Mexican/American musician A.J. Gil toped number 8 in first season of the smash hit television show “American Idol,” giving him overnight recognition for his unforgettable rendition of the “Star Spangle Banner”. Even at a very young age, A.J. exhibited a talent and flair for music, while performing and singing for his fathers’ church.
Born in San Diego, on July 5th 1984, at the age of 4, A.J. and his family made a drastic move to Mexico where his Latin heritage began to expand and mature. While living in Mexico, A.J. along with his 9 other brothers and sisters struggled with hardships and poverty. His way of living did not discourage this true musician, music was his escape. His passion so deep, by age seven, A.J. taught himself how to play the drums and guitar. Soon after, he found interest in the piano. Today he has mastered these three instruments and incorporates them into his music. Both his Spanish and American roots are embedded in all of his projects. Upon moving from Mexico A.J.’s family decided to relocate once again, where his family still continued to struggle. They lived out of their van for several months. When Mr. and Mrs. Gil secured enough money, they finally settled in Tacoma, Washington. This is where A.J. spent the remainder of his childhood years. While attending Lincoln High School, A.J. was a part of the choir and many talent shows.
It was at the age of 17 when his mother brought to his attention an audition that was being held for the highly anticipated first season of American Idol. A.J. decided to put his vocal skills to the test and was successful. His note worthy performance piece was “The National Anthem”. A.J. was instantly named a Latin heartthrob. Simon called A.J. “A worthy contestant”.
His vocal styles and personality led him into the top 8 finalist of American Idol, generating over a million votes.
After the Idol Tour in 2002, A.J. became a certified sound engineer, starred in an independent film (“Destination Fame”), and made the decision to focus on singing and songwriting studying a wide range of well-known artist such as Babyface, Brian McKnight, Musiq Soulchild, Tyrese and Usher. With the guitar becoming his primary instrument and piano his secondary, A.J. has transformed into a fully developed artist.
A.J’s enhanced vocals, instrumental skills and creative writing abilities are the driving force in his new material. Currently working to complete his next project, a Gospel R&B album.