Raphael’ s 10-song debut album, “The Dark of My Mind”, is a journey through modern love set to sexy, moody trip-hop and electro-pop sounds. At times it is ethereal and dreamy. In other moments, songs flow over the listener with a wave of sexual urgency and romantic longing. “We all have desires and fantasies in our heads,” explains Raphael. “My intent with the album was to bring the thoughts I have kept buried in the dark of my mind out to light.” Written entirely by Raphael and recorded in New York City, “The Dark of My Mind “ was recorded with Gold record producer/composer Barb Morrison (Blondie, Lily Allen, Pink) and mixed by Grammy award winners Tony Maserati (Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Beyonce), Jeff Rothschild (Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson), and Dylan 3D Dresdow (Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Black Eyed Peas). “The Dark of My Mind” releases to iTunes and all major digital retailers on Tuesday, May 17th.
There are no breakup or rejection songs on “The Dark of My Mind.”There are no songs about a guy not being good enough for Raphael, or Raphael not being good enough for him. The album celebrates open sexuality and guy worship in a very modern way. A male using male pronouns in pop music is something that was not acceptable ten years ago, but is a true sign of how far love and acceptance have come.
In fact, in “Boys Are Trouble”, Raphael boldly sings about losing control of his emotions once a sexy guy comes along. And in “Your Hair”, he lets it be known that when he is completely infatuated with a guy, he is willing to do whatever the guy wants.
There are deep sentiments too, like in “Manhattan”, a sweet and melodic piano driven ballad, Raphael sings about love in New York City. And in “Finest Moment”, the one song that is not about a guy, Raphael reflects on his insecurities, letting go of the past and looking towards the horizon.
In his music, Raphael aims to bring back the love. He feels that 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.
Raphael was born in New York and raised in Miami Beach, listening to ‘ 90s pop and hip-hop. “I love rap and there are certainly influences of it in my music.” He describes his style of songwriting as a stream of consciousness and views his songs as a representation of himself as a person and an artist.
He names “So Quiet” as his favorite song on the album. “We’ve all been in that space where we really like somebody, but we become frozen and so quiet when we’re face to face with them.”
Raphael’s “The Dark of My Mind” has something for people who want to lie in bed and feel the music pour over them, or go out and get a little naughty.
“The Dark of My Mind” is available now on iTunes
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