all senior levels. Shortly after and bitten by the singing and performing bug AJ participated in Metrospective at the Metro Theatre and later received the role of Annie Golden in the Uncle Randy Production of Leader of The Pack.
While AJ was learning so much from the musical theatre world she had often found that she wanted to play herself instead of other characters which was when she started to pursue a solo career and appeared in a CBC online broadcast for youth week, a Check 6 youth talent showcase in Victoria and performing in the youth category in the PNE showcase.
In 2002 AJ became the lead singer of the pop group New School which had very successful hit songs across Canada such as “Misunderstood” which featured Craig Smart, “Alright” and “The Sweetest Christmas” which she co wrote as well as having appeared on local television stations such as Global News, and Urban Rush. One of the most positives things that came out of this experience for AJ was the chance to work with acclaimed producers Banana Toons who wrote various hits such as “Invisible Man” by 98 degrees and “Stole” By Kelly Rowland. However, in 2004, AJ departed from the group as she longed to pursue an independent career and ended up taking a break away from music as she felt very frustrated and drained.
Three years later AJ has emerged with her own unique style, spunk and personality that can be greatly felt on her new country pop rock album “While you were gone”. “Even though I used to sing really pop music it was just never me, this music has always been deep inside me I don’t think I had a choice because thankfully I have been heavily conditioned to the 50’s and 60’s by my dad who is the biggest Ricky Nelson and Elvis fan!
Vocally trained by Judith Rabinovitch former vocal trainer to Sarah McLaughlin, and Avril Lavigne and Produced by Bill Buckingham, “While You Were Gone” is a fun, sassy, attitude bursting album that really reflects who AJ is “well I love to have a good time, but I can also mean business!” which is show in her straight up lyrics!
AJ had the amazing opportunity to work with incredible steel player Russ Pahl who has worked with Gretchen Wilson and Vince Gill, bassist Steve Bryant who has also worked with Gretchen Wilson as well as Brooks and Dunn and Guitarist Mark Matejka who is a member of the Lynrd Skynrd band as well as a former member of the Charlie Daniels Band. In addition to having song on the album by famed writer Jim Peterik who wrote “Eye of the Tiger” from the hit movie Rocky, AJ had the opportunity to co write four songs titled “Let Him Lay, All My faults, No Chance, and Same Old Same Old” for the album. “That was one of the greatest experiences for me. I had and still have so much to say, and I feel so lucky to be able to sing how I truly feel. Being in this business has made me realize that I may not look perfect, and I may not say the right thing at the right tim but I am who I am, and I’m proud. This album was a long time coming for me. I left this business to find myself because I was so lost musically and now I feel as if I can call this album home!”
Look out for AJ and her big voice and stilettos for this girl is all grown up and ready to make her way!