I wrote this song after learning that my friend Maddie was preparing to battle Leukemia for the fifth time. I wanted this song to be a reminder for her to keep living life the way I’d always seen her live it… with strength, courage, a smile, a sense of wonder, innocence, and so much love.
On October 20, 2015, Maddie earned her wings, and we miss her every day. I hope that this song can remind all of the little warriors out there to keep fighting, stay innocent, and lean on love.
“Love, my only answer is LOVE” – Maddie Grace, Warrior Princess
A portion of sales will go to CureSearch to help fund the research to find a cure for children’s cancer.
Written by Alicia Rae
Produced and Engineered by Chris Rafetto
Acoustics by Evan Field
All other instruments and programming by Chris Rafetto
Gang Vocals by Xavier Simms-Jackson, Angela Jose, Ed Jose, and Alicia Rae
Recorded at Mr. C SOUND
Mixed by Jeff Juliano at Fused LLC
Mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters
All pictures and videos provided by the Major family.
Copyright 2016 Alicia Rae Music
NCI is the nation’s leader in cancer research, (National Cancer Institute). Unlike cancer in adults, the cause of cancer in children is often unknown. Children’s cancers do not always act like, get treated like, or respond like adult cancers. In rare cases, other factors, such as exposure to certain viruses, chemicals, high birth weight, or radiation play a role, (Children’s Cancer Research Fund).
About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies. For kids? Almost none, because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable, (St. Baldricks).
Common types of treatment:
Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors using strong medicine. This treatment usually requires several sessions and has side effects. These can include tiredness, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting.
You can help by spreading awareness. Not just awareness of that fact that children get cancer. But, awareness of the fact that childhood cancer is not receiving the appropriate funding, because it is “not profitable.”
Donate to a local fundraiser, or family in need.
Use the hashtags #GoGold, #Morethan4 and #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth on social media.
I had a kinda crappy afternoon yesterday. I was all worked up about something… I opened my phone looking for a distraction on social media and saw a picture of Maddie Grace on my timeline. I took a deep breath and instantly felt better.
Life is just too precious to dwell on the little things. Here’s Maddie Grace, a true role model and soldier. She has battled cancer six times now and won. And, her cancer has come back again for the seventh time. She has never let it change her smile or break her spirit.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every year more than 91 THOUSAND children die from cancer. EVERY YEAR. There has been a 24% increase over the last 40 years, with 16 thousand new cancer cases in 2014 alone.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spends 96% of its budget on adult cancers. That leaves only 4% of its budget being spent on children’s cancers. These children are worth #MoreThan4.
In 1977, gold was declared the official ribbon color for childhood cancer awareness. This month, lets all #GoGold and support this cause. You can help by spreading the word, and educating your friends and family about childhood cancer research. Also, you can find a family in need and support by offering help, putting together a fundraiser, or donating.
This September, I will #GoGold and you can help. Through the end of the month, I will be donating half of the proceeds from all merchandise and album sales to Maddie Grace.
Kollaboration DC Finalists:
Alicia Rae, Santa Jaca, Nan, Abby Rose, 2 Parkz, and Audrey Huwae Photo by Ethan & Tasha
I am proud to say that I was one of the six finalists chosen from hundreds of auditions for the Kollaboration DC 2015 competition! On August 8th, we competed for the title of Kollaboration DC’s Champion, advancing to the Kollaboration STAR competition in California!
We met up with the staff in the early afternoon, at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, to prepare for the evening. We were all debriefed, interviewed by local press, and then we did soundcheck. I was, per usual, Snapchatting the entire day. Here’s a picture of me taking a picture for my Snapstory. Snapception/Pic-ception!
I started the day on such a high, and with so much excitement! I was so happy to meet everyone behind the operation, and all of the talented artists!
There were some technical difficulties during soundcheck and I ended up having to mic my guitar, instead of hooking it up. For those of you who don’t know anything about guitars… basically, what happened was, I have an electric/acoustic guitar, and the electric part of my guitar wasn’t working. So, we hooked up a microphone in front of my guitar so that the audience would be able to hear it while I was on stage.
This isn’t a big deal, but it kind of threw me off balance. I don’t really like having my guitar mic’d because I have a tendency to move/sway when I’m on stage. I’m always nervous that I am going to smack my guitar into the mic (which I’ve done before…) causing a loud BOOM noise and scaring the crap out of everyone! lol.
But, aside from the guitar mishap… I had a ton of fun hanging out with all of the contestants in the green room. This was the coolest green room I’ve ever been in. It was nice and big, with couches and a piano. And, it had the big mirrors, lined with lights, like you see in movie dressing rooms.
Snapchat: j0siegurl (that’s a zero, not an “o”)
There was a television backstage, so we were able to watch the entire show and everyone’s performances.
Our MC was Adriel Luis. He had an awesome hairdo, some shiny space shoes and a very fun personality!
Nan is an amazing pianist! His piece consisted of a mix between classical and modern music including video game songs and top 40 tunes. We had a nice long talk about classical music when we were hanging out backstage. Oh! And, we were wearing matching blue outfits :)
Alicia and Nan backstage at Kollaboration DC 2015 Snapchat: j0siegurl (that’s a zero, not an “o”)
These girls had the sweetest voices, and some killer harmonies!
After each finalist performed their piece, we had intermission. All finalists were able to watch the rest of the show with their family and friends. So, I ran out and grabbed a couple (super-yummy) egg rolls and then sat down to finish the show.
Some time during intermission, there was a quick dance competition with audience members. When the show resumed, there was an EPIC dance battle with the finalists, including the little cutey in pink. She won.
She was so cute. She came out on stage and seemed so shy, with her head down and hand rubbing her eye. As SOON as the music started, she busted out some awesome dance moves and the whole crowd went wild!
Congrats Audrey! You rock! & totally deserve this win!
I am honored to have shared the stage with such talented people! This was an amazing experience! I am so proud to have been chosen as a finalist out of hundreds of auditions. Moments like these remind me of how quickly I have grown in just a few years, and how much more growing I have yet to accomplish!
After the winner was announced, I was able to talk with each of the judges, and get some SOLID FEEDBACK. It was nice to hear encouraging words, as well as specific critiques on areas to improve. One consistent thing I heard from the judges was that they were impressed with my songwriting!
I’d like to thank the Kollaboration DC staff, AGAIN, for being SO.FREAKIN.AWESOME! You all work your butts off for an entire year, all for this one night of music. Because of you, Asian Pacific American talent is highlighted, and showcased within our community. One day we’ll be able to see more Asian talent on television and in pop culture, and through your efforts, we are one step closer. So, thank you!
Kollaboration DC REEL: A mini series of fun, behind-the-scene shorts featuring our finalists and staff. Visit BIT.LY/KDC6TIX for tickets to the Kollaboration DC 2015 Showcase ft. Sam Ock. —Alicia Rae is one of our six finalists for our Showcase Competition this year. You can learn more about Alicia in her “Finalist Peek” video interview on our YouTube Channel @ KollaborationDC.The Kollaboration DC 6 Showcase is ONLY TWO DAYS away – THIS SATURDAY on August 8th! Last Summer, Kollaboration DC 5 completely sold out, so don’t miss out this year and get your tickets to the show and afterparty NOW while you still can!
Alicia Rae is a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist from Maryland, and one of six finalists competing in our annual Kollaboration DC showcase. Learn more about her in this video short!To catch Alicia Rae and others perform at the Kollaboration DC Showcase on August 8th, check out our event page: http://on.fb.me/1H1N8MI
Photo: Alicia Rae, The Fading Youth, Chris Santa Ana, and Emma Rowley
I had so much fun at my EP release show! Before the show started, I had dinner with my family at Woo Lae Oak where we pigged out on some Korean BBQ. Woo Lae Oak is a chain restaurant. I remember, as a kid, I was always so excited when my parents said they were taking us to eat there. I hadn’t been to this particular one yet, but it was just as good.
Woo Live! is the venue located within the restaurant, where I held my show. After dinner, I walked around and talked with all of my friends who came out to support me. I am always blown away by the unfailing support system that I am lucky to have.
The show started with my friend, Nate Rice, aka The Fading Youth.
Nate and I grew up together; a few houses apart. He had a piano in his living room, but I don’t remember seeing anyone play it. A couple of years ago, I reconnected with Nate on Facebook and learned that he was doing music! He was writing and recording songs, and we even met up to do an open mic together.
Nate’s music tends to be on the sadder side, which he mentioned before starting his set. In the photo above, you can see a box of free tissues that he set out on a stool in case anyone was moved to tears. It was pretty funny.
Next up: Emma Rowley!
I met Emma at Tree House Lounge in DC a few months ago. She’s so sweet! I fell in love with her music and voice instantly. Her voice is soft and smooth, and her lyrics are captivating. She has an acoustic sound with a hint of country. I loved her original song, Chevrolet, which she also played at Woo Live!, and her cover of Coldplay’s, Magic. Emma also has an EP on Spotify. Check it out here.
Chris Santa Ana!
Chris and I met last year at KORUS Fest. He was one of the artists who performed during the music showcase. Chris has a soulful voice and vibe, and definitely holds the audience’s attention while on stage. My favorite song from his set was his cover of Musiq Soulchild’s, Just Friends.
I was excited that he agreed to join in on this show, and even more excited when I found out that we’ll be sharing the stage again on August 8th. We both made the finalist round of Kollaboration’s DC Showcase! We’ll be competing alongside 4 other asian artists. You can learn more about the competition and grab your tickets here.
I had such a great time at the show! I played each of the songs on the EP, and a few of my older songs.
One of the songs I played was Little Warrior, a song I wrote for the bravest little girl I know, Maddie Grace. I got a little choked up telling her story, and even during the song. I wanted to share it with my friends and family that night, because a lot of the people that were there know Maddie.
I am so thankful for everyone who has ever supported me and my music. I try my best to show my appreciation and give back in any way that I can, especially to the people who spend their hard earned money to come to my shows. So, I told the crowd that I was selling my CDs for any price they named. $1, $5, $10…. whatever they wanted to contribute.
Right after I said that, my friend jokingly yelled out from the crowd, “Well, I already gave you my $10!” To which my mom responded, “NO REFUNDS!” The whole room erupted in laughter. That was my favorite part of the whole night.
I want to thank everyone again for coming out! I had such a great time.
Today is my birthday! I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past year, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts…
Growing up, I spent my birthdays looking forward to the next one. I couldn’t wait to be older.
At the age of 12, I looked forward to turning 13 and being a TEENAGER.
At 15 I looked forward to turning 16 and being able to drive, get a job, and get out of the house!
At 17 I looked forward to graduating high school and becoming an “adult.”
You get the drift…
Well, today is the first birthday where I am not looking forward… and, it’s not because I’m nearing 30…
This is my first birthday where I am looking BACK.
In the past year, I graduated from college with my third (and a half) degree. I was converted from a temporary intern position, to a permanent position at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (my day job). And, after 7 years with this company, I was finally eligible, and received a promotion! This is a huge accomplishment for me!
Throughout the year, while attending school, I was working on recording my first EP with my producer, Chris Rafetto. This was hard at times, because we were trying to work around his touring schedule, and my school/work/show schedule. But, we did it, and the EP will be released in a couple of weeks (07.13)!
Looking back on this past year, in addition to these accomplishments, I’ve learned to love deeper, dream bigger, and to trust harder.
LOVE DEEPER. Love myself, and love my family and friends more and more, everyday… because we never know when our last day on this planet will be. I’ve watched my friends bring life into this world, and I’ve also watched my friends say goodbye to their parents. So, love deeper, every day.
And, because we don’t know when our last day will be… DREAM BIGGER. Every goal I have ever set for myself and my music, I’ve reached (minus a few). So, I just keep making bigger goals.
I am so thankful to have an amazing support system! Because of you, I am able to follow my dreams, reach my dreams, and push even further. This EP is as much yours as it is mine!
And through my music, my dreams, and my support system, I’ve learned to TRUST MYSELF. Trust my heart. Trust in that inner voice that has always been there.
Dwell less on what could have been, or what will be. TRUST and LIVE in the moment.
Above all else, this last year has given me an amazing respect for my parents. My two biggest supporters. They’ve been backing me since day one. They paid for my first four years of college, and allowed me to live at home rent free for the remaining years of school.
Because of their support, I’ve been able to work full time, pay my way through the last few years of school, out of pocket (no loan), and pay for the recording/production of my music. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without their encouragement and support.
I want to thank every person who is a part of my life. Thank you for making this last year my most amazing year yet. The first year I am truly sad to see go.
I look forward to next year, not as another year of getting older, but another year of learning, growing, loving, dreaming and trusting more in myself and others.
Alicia Rae with WonMor at Fiesta Asia Street Fair 2015
Phew! What a long, but awesome day.
I started the day with a four hour drive to Virginia Beach Sportsplex where I performed at Asian Fest 2015. I got a little stir crazy on the drive down, but it was a beautiful drive with the windows down and radio up!
It was a beautiful, sunny day. Not too hot, not too cold. But, very windy.
As soon as I arrived, I went to the stage to get situated. Shortly after, the tent behind the stage started blowing away! So, I, along with a group of other people, helped take down the one tent, and move all of the sound equipment into a sturdier tent.
My favorite part of my set was seeing a group of kids dancing to my songs. One little boy even tried to come up and dance on stage a few times. He was sooooo cute!
Afterwards, I enjoyed a performance by a Chinese Dance School. They performed a contemporary fan dance. There was also a martial arts group who showed off their wood and brick breaking skills.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to hang out, but I did stop by every vendor tent, said hello, grabbed some goodies, and met a bunch of people.
Then, I was back on the road headed to Fiesta Asia’s Street Fair in Washington, DC!
I hit some traffic on the way up, and arrived just in time to get settled in before my performance.
The festival was in full swing, and there was a big crowd located in front of the stage watching SNRG‘s performance. Cool group. Check ’em out!
The stage was located on 6th & Pennsylvania Ave NW, next to the Newseum.
Right before I was to go on stage, the sky darkened, and it started drizzling. We were told the festival would get shut down if the rain came down too hard, or at the first sign of lightening. I love rain, but I was hoping it would hold off at least another hour.
There was one more act after me, WonMor (pictured above), and I wanted to make sure they were able to perform. So, my set was cut short. But, I had a GREAT time performing!
The crowd was so lovely! Dancing, clapping along and shouting for more songs :)
Before I played my last song, I gave everyone the option of a song about fire, or a song about rain. They chose rain. So, I played my song, Hide Away.
It was an awesome sight to be on stage, facing the Capitol, and singing the line, “The rain is falling down on the busy city street,” because in that moment, it started to rain.
I was watching my lyrics come to life right before my eyes. That was definitely one of my favorite moments on stage!
After I was done with my set, I hung out side stage during WonMor’s performance, and met some people from the audience. We were all starting to get soaked, but I really didn’t mind. It was refreshing after a long day in the sun. Plus, as I mentioned, I LOVE the rain!
WonMor’s set was cut short, due to lightening, and the festival was officially closing for the day.
City police closing the festival due to lightening.
After hanging out for a little bit longer, and talking with everyone, I finally headed home. On the walk to my car, I realized that I had barely taken any pictures throughout the day. I was too busy having fun, and putting videos up on my Snap Chat story. But, I did take one picture on the walk back to my car.
The sidewalk out front of the Newseum
I love this picture. It makes me feel good… I finished a two-show day, over 200 miles apart. I met a ton of amazing people, experienced Asian heritage, and finished off the day with a nice walk in the rain.
To quote Incubus, “And, in this moment I am happy.”
Until next time,
P.S. I acquired a sun burn on my left arm… from having it out the window while driving. Just my left arm. So, I’m lopsided…
On Mother’s Day, I watched Maggie with my family. It’s a movie about a zombie epidemic. Love those kinds of movies!
But, Maggie isn’t your typical, “Run! Fight! Kill! ZOMBIESSS! Brainnnssss” kind of movie.
Maggie shows the transition, of a teenage girl, into a zombie. Her father, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, stays by her side, supporting her through the whole process.
The movie wasn’t scary… at all…. But, there was this one scene where Maggie was standing in the doorway in the middle of the night, all zombiefied and breathing heavily. And, now I see that creepy image when I go to sleep.
I can watch a movie about people breaking into someone’s house and cutting people into little pieces, and I’m fine. Not scared at all. Don’t lose an ounce of sleep.
But, throw in something supernatural, and WELP! There goes my sleep.
Anyway, I liked the movie. You should check it out.