Philippine-born, Calgary-based neo-soul singer-songwriter Zacarias recently released a new track “Why Did You?”. A moody ballad about trying to put the pieces of a broken relationship back together, it is described as a smooth groove born from the dark soul of Daniel Caesar and alternative R&B world of Frank Ocean.
Alvin Zacarias in real life, his family moved from Las Piñas to Winnipeg in 1996, and then to Calgary in 2013. Music has always surrounded his family since his father was a lead guitarist in a band in the Philippines. Zacarias was the young boy who was always singing, dancing and performing on various occasions. In high school, he started writing songs. He recalls a pivotal moment of realizing the value of music when he came across the songs of Musiq Soulchild. It was several years later though that he would consider music as a profession, and not just a hobby. Sitting at his work desk in the IT industry, he started questioning his life decisions and direction. And like any anguished man, he remembers looking at the sky, surrendering, and realizing that what he really wanted to do was spread the message of love and positivity, in the best way he could, which was his music.
Zacarias does not veer away from being vulnerable. He is a contemplative person who uses his music to find himself and become. He wants his songs to make people reminisce and reflect on life moments (whether it be of joy, loss, rejection), explore feelings, and be motivated to make positive change in their lives.
To date, Zacarias has released 19 songs, an album, and an EP. His 2019 debut album “Manilaman”, which hit the No. 1 spot on the CJSW chart, is particularly special in that it tells people about who he is. His music is available in all platforms supported by DistroKid - which includes Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Pandora, Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Tidal, iHeartRadio, Deezer.
Also an emerging producer, Zacarias has collaborated with a number of Alberta artists, and is working on a project with Italian DJ Digma, hip hop artist A.Y.E., and Filipino Canadian MC Twizzie Ramos. He has recently been featured at Canadian Beats, Tinnitus, Music is My Life, Little Dose of Indie, and was played on CBC's The Key of A today. Even American neo-soul singer Maxwell recently discovered Zacarias on Instagram and gave kudos to him for one of his covers.
For a man who feels he is still getting his bearings within the music industry, he has been quite productive while at the same time being intentional and protective of his music and message. Undaunted by the challenges of a music career, patience and determination are his guiding values.
The name Zacaria is the Hebrew form of Zechariah meaning “the Lord has remembered”. And here is a Filipino-Canadian singer whose name is Zacarias, who you should know and remember. Visit his work at zacarias.ca, follow him on Instagram and Twitter @zacarias4real and as @imzacarias in other social media platforms.
This article was published in the November 2020 issue of the Alberta Filipino Journal.