Raphael Paints A Picture of Troubled Love
Out Artist Releases Second Single from His Upcoming Album, The Dark of My Mind
By Michael Rivera

Born in New York and raised in Miami Beach, Raphael
grew up listening to ‘90s pop, Miami hip-hop, and Max
Martin.   He describes his style of songwriting as a
stream of consciousness and views his songs as a
representation of himself as a person and an artist.   

His upcoming album, “The Dark of My Mind”, is a journey
through modern love set to sexy, moody trip-hop and
electro-pop sounds. Song are, at times, ethereal and
dreamy.  At other times, they flow over the listener with
a wave of sexual urgency and romantic longing. “The
songs are about those things that you tuck in the back
of your head and you don’t necessarily want to talk
about or want people to see,” Raphael explains.

“Boys Are Trouble” is the second pre-release from the
alum. Written by Raphael, the song − with its moody
piano, beautifully sad strings, and raw vocals that exude
vulnerability − is being compared to ballads by Lana Del
Rey and The Weeknd.  It is now streaming on Spotify,
along with its brand new club remix by superstar
DJ Joe Gauthreaux. The “Boys Are Trouble” music video
is available on YouTube.

What does making music mean to you?
Raphael:  It means that I am sharing a piece of myself.
My songs are about love, romance, and desire. I get to
add those feelings to the world.

The Dark of My Mind starts out with "Boys Are Trouble".
The track is a cautionary introduction for the songs
ahead. It’s meant to have a dark and mysterious feeling
to it that invites listeners into the album.

It’s about sex addiction, right?
Essentially, it’s about all addiction: constantly wanting
more and never getting enough. There are a lot of
attractive guys out there, which means lots of trouble.

Would you date someone like yourself?  
I wouldn’t. I'm not a very good cook and I like a lot of alone time with my thoughts.

What's the concept behind the “Boys Are Trouble” single cover?
Similar to the cover for “Superstar” (the album’s first release), the cover has the guy that was featured in the music video. If you notice, the
guy is always behind me. It symbolizes them always being in the back of my mind, which is a dark place, hence "The Dark of My Mind".

The next track, "Superstar", is a lighter song. It has a breezy vibe with a tinge
of reggae. I imagine listening to it on the beach at night. "Your Hair" changes
the mood. It starts with dreamy vocals and a vintage synth that begs listeners
to close their eyes, think about a crush, and touch their bodies. "Keep in
Touch" lifts listeners up with a fat bass, nostalgic synth, and pop chorus.
"Manhattan" is a pure love song. "So Quiet" and "Bogota" are really detailed
as if I’m telling secrets to my best friend. "Heaven Can Wait" and "I Get What
I Want" show my more aggressive side. The album finishes with "Finest
Moment".  It has these vocal layers that wash over you.

Do you enjoy making videos or is it something you view as a necessary evil?
Making videos is my favorite part of the art. It is the moment when my song
comes to life visually. From the concept, to the clothes… I love everything about
the music video process.

Do you read the comments people post on your videos?  
I was advised sometime ago never to Google myself or read social media.
There is nothing courageous about reading mean spirited comments from
people who care nothing about me. My team shares the kind words with me.
I always read those.

That’s pretty smart advice.
You can't please everybody. There will be people who hate what I am doing
and people who won't even care and then there will be those that love it.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?  Any specific pitfalls
they should avoid?
I don’t like the word "aspire". When you are making art, whether it be music, sculpture, acting in a play… anything creative: if you are doing
it, then you are it. There is no point that an aspiring musician becomes simply a musician. As soon as you start playing, writing, or
singing, you are it. You are what you want to be. My advice is to keep your art sacred and only share it with those you have absolute trust
with; only share with everyone when you are one hundred percent sure that any feedback is not going to make you want to change it.

Who has taught you the most to make you who are today?
My Mom.

Who is one artist that you would say is overrated?
If people are overly excited about an artist, I think that's great. Everyone deserves
to shine. At times, some stars burn brighter than others but they all have their
moment to twinkle.

What are some examples of songs that have a timeless appeal to you?
Songs that give me the same feelings that I had when I first heard them are
really special. Songs like "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper, "I Want It That
Way" by The Backstreet Boys, "Gimme More" by Britney Spears, and anything
by Enya.

Where do yourself in 2020?
Performing at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

What will it take to get there?
Following my dreams, they know the way.

“Boys Are Trouble” is streaming now on Spotify and for purchase on iTunes. Raphael’s debut album, “The Dark of My Mind,” releases
soon. For more information visit

Photos by Elia Athans

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