“Panimula” is the debut solo album of Jason Fernandez after leaving the famous band, Rivermaya, where he was the frontman for five years. Years later, with his solo career not taking off as planned, he would join The Voice Philippines, to the surprise of one of the judges, Bamboo, former original vocalist of Rivermaya.
I can’t help but think of Jason Fernandez with nostalgia. I saw him doing his audition and getting in as one of the grand finalists for this search of the new lead vocalist of Rivermaya, a position vacated by Bamboo, then by Rico Blanco who both pursued solo careers. Jason was 17 years old then and he was, and still is, so full of talent. He’s gifted as a musician, he can compose, play guitar, play drums, and he got this amazing stage presence and powerful, unique voice. So unique that he is best when he does his own songs than sing other people’s songs or cover songs.
This is already an old album but it still deserves some special mention because of the nice musicality that “Panimula” has. And “nice musicality” is an understatement. And “Panimula” is FUN. And what struck me really was this musical precision of the band playing the music in the background for Jason, the band called Sta. Maria. Pucha, ang galing ng tugtog nila. They all looked young but they played like masters here in this album, complimenting Jason’s no holds-barred singing.