“I tend to fall for guys who are aloof and ridiculously overconfident. I become so consumed in vying for their attention that I completely lose myself,” explains Raphael from Downtown Music Studios in Manhattan. He is there mixing his album with multi-Grammy award winning mixer Tony Maserati (Beyonce – “Crazy In Love”). “It would be easy to blame it on the guys, but what I’ve learned from my experience is that I am the one who brings the trouble upon myself. I want who I want at that moment, and I don’t really care what happens as long as I get the guy.”
The music video for “Boys Are Trouble” takes place in a seedy fight club. We see Raphael, trying to escape his loveless and abusive relationship with Cash, the rich and violent fight club organizer. He finds solace in a boxer named Max, a loser with a winning heart. “Being in an abusive relationship in the past, I felt it was important to show how domestic violence also exists in LGBT relationships, which is something that is rarely discussed.”
Raphael chose to cast male models for the music video as a nod to Friday Night Throwdown, New York City’s true life amateur boxing matches that pit male models against local boxing talent. He picked Taylor Harris, who plays Cash, for his irresistibly dangerous looks and William McLarnon, who plays Max, for his boy-next-door qualities.
“I’m fortunate to always find the right guys for my videos. It’s finding the right ones off-camera that gets tricky,” he laughs.
Raphael was born in New York and raised in Miami Beach, listening to ‘90s pop and Miami hip-hop. He describes his style of songwriting as stream of consciousness and views his songs as a representation of himself as a person and an artist.
In his music, Raphael aims to bring back the love. According to the young singer, most songs today emphasize independence and an “I’m too cool” attitude towards romance. He misses the desperation and vulnerability in songs from the past where vocalists unapologetically gushed over someone.
He calls his upcoming album, “The Dark of My Mind”, his journey through modern love set to sexy, moody trip-hop and electro-pop sounds that are at times ethereal and dreamy and at other times flow over the listener with a wave of sexual urgency and romantic longing. “It’s 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 know,“ explains Raphael.
“Boys Are Trouble” is his first song to be remixed for clubs. “I felt a remix was needed for those late night seductions on the dance floor,” he says, adding, “When I heard Joe Gauthreaux’s remix of Justin Beiber’s “Boyfriend”, I knew he was the perfect remixer for the song. He brings a hypnotic feel to his remixes that works perfectly for ‘Boys are Trouble’.”
“Boys Are Trouble” is streaming now on Spotify and is available for purchase on iTunes. Raphael’s debut album, “The Dark of My Mind,” releases soon. For more information visit www.officialraphael.com.