AJAA: In This Together

AJAA—an acronym for the names of its members, Ash (19), JC (21), Axl (18) and Alex (15), and coincidentally an ode to the Korean phrase, “Aja!” which means “Fighting!”—debuted in 2023 after a year of intense training under Cornerstone Entertainment, joining the P-pop ranks of G22, Yes My Love and VXON. 


“We got scouted together and auditioned together,” shares AJAA. “Fortunately, Cornerstone trusted us and started to train us together…We pushed and helped each other so hard, to the point where we discovered skills we didn’t know we had.”


Now, AJAA is moving forward at full speed, equipped with the skills they’ve learned and continue to hone under their management, and are about to release their debut album. 

Wonder: When you were younger, was music and performing always the dream? When did it click that this is what you wanted to do?

Ash: Being an “artista” was my biggest dream when I was a kid. But growing up, I realized that it’s really hard to achieve that dream, so I pursued studying even if academics were not my forte. I discovered a lot [about] myself during the pandemic era. I discovered that I wanted to perform on stage, and [it was] the time when I discovered that I enjoyed posting content and a lot of people were loving it. Then I got scouted to join a P-pop survival show; I got in, met a lot of people, then discovered that I wanted to pursue P-pop.


JC: Growing up surrounded with talented people was my reason [for pursuing] performing, and because of the people who support me. The reason why I continue to be a P-pop idol is because of the smiles [of those] who believe in me. They give me the strength to fight harder every day.


Axl: When I was a kid, I was actually shy but I loved singing. I never thought I would be performing in front of people. I started having an interest in performing because of K-pop. I’m a big fan of Twice, Enhypen and Aespa. Listening and watching their performances made me want to perform as well. When I started training, I had a hard time catching up but because of [everyone who supported us], I had fun and started to enjoy [the times that] I perform.


Alex: Performing is really what I love, and I feel like this is really where I belong. I really love every moment that I perform because I always remember my dream of seeing thousands of people appreciate me, which is why I pursue this industry. 

Wonder: The P-pop scene has been growing rapidly recently. How do you think your group has helped this growth?

JC: The P-pop scene has grown immensely in the past few years. I believe our group’s music adds a new and unique color to the world of P-pop, which I believe piques the interests of other casual listeners. We hope the youthful energy and happy vibes of our music reaches more ears and touches more people’s hearts.

Wonder: What’s the one unique thing about your group that helps diversify the OPM scene?

Alex: Our music has only one goal, and that goal is to give our listeners fresh, youthful and joyful vibes.

Videography and Editing Chino Villagracia assisted by Anna Miralles

Wonder: What’s the one unique thing about your group that helps diversify the OPM scene?

Ash: For me, the line, “I love the way you smile and how it takes me on a ride.” I relate to it so much whenever I have a crush on someone since, most of the time, the reason why I develop a crush on someone is because of their smile.


JC:Dito lang ako, when you need a shoulder” which translates to “I'm just here, when you need a shoulder” is my favorite line in our song HANY. This line gives you the assurance that when you need help and company, I'm here to lean on; I'm here, your friend.


Axl: “Wait a minute, I wanna tell you something, maybe it's time to say what's on my mind” is my favorite. I want the people who are listening to our songs to not be torpe and say what’s on their mind! Time is important, and I think we should not let shyness get in the way of what we’re doing.


Alex: It's the line “Ikaw ay pangitiin aking gagawin sisiguraduhin kong it's the best day ever,” which also translates to “I will make you smile. I will make sure that this will be your best day ever” because I feel like being able to make the one you love smile and [giving them] their best day ever is very romantic.

Wonder: We hear you’re working on an album! Is there anything you can tease about the upcoming music?

Axl: Be prepared for our songs! We will bring you so much joy once you get to listen to it. We made sure that you will have the BEST time of your lives [listening to it because] we LOVE YOU!

AJAA is wearing pieces from East of Eden, Yves Camingue and Glorious Diaz

Ash, JC, Axl and Alex have put in the work, and they continue to do so. The group admits that they are still learning—from each other and everyone around them—and that their upcoming album is just one of the first steps into their career. 


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. After all, there’s already a lot to look forward to, and it’s coming sooner than we might anticipate. “I hope [listeners] enjoy the songs we plan to release in the near future,” says JC.

Ranging from ages 15 to 21, the members of AJAA are some of the youngest in the industry. But rather than seeing this as a challenge, they wholeheartedly embrace it. “We are still currently learning,” shares Axl. “Luckily, we have people who guide us, like VXON, G22 and Yes My Love! They’re always there to guide us and help us with what we’re doing. In making music, we always make sure that what we’re making is applicable to our daily lives and that people who are listening can relate to it!”


The road ahead is undoubtedly going to be a long one, but the collective goal of AJAA, as the group says, is to continue to grow as artists and performers. They add: “[Our goal is] to also contribute to the rise of P-pop, not only in the local music scene, but internationally. And of course, to give inspiration to the people who also have the same dream as us.”


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