• BWH Music Group

AJ Raggs

Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.

Well, since no one was writing music for me (yet *wink*wink*), I quickly learned that I had to write my own! When I met with one of my first mentors, Irene Dreayer, I played some cover songs for her. She told me I needed to write my own music! So, then I began writing! Years later, I met Sheree Spoltore, president of Global Songwriters Connection in Nashville, TN. That's when I first started taking songwriting seriously. She taught me (and still teaches me) the in's and out's of songwriting, and many other aspects of the industry! So grateful to her for being a great friend and for sharing her knowledge with me! Also - being blessed with parents who were supportive of my music helped tremendously. I'm so thankful to God for giving them to me!

Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?

Great question!! A couple years ago, I was in Nashville for a songwriting retreat. A day or two before the event started, my mother and I went out to dinner and a songwriting round at The Listening Room, which is my favorite listening room in town! We are sitting there, enjoying the show, when all of a sudden, this young lady with long curly blond hair, wearing a hot-pink pant suit walked by our table. I couldn't believe what I had seen - and to confirm my suspicions, my mom turned to me and said "Ang...was that...?" to which I responded promptly with "UH-HUH" and proceeded to try and hold back my tears. One of my biggest inspirations, the one, the only, Tori Kelly, had just walked past our table!! I was over the moon. She was in town writing her next album, and had been invited to jump in for a song in the round by her co-writer! Not only this - I had no idea that she was gonna be there - and I was wearing her hoodie!! It was completely a God-Wink. She was so sweet and took a picture with me, and I got to meet her husband as well. It was an amazing, unbelievable night.

What has been the high point of your music path?

I would say there are two places in this crazy business when I feel most at home. That would be in the studio, recording my next song, and when I'm performing on stage! Being in the studio is so inspiring, especially when you're blessed to work with some really talented people. It's exhilarating! And something about the crazy energy and excitement that an audience brings is just like another level. It's and incredible feeling.

So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?

Honestly, it differs with each new write. When I'm doing a solo write, my favorite way to do it is, if I have an idea, or even if I don't, I write a journal entry, and then I go through and circle the things that strike me as the most interesting. Usually, after that, I'll have a title or an idea, and then I begin to build a roadmap to get to that idea! I also love co-writing. My friends are so brilliant, and I'm so grateful they are willing to share their ideas with me. My favorite songs I've written have, for the most part, all been co-writes.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?

I think the biggest challenge is getting people to see you. Also to hear you. It's insanely difficult to get your music to the ears of potential fans. Plus, there is so much content out there, that even if you are able to get your songs to fans, it's hard to stand out. I also think that the pressure to make yourself an object, which also exists throughout all social media, is horrible. If I could ask the industry to change anything, it'd be that - Let's make it about good music, and only good music!

If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?

Tori Kelly. Hands down. No contest. I also really, reeeeeeealy wanna record a song with her. I would be OVER THE MOON!

What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?

Since I am a one man show at this point, I use a live looping station to create a full-band sound, along with my acoustic guitar, and my piano. I can also layer harmonies which is always super fun. Typically I create a set list based on what the client's need's are, and then I begin practicing the songs I do not know first. After this, I review any songs I do know as a refresher.

Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!

Another good question!! There is one song that is unreleased called "Unapologetically". This song, for me, is about being who I am, and not apologizing for it. For me, that means being Unapologetically Catholic. It was hard to write because I had to dig deeper than I ever felt possible! Thankfully, with my co-writers, we were able to find the things that needed to be said in my heart, while also letting the song be relevant to everyone. I'm excited for this one someday, too!

What's coming up in the future?

This year will find me releasing some new music! I plan to release as much as I can, so make sure to be on the lookout for some new singles, and maybe even an EP!

Tell us where fans can access your music?

You can check me out on most all social medias @ajraggs, and you can listen to my music wherever you prefer to listen! Here is a link that I will keep updated with my latest projects!



About Aj Raggs

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, AJ Raggs - Angelo Ragghianti - is a Pop/Indie singer/songwriter who has been performing for over 15 years. From the time he was 8 years old, AJ loved to sing. He dreamed of becoming a professional singer and those dreams are beginning to take shape. AJ plays piano and acoustic and electric guitars with a live looper pedal, and performs year-round as a member of the Schola Cantorum at Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish in Pittsburgh’s North Side, at weddings, funerals, restaurants, retirement living homes, private clubs, bars, and church festivals in the Pittsburgh, and Nashville, TN areas. Some of his influences are Nick Jonas, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, JP Saxe, Lewis Capaldi, Maroon 5, Tori Kelly and Jason Mraz.

For more information and to keep on on the latest, make sure to check out his website!


#AjRaggs #10questions #indiemusicinterview

Recent Posts

See All