Where Was I (Radio Edit)
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 in studios close to her Arizona home as well as in Los Angeles, CA. She collaborated with a team of seasoned veterans of the music world including GRAMMY-winner Tony Papa (Survivor, Weird Al Yankovic, Sylvie Vartan, James Brown), who produced and mixed the striking debut disc. Papa 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 released on Shea Records, with national distribution through Fontana/Universal. Standout tracks include the single, "Feels Like," which is currently enjoying extraordinary success on the national AC radio charts, cracking BOTH the ultra competitive Radio and Records (R&R) Top 30 AC charts AND Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Top 30 Chart. With this accomplishment, Raquel Aurilia enjoys a national debut chart position side by side with superstars Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Santana, and LeAnn Rimes. "Feels Like" has also achieved Top 5 success on the FMQB A/C chart. Other highlights of her debut CD include the first single, "Where Was I", which achieved Top 5 success on the FMQB AC charts and 39* on the R&R A/C chart, a highly successful start to establishing Raquel's national AC radio presence. "Where was I" is a powerful pop-rock burner that steadily builds in intensity and turns the tables on the expected emotional formula. "It's one of my favorite songs because it's about accepting responsibility for what went wrong in a relationship," says Raquel. Usually, songs are about getting hurt yourself - this is about hurting someone else and owning up to it." "The Need," and uplifting piano-driven ballad was written by Stephen Epstein & 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 2006-season team). 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.) The track features a smooth rap from rising star "Kojo" near the end that gives it a 21st century spin. "I feel the song is very relevant to what's going on today," says Raquel. Aurilia also covers Gary Wright's 1976 #2 pop smash "Dream Weaver," another timeless classic. 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 back-up vocals, the band members include: Bruce Watson/guitar (Rod Stewart and Jewel), Ace Baker/keyboards (REO Speedwagon), Jody Cortez/drums (Crosby Steels & Nash,) and Will Macgregor/bass (Pretenders). Past performance highlights include 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 has headlined several charity concerts events including one for Ronald McDonald House (New Mexico), Sickle Cell of New Mexico, Nana's House (Arizona) Cincinnati Red's Community Fund (Cincinnati, Ohio). San Francisco charities concerts have included The Giants Jam for the Giant's Community Fund & Strike Out for Troops (with Eddie Money), Green Charity "Save It" All-Star Jam, San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAE), and The Greater Bay Area Make A Wish Foundation. Other significant local concerts include the Glam-Jam, Cesar Chavez Celebration and Fashion Week in Scottsdale AZ. Raquel was born and raised in Santa Fe, N.M. She left the Southwest to attend college in Anchorage Alaska on a Volleyball scholarship. 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 much more meaningful."