An Exclusive Interview with Young & Talented AJ Rodriguez
We recently interviewed British-American SAG-AFTRA actor and recording artist Alexander James (AJ) Rodriguez.
Pro Media Mag: First of all, please introduce yourself to our readers.
AJ Rodriguez: Hey guys, this is Alexander. I’m a 13-year-old actor/recording artist born in Marbella, Spain and currently living in Los Angeles with my mom, dog called Bosley, fish called Houdini and horse called Rosie.
Pro Media Mag: Who or what inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?
AJ Rodriguez: My mom is an entertainment publicist, so I was always around film sets, or live music shows or red carpets. As I was constantly in tow, people asked my mom if I wanted to get involved. I started acting professionally at around age 4-5 in Los Angeles, I had a manager that pitched me for print jobs and national commercials. I was cast in a few Little Tikes commercials, one of which was for a Giddy Up ‘n’ Go horse. When I turned 6 though, I was offered to sign with CESD Youth Talent Agents, and they have been my agents ever since. One of my first gigs was a British voice over as the character of Cardamon on the show ‘Bee and Puppycat’, and I have been that character ever since – although my voice has changed so much since then!
Pro Media Mag: You have recently released your debut track ‘My Crew’. Tell us about the track?
AJ Rodriguez: So, ‘My Crew’ is my debut single release. I have always been an actor, and in a voice over booth, but this is my first recording studio project. I recorded three records consecutively during quarantine with vocal producer and performer Alex Jacke and engineer Blake Mares. The song is produced by Laney Stewart and was written by Alex Jacke and Liz Rodriguez. We chose to write about some of my closest friends, who have been with me since day one of living in America. I don’t have a lot of friends, to be honest, I just have two really good best friends and so the song is about them being in my crew. My Crew is a fun song to celebrate friendships. I really hope people enjoy the record and can vibe along with each other.
Pro Media Mag: What kind of response you have received from the release?
AJ Rodriguez: So far, it’s been well received, but I think it is always hard to come out as a brand-new artist – it takes time to grow your audience. The UK and US press have been very kind to me, I think its because I recorded the song when I was still 12 and during Covid-19. As of today, the song has had 3 weeks to marinate and has reached over 12,000 streams on Spotify and the audio video over 18,000 views. We didn’t make a music video for this record, instead we created a fun lyric video using photos of my friends and I hanging out. Like a photo album type thing. It just went live on YouTube on July 23rd.
My Crew Lyric Video:
Pro Media Mag: What attracts you more, singing or acting?
AJ Rodriguez: I enjoy both – literally the same. Working on a film is so much fun, or a voice over character and then in the recording studio, singing to tell the story of the song, is just another fun experience. I would love to be in a movie and be able to sing one of my songs – that would be amazing!
Pro Media Mag: What’s the best part of being an actor?
AJ Rodriguez: I love to be with so many creative minds on set. Working with a film director has to be my favorite. When you have that one on one with the director, going over your scene and understanding their vision, and then performing to that is one of my favorite parts of acting. Another favorite is the vocal booth, turning on different voices of animated characters or crying on cue is a blast – so far I have done voice over work in my natural British accent, but I’d love to try out my Southern drawl or Australian accent in something. Of course, I love hanging out at craft services too – there is always yummy food on set to munch on!
Pro Media Mag: Tell us about your recent acting ventures?
AJ Rodriguez: There hasn’t been anything super recently to speak of. I have had a few self-tape auditions during quarantine, but nothing has been booked so far this year. It’s hard right now as Los Angeles is very much on hiatus with filming. I hope to be back on set again soon.
Pro Media Mag: Have you set any goals to achieve?
AJ Rodriguez: Well, off the top of my head I’d like to book a few movie or TV roles and when we are able to, open for an established artist out on tour. Next year for sure, I want to be performing live on stage. I am working with a choreographer, Devon Daniels, who is super good. I think this year is all about building as an artist and then 2021 I can head out and make magic happen on stage. Fingers crossed. Basic goals are music, movies, TV shows – oh my!
Pro Media Mag: Are you working on any new project?
AJ Rodriguez: We just released the first single on July 7. On August 8, I am releasing the second, ‘Your Smile’ and then on September 9th ‘Up To You’. I am due to get back in the studio for a further three songs – I believe mid-August. Definitely before we are to head back to school on August 18. Once those songs have been recorded, I will probably release one of them on October 10 and November 11 – there is a kinda pattern to my release schedule. Perhaps I will record a Holiday song for December 12 – I don’t know quite yet. Perhaps.
Pro Media Mag: What’s the best way to follow you online?
AJ Rodriguez: Oh yes, ‘My Crew’ can be found on a platform of choice: https://ffm.to/m56rmky
People can follow me on the below links. I try and interact with everyone as much as possible and I do an Instagram Live Q&A every Saturday at 10am (PST) it’s a lot of fun!