|Origin||Quezon City, Philippines|
|Genres||Pinoy rock, OPM|
|Years active||1999 – Present|
Universal Records Philippines
|Past members||Aia De Leon
Imago is a Filipino rock band composed of Mayumi Gomez (vocals), Myrene "Maps" Academia (bass), Tim Cacho (guitars), Zach Lucero (guitars), Mervin Panganiban (drums) known for songs such as Akap, Anino, Ewan, Taralets and Sundo.
Imago was formed in 1999 With Aia de Leon on vocals and rhythm guitar, Tim Cacho on lead guitar, Arvin Gatmaitan on bass and back up vocals, Zach Lucero on drums and London-born Michelle Pritchard on violin. After their tribal-sounding track titled "Rainsong" spent considerable time being played on NU107's In The Raw, a program for independent bands in the country, it eventually graduated into the station's mainstream playlist. They were then signed a recording contract with Viva Records and was able to record their debut album titled Probably Not But Most Definitely under the helm of producer/musician Bob Aves. The album was released in 2001 and included 19 tracks which included their pre-album songs like "Rainsong" and "Alay" as well as an electronica remix of "Rainsong" by friend and musician Raymund Marasigan under the Squid 9 nom de musique. The album was highly regarded by the alternative industry for their courage to take a more Celtic/World Music feel in their music rather than the rap-growl (lovingly called "Hupaw" by most music critics) scene that was growing at the time, as well as the poetic approach to their lyrics.
The band has picked up a handful of Katha and NU107 Rock Awards (Best Female Award for Aia De Leon and Best Music Video for "Akap") from the first cd. All this while maintaining a consistent public presence around the Metro, playing in various venues with other bands in the lineup as well as part of various production events such as Admit One and Sunday Grabe Sunday. During this time, Aia also joined the all-girl alt-pop band Fatal Posporos, as a bassist, replacing their original member Annette Ortiz who left for the United States and now a member of the newly reformed Filipino band, Prettier than Pink.
During this time period, bassist Arvin Gatmaitan and violinist Michelle Pritchard parted ways with the band. Arvin played with metal band Eternal Now and is currently pursuing a business career. Michelle followed her other passion, racecar driving and became a regular competitor in the Filipino motorsports scene. Michelle also hosted the NBC TV show, Auto Review and was associate editor for C! Magazine. Michelle was briefly married to Wolfgang drummer, Wolf Gemora and has now returned to her London roots to pursue a marketing career. Michelle's signature Celtic-influenced violin strokes were missed by many early fans as Imago's sound morphed into mainstream pop shortly after Myrene Academia, former NU107 DJ and Sandwich bassist joined the band.
Imago’s second album was released four years after, though they had been playing most of their new material during gigs. Recorded in 2003, the cd’s release was delayed by unexpected record label setbacks and was thus aptly titled Take 2 which was clearly a reflection of the band's second attempt to release the album and their triumph at having finally gotten it out. Now backed by a new record label, PolyEast Records Philippines (formerly EMI Music-Philippines & OctoArts International, Inc.), the album composed of eleven new cuts (plus four remixes by some of Manila’s premiere electronica acts), the material is relatively heavier compared to the first album, trading in the ethereal cum New Age sensebilities with a modern pop flavor, even incorporating rap along with the staccato-type of singing they had been known for. Released independently, Take 2 featured hit songs such as Akap and Anino . While the album was a disappointment to some of their earlier fans, it was still well accepted and the new sound gave the band a wider audience, having been played in some mainstream CHR (Current Hit Radio) format stations. "Taning" was also included in the soundtrack to the Peque Gallaga comeback experimental film, Pinoy Blonde.
In 2006, Imago released their third album, "Blush" under Universal Records with "Taralets" as the lead single which was one of the certified hits of 2006 in the radio and music video channels. The song was also used as a theme song for the movie "Pitong Dalagita" and as a campaign jingle for a Philippine senatorial candidate. In the same year, they recorded a revival of Ewan, which was originally sung by the Apo Hiking Society. In 2007, they earned a nomination for Favorite Artist in the 2007 MYX Music Awards. They also released their second single of their "Blush" album, "Sundo". The music video was directed by Marie Jamora which was also the director for their previous videos, Akap and Taralets.
After the success of the third single Walang Misteryo, their fourth single, entitled "Under Repair" was recently released. The video of the latest single features the band impersonating ABBA.
"Blush" has also been certified Gold Record last January 2008, shortly after the release of the album's Special Edition CD.
Last March 2008, the band was invited to be one of the many other artists from all over the world to perform in the annual Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore. Lead vocalist Aia de Leon, also shared vocal duties with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew during his band's opening number at the same event.
In 2010, Imago released its fourth album entitled "Effect Desired None" with "Huling Yakap Ng Mundo" as the lead single.
In April 2013, it was reported that Aia de Leon has left the band.
Probably Not But Most Definitely
- Pretty me
- The Box
- On Shadows & Tendencies
- (Bonus Track) Rainsong Remix
- One Way
- Soft Return
- Roasted Anino Mix (Bonus track)
- Preset/Reset (Bonus track)
- Taning/Mahal kong Kalaguyo (Bonus track)
- Taning/Ipagpatuloy ang Kasalanan (Bonus track)
- Under Repair
- Lights Out
- Last Dance
- Walang Mysteryo
- So Be It
Effect Desired None
- Huling Yakap Ng Mundo
- Sa Ngalan Mo
- Effects Desired None
- Can I
- Spare Change Glitter
- Spolarium - Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music Of The Eraserheads
- Ewan - Kami nAPO muna
- Let It Snow - Close Up Season of Smiles
- Umagang Kay Ganda - Theme Song for ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" morning program
- Love is in my hair (OST for the CineMalaya Film entry PISAY)
- Show Me Your Smile - Kami nAPO muna ulit
- Taralets - Theme Song for Pitong Dalagita
- Blue Kiss (song) - Cover song (Promotional Purposes only)
Collaborations of Imago
- Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music Of The Eraserheads (Sony BMG Music Philippines, 2005)
- ROK ON! (Viva Records, 2005)
- Kami nAPO muna (Universal Records, 2006)
- Super! The Biggest Opm Hits Of The Year (Universal Records, 2006)
- Kami nAPO muna ulit (Universal Records, 2007)
- The OPM Love Album (Universal Records, 2008)
NU 107 Rock Awards
- 2001: Vocalist of the year- Aia de Leon
- 2001: Drummer of the year- Zach Lucero
- 2005: Rock Female Icon of the Year - Aia De Leon
- 2005: Music Video of the Year - "Akap"
- 2006: Bassist of the Year - Myrene Academia
- 2006: Favorite Indie Artist - Imago
- 2007: Favorite Artist - Imago
- 2008: Favorite Music Video "Sundo"
- ROCKIN' ON AT THE 2005 NU ROCK AWARDS
- Staying True
- Mata, Justin John, "Imago’s Effect Desired None!", stir.ph, retrieved October 6, 2010
- Sallan, Edwin P., "No singer, no problem: Imago to carry on after Aia de Leon’s exit", InterAksyon.com, retrieved July 18, 2013