Rafael Tonatiuh Truijllo-Garrduño was born on October 17th 1994 in Oberndorf bei Salzburg in Austria. His mother is Austrian, while his father is Mexican. He has two brothers.
His mother was a pedagogue for early childhood music education, teaching children how to play guitar, recorder and piano. This meant that when growing up, music was already a big part of his life. At the age of five he started playing the recorder. When his younger brother learned how to play the piano, Rafael observed him with great interest and taught himself how to play himself After demonstrating his piano skills to his brother’s teacher, she was impressed and offered to be his tutor. Subsequently, he participated in various annual piano competitions alongside his brother. To further his obvious musical talent he was then enrolled at the musical high school in Salzburg where, majoring in music, the comprehensive and demanding courses of musical theory and practice helped to mature as a musician. By joining the school choirs he gained experience performing live on stage. Also, being taught in music and aural theory helped to improve his musical perception and comprehension. Ever curious, Rafael satisfied his wide interest in music by taking classes in recorder, piano, drums, percussion and classical guitar at the same time. At age twelve he added electric guitar to his instrumental repertory. Two years later he formed his first rock and metal bands that stood in stark contrast to the classical music of his on-going piano competitions. From that point on the dream of studying music at university level emerged. Initially he planned to study concert piano but he changed his mind as time spent with his bands started to gain importance. At only fourteen years of age he already passed on his knowledge to beginners and professionals alike, nurturing his confidence that he could do better than sitting in class all day.
Rafael dropped out of school when he was sixteen and looked for alternatives. By a fortunate coincidence he came across the Munich Guitar Institute where he easily passed the entrance examination. He decided to specialise in electric guitar and started to dabble in jazz and popular music. He attended jazz sessions and gained his first experiences as a session guitarist. He played guitar in several local bands where he collaborated with other musicians including the renowned drummer Sebastian Laser (Panzerballett, Obscura) and the bass player Dietmar Kastowsky (Die Seer). In late 2014 Rafael graduated with distinction from the MGI.
While studying in Munich he was still part of his former school’s choir. The group competed in Austria’s biggest talent show called “Die große Chance” and won subsequently. This experience introduced him to the mainstream business as he was fortunate enough to work with Sony Music Entertainment Austria and the Austrian national public service broadcaster ORF. At the same time Sebastian Lanser asked him to play the lead guitar in his progressive death metal band Obscura. On submitting audition tapes he was officially welcomed into the band in October 2015. In the same year he took the entrance examinations at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and at the Jazz Institute Berlin. Due to live concert and tour commitments he had to, however, put his studies of jazz guitar at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam on hold. He returned to Germany in mid 2016 where he now continues to work as a musician.