News & Reviews


Joel Rafael Weaves Wanderlust, Lessons Learned Into Baladista Lp

Joel Rafael - All Access

Artist? Activist? Audio anthropologist? Singer? Songwriter? Storyteller? As it relates to musician Joel Rafael, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding "Yes!" Rafael, whose latest collection of hauntingly heartfelt tunes, Baladista, arrives on April 14, has been penning his sometimes painfully honest and often thought-provoking mini musical movies since his early 20's.

"I probably made like the actual solid decision that I was gonna pursue songwriting as a career when I was about 22, 23 years old," Rafael said when asked when he chose to make his avocation (he formed his first band in the sixth grade) his vocation. "But I knew way earlier on than that that I wanted to be involved in performing arts in some way. I was listening to a different mix of music than most of my peers because my parents had me and my brother when they were older. My parents were like 10 years older than all of my friends' parents and so their record collection was a decade different than what most of my friends were listening to as far as accessing their parents' record collection. And so I probably decided to start singing when at an early age I got into Al Jolson through The Jolson Story [1946] movie. And at some point in the early 60s, that's where I first got a taste for wanting to grab a guitar, get out from behind the drums and be able to do a little bit more singing."

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