Though Jamir Garcia’s legacy was long-cemented and secured in the hearts and minds of the legion of family, friends, contemporaries and fans worldwide before his sudden passing, it is without a doubt that the world still misses him terribly; the thought of no longer being able to witness the genius and charismatic performer that is Jamir return to the stage is still a painful reminder of just how big a chunk the music industry lost.
But in his true-visionary-fashion of always being two steps ahead in the game, Jamir – as most people know – was always a furiously creative force that never stopped to admire his work: whether it was with Slapshock or collaborating with the biggest names in the local and international music scene, he always had the knack for creating sonically fearless music projects almost on a 24/7 level.
And unknown to a lot of us, Jamir was already deeply involved in what would be his first solo project.
Fans from all over rejoiced and celebrated as soon as Jamir’s brother Kenneth – along with the entire Garcia family – made the announcement last August 20th. The statement, which revealed that the late singer emailed his brothers in early 2020 and shared that he was ready to release his first solo album, made-up of “songs that would aptly define and genuinely showcase his music as a solo singer/songwriter,” literally broke the internet, garnering more than 3000 reactions and more than 700 shares initially. And fans simply could not contain their excitement and waves of undying support for Jamir and his family were re-ignited.
“The music was pretty much done and it just needed finishing touches,” reveals Sonboy Garcia, who – in a nutshell – was always privy to Jamir’s music projects from their stages of infancy ever since, and who had managed to collect the files from Jamir’s computer. “And of course, knowing Jamir – everything had to be perfect for him, which is a big reason why he was very conscious of releasing solo material in the past; he was always worried if people would like it and how they would react to it; he was his toughest critic,” as Chris added: “We knew we needed someone that knew Jamir enough – and who Jamir respected – and could be able to make artistic decisions that would totally fit what Jamir would have wanted. Therefore we knew it had to be Rico Blanco; even when we asked his former bandmates Lean [Ansing] and Chi [Evora], it was a no-brainer. It was a bit intimidating to ask at first, of course, because we knew he was a busy guy and it would take a good amount of time to commit to a project like this, but we figured we’d give it a shot… and we’re so grateful he agreed to do it.”
The debut single, titled “Paraiso,” definitely captures the sonic big-ness and Jamir’s knack for larger-than-life rock anthems. A song about facing fears, overcoming struggles and triumph over adversity, one can already tell with the first spin that this is a hymn-for-the-ages that’s both very personal – and at the same time – meant to be a universal battle cry for the times. And as mentioned, is a good opening salvo and encapsulation of Garcia’s unmatched ability to write, sing, rap and create arrangements that consistently hit the proverbial bullseye every time.
The track was also given the extra production punch and further-pushed to its maximum potential, thanks to Blanco – definitely no stranger to critical acclaim and success, himself – and who shares the same amount of respect and admiration for the late Garcia, spanning decades up until his passing.
“Of course, I consider it a great honor and pleasure to finish what Jamir was working on,” shares Blanco, who in turn, is releasing the track under his Balcony Entertainment label. “This project gives me a lot of peace somehow, knowing that I will be able to do this for him; because I think a lot of people close to Jamir thought I knew of the project beforehand, but I didn’t – but when I heard it, almost immediately, I knew what to do with it – and whenever there were times I had to make decisions on it, I would literally talk aloud and almost ask for guidance – I really felt at times he was with me in the studio, so I immensely enjoyed the experience of putting this song together. We were all wounded with his passing, but hopefully this song gives his fans a chance to properly say goodbye… for now. And through this song and how everything is coming-together, it’s almost like a signal that -wherever he is – he’s okay. His music will always live-on, and I just want his fans to be happy and excited for him.”
“Paraiso” is out today, Sept. 5, Jamir’s 43rd birthday. Stream on Spotify, Apple Music and all digital streaming platforms and watch the video on YouTube, courtesy of longtime collaborators and close friends, Mon Punzalan and Jowee Alviar of Team Manila.
Celebrate the man and the legend that is Jamir Garcia. In his and his family’s words: peace, love and music.