Get to know AJAA, Cornerstone’s latest boy group.
When you hear the word aja, you probably know it as the Korean phrase meaning “fighting” or “good luck.” And fittingly enough, that’s the energy AJAA is hoping to deliver with their vibrant tunes and youthful charms. Derived from the first letter of the first names of each member, AJAA is a four-member boy group from Cornerstone Entertainment and Republic Records Philippines composed of members Ash (Leader/Lead Vocal), JC (Main Dancer), Axl (Main Vocals), and Alex (Main Rapper). With a name that already radiates good vibes, this rookie boy group enters the scene with optimism and a desire for exploration told in a way only Gen Z can.
HERE COMES AJAA
Making their debut last September 7, these rookies give the impression of a pleasing and endearing aura. It’s an energy grounded in their youthful vibes as well as the themes they look to explore in their career. “AJAA is a bright and youthful group because we want people to feel their childhood once they see us perform and hear our music,” shares Axl.
From having adolescent crushes to spending an afternoon with the barkada, AJAA looks to stand tall as they speak to the multi-faceted lives of the youth, and in particular, the memories of being young and free. But don’t let their wholesome persona fool you, these boys mean business. They spent over a year in training under Cornerstone Entertainment, the home of top P-pop groups like VXON, G22, and Yes My Love, and are also signed to Republic Records under Universal Music Group (UMG) Philippines, giving AJAA both the skills and platform for their voice to be heard.
“Very excited na kami kasi maipakita na po namin yung mga pinaghirapan po namin sa training,” enthused Ash. And while they are young, the boys of AJAA are no strangers to the spotlight. P-pop fans may remember Ash and JC as contestants from Top Class, the P-pop reality survival show from Kumu, Cornerstone Entertainment, and TV5. While Ash was eliminated from the show, JC survived until the finale but failed to reach the final line-up. Axl, meanwhile, has a strong following on social media, particularly on TikTok thanks to his take on dance covers and trends. As for Alex, he’s appeared in TV commercials and short films and was even scouted by a South Korean Entertainment agency.
These past experiences, and particularly competing in Top Class, proved to be a boon for the boys in preparation for their debut. “Marami rin po kasing P-pop idols na pumunta sa show at nagshare din ng lessons at advice para po sa amin to improve ourselves,” shares JC. As for Ash, who admitted to not knowing much about P-pop when he joined Top Class, his competition experience brought out that hidden desire of wanting to become a performer. “It helped me realize na ito talaga yung gusto ko at navisualize and sarili ko na nagprepreform sa harap ng maraming tao.”
AJAA made their awaited debut with the bright and colorful 4 Ü EP. Filled with fun pop tunes Hany, Best Day Ever (BDE), Cuppy Cake, and Torpe, their debut EP is a solid effort touching upon a core Gen Z experience, young love. “We want them to go back to their childhood,” says Axl on their debut EP. “We want them to enjoy and have a big smile on their face.”
What also makes their debut interesting is how the boys had a hand in the production, particularly with their writing credits for Cuppy Cake. For the group, it’s a fulfilling experience how their label and company gave them a say in the music of their debut. Shares Axl, “They gave us the freedom to write our own lyrics and even the melodies so we’re thankful for that.”
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
As the newest boy group under Cornerstone Entertainment, it’s understandable that eyes are on AJAA to see if they’ll live up to their seniors and the bar they’ve helped set for P-pop. But far from being left to fend for themselves, AJAA were given a wholesale embrace by their senior groups, who welcomed them to the family. “Para tinatrato nila tayo as bunso sa CS. As we go along the way, ginaguide nila kami,” reveals Ash on the love and support shared by VXON, G22, and Yes My Love, the latter of which AJAA has gotten particularly close with.
The boys also expressed how their seniors would give them food or share advice in terms of performing and other relevant topics. AJAA even got to work with VXON’s Franz Chua, who is credited with writing two of the tracks on their EP. According to the boys, working with Franz was a dream with how receptive and open-minded the VXON member was to their ideas. “Kahit siya po ang nagsulat ng songs, he gave us the freedom to change some things,” says Axl.
Now that AJAA is officially a P-pop group, it goes without saying that the members’ lives have changed. But more importantly, it’s a signal of how their goals are becoming a reality. “It’s like achieving my dreams. Yung mga nasa utak lang po dati, napapanigipan lang po, parang nararating po siya,” muses Alex. However, it also means a more practical change in their lifestyle, such as for Axl, who noted that he’s also in school. “Magiging mas busy po ako. I’m gonna be needing to manage my time more.”
At the end of the day, AJAA is here to stay true to their name and be P-pop’s bright vibes who you go to when you want to cheer up. “With our music, you can reconnect with your childhood and come back to your young self,” confidently asserts Alex. While they may still be new to the scene, these four young men are hopeful that they will be remembered as that bright and fun group you want to add to your playlist and watch their performances. As JC details, “Maalala po nila na ibang klaseng lalaki na nagprepreform na magkakasama at magbibigay sila ng saya.”
Continue Reading: VXON 2.0: How The P-pop Boy Group Is Going Bigger And Bolder This 2023