AJ Mitchell is primed for stardom with electric new single ‘Stop’

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Further building out an immersive sonic world, gold-certified pop phenom  AJ Mitchell  has officially released a new single entitled “ STOP .” The song is the next chapter to be unveiled from his anxiously awaited full-length debut album, Skyview , due out this year and executive produced by Mike Dean.  The track pairs a thumping bass line and flurry of funk guitar with a showstopping vocal performance. He delivers charismatic verses before igniting the instantly unshakable hook, “I don’t wanna stop, baby it’s our time . ” “STOP” continues the journey that was set in “ CAMERAS ON ,” released late last Month. The conceptual lyric video shared today picks up where “ CAMERAS ON ” left off. While “ CAMERAS ON ” depicts the story of AJ dealing with the darker sides of fame and his previous experiences with the content collective Team 10, the new lyric video finds him walking away from the cameras to the stage, depicting his passion and dedication to the music and what truly matters.  

A Game of Trolls, a Martial Law musicals for Millennials

 There was this dire need to educate the people about the truth and mobilize them to defend their rights. The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) was born “with the vision of a Philippine Theater engaged in the development of people and society”. PETA may have been in the limelight lately for commercially successful productions like Rak of Aegis and Caredivas but it has the heart of a protest theatre. It is only fitting that they have created A Game of Trolls to promulgate awareness at a time when apathy and cynicism seem to be trending.
A Game of Trolls pokes fun at millennials and/or tries to educate them with written history, not the one posted online when you click a hashtag. It tells the story of Heck, a keyboard warrior who struggles to find his identity through political inclinations of his job, family, friends and the current society. He works for a company of “internet trolls”, led by his boss Bimbam, which has the goal of spreading pro-martial law campaign. At the same time, his relationship with his mother declines with their abandonment issues. Heck’s Nay Tere is an activist who was also survivor of the atrocities of the Martial Law regime.
Ghosts of Martial Law victims from the “internet cloud” visit Heck to try to convince him of true stories of horror in their era. Dr. Bobby dela Paz, Edgar Jopson, Eman Lacaba, Macliing Dulag, Sister Mariani and martyrs of the Escalante massacre invade our protagonist’s consciousness as we see slices of history. Fast forward to ending, Heck did a 180 following an incident involving his love interest, Cons, at a fake concert organized by the “troll company”.
Setting aside the predictability of the plot and aesthetics, playwright Liza Magtoto, director Maribel Legarda and composer Vince de Jesus were able to answer the question “How are we going to tell the truth about Martial Law to the millennials?”. The production team was able to establish relatability and provide facts through social media jargon, cringe-worthy romance subplot and even a flip top battle that will leave you shookt. It’s like spending an entire day on social media without scratching your head. Entertainment value is high. It’s a lecture presented through art.
TJ Valderrama (alternating with Myke Salomon) gives an absorbing performance as Heck and makes us understand why this generation is so confused. Upeng Galang-Fernandez’s gave a chilling monologue about Nay Tere’s past. The entire cast was able to display talent in music and facts.
The important thing in this musical is its goal, the truth. The world has become smaller. Technology is advancing while society is descending. We’re supposed to learn from the past, not from memes. Current political debates have not been as healthy as it’s supposed to be. Social media has created a culture of short attention span and quick decisions. With the present sorry state of our society, A Game of Trolls wishes to eradicate trolling for truth.

Verdict: A-. This should be watched by every millennial. Or even every Filipino.
A Game of Trolls runs at the PETA Theater Center for the entire September.

Text and Photos by Aga Posadas.

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