At just 17 year olds, AJ Lehrman has already proven himself to be a mogul, an entrepreneur, and a musical game changer. AJ’s unique, but cohesive sound, stems from knowledge gained during writing sessions in a number of diverse cities and countries, and in-depth research of different genres of music. His passion has allowed him to soar to incredible heights.
AJ is currently in the Top 25 of the Macy’s iHeart Radio Rising Star competition and you can vote at iheartradio.com/risingstar.
Purchase “Tongue” on iTunes
Hi AJ, please tell us a little about you?
I am turning 18 on June 21st (which makes me a gemini and a cancer because I am on the cusp…but I was really only given the bad traits 🙂 .
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Confident, vivacious, and caring
How all started?
I started by just sending out recordings of myself singing to every single person in the music industry whose email address I could find online—-my 14 year old fearlessness paid off because there were many people who reached out to start working, expressing love of my courage, confidence, and voice.
When was it that you first realized that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
I have been writing songs since the 4th grade when my ex-girlfriend “broke my heart,” but I realized that I wanted to pursue music as a career when I noticed the huge platform it provides me to help better the world. I performed in shows in school and at camp, but when I started putting on my own performances, at 14 years old, people started coming up to me and thanking me for “inspiring” them through my music. The opportunity to positively impact people around the world through music is what drives me even further than my passion for music itself.
What is your musical background?
My parents put a microphone in my hands practically as soon as I could start speaking…next thing I knew, I had booked my first gig attempting to singing “The ABC” at a wedding as a one year old. My first instrument I picked up was the piano, and then I added in guitar, violin, and trumpet.
Is your family musical?
Music definitely plays a huge role in my family, as it is always blasting at home. Both of my grandmothers sing and my older brother has a great musical ear!
What kind of music do you listen normally?
The genre I listen to most typically is R&B, but depending on the day (or even time of day), I could be listening to pop, country, rock, or rap.
Tell us about your hit song “Tongue”?
Musically, I wanted to incorporate urban elements of R&B and fuse them with acoustic styles of Singer/Songwriter. Lyrically, I wanted to express a feeling of disappointment from so many empty, broken promises (“Am I slipping off the tip of your tongue,” meaning, did you forget about me?), and it was a major realization for me that I cannot depend on what other people may do for me, but instead, I should focus solely on what I am capable of doing.
Explain your sound in 3 words?
Rhythmic, emotional, and soft
How is working with Pentatonix doing their world tour with them?
All of the members of Pentatonix are so sweet and incredibly supportive with my career, and all of their fans are amazing because they truly appreciate musicality!
What is the feeling to be on the top 25 in the Macy’s iHeart Radio Rising Star Competition?
I am so thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point in my career, and for everyone who continues to support me day by day!
What is your next goal as a musician?
It would mean a lot to me if if my song became a big radio hit!
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My family, avocados, sriracha, coconut water, and smiles
What music we can find in your iPod?
A lot of Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna
Any loves other than music?
Cooking, playing basketball and tennis
Best advice ever given?
“You can be the juiciest, sweetest peach in the entire world, but there are still going to be people who don’t like peaches.”
Do you get nervous before a performance?
I get nervous if it is in front of a crowd that I can’t see smiling faces in the audience, or if it is a really intimate crowd that is not my typical age demographic.
Any advice for upcoming singers?
Be audacious and if anyone ever tells you no, just know that they are not the only person whose opinion matters.
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Right now, I would probably be studying for a history final! Final exams are coming up really soon!
Do you support any charity?
Yes, I am a big supporter of DoSomething.org, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Playing basketball in the ocean, while swimming with dolphins
Any exiting news you want to share with us?
There is a VERY strong possibility I will be going on tour really soon!
How important is Social Media for you?
Social media means a lot to me because it gives me the ability to connect with my family, friends, and fans ever day, but if we were able to live without it for centuries, I think I would be fine if it were taken away from me.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Courage is like a muscle; it is strengthened by use.”
Actor/Actress: Melissa McCarthy
Drink: Coconut water
City: New York City
Movie: 21 Jump Street
Sport Team: Yankees
Song: Man In The Mirror