Calgary-based neo-soul songwriter Zacarias is sharing his new single, “Why Did You?” a moody ballad about trying to put the pieces of a broken relationship back together.
Unafraid to show his vulnerability on his sleeves, Zacarias’ downtrodden refrains and the track’s meditative pace work like the slow, circling thoughts of heartbreak.
Over the past year, he’s quietly released 18 singles on SoundCloud, culminating in two separate releases: 2019 debut LP, Manilaman, and 2020 EP, ISO, another collection of easy-on-the-ears, head-bobbing slow jams.
Look for a string of new singles from Zacarias throughout 2020. But first, check out his latest tune, “Why Did You?” and find out more about Zacarias in our Five Questions segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Zacarias and I am a singer-songwriter and producer from Calgary, Alberta. I believe in love and its power for good. I make music and write songs that spread this message as well as tell my story. My musical journey began as a kid in Manila, Philippines. I played piano and danced at local community variety shows and school talent shows. I remember my mother would play Michael Jackson cassettes and I would dance and dance and dance. Shortly after, we moved to Canada and then I started to learn how to write, compose, produce, and perform original material.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
I make music with a mellow, soulful, hopeful, and smooth energy. I want people to feel emotions from this energy as they listen to my music and unveil the story in my songs. Whenever I am feeling particularly inspired by something, I usually see things as movie scenes. I write how I feel about what I see and unravel a story from somewhere in the ether. I grab my phone and record the melody right away, and it doesn’t really matter where I am. If I forget the idea, then it’s too late. I have a similar process when composing and producing, except I am creating the “background” layers of a movie instead of the movement of the characters I would see. Kind of like filling in an almost blank canvas. At the same time, I’m also dabbling with my guitar, piano, bass, synths, drum pads, and workstation. Then once I have something concrete, I leave it for a bit and come back to finish the record at a later time. That’s kind of how I work.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
Due to the current restrictions around COVID-19, there is nothing I can announce. I’m also a new father, so staying close to home has been a blessing. When the time is right, I’m eager to perform some of my new material live. The past year has been very productive, creatively speaking. My live shows are soulful and intimate. I strive to make personal connections with my audience.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
Check out “Manilaman.” It’s the title track of my debut 2019 album and tells you about who I am.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
Daniel Caesar. I love his approach. Dark and soulful. Wonderful musicality. His vocals take you on a journey.
I discovered Joni Mitchell later in my life, so to me she feels relatively new. I listen to The Hissing of Summer Lawns as study material. She’s a true fusionist and an incredible artist.
David Foster turned out to be the songwriter and producer of more than half of the records my parents exposed me to. I take much inspiration from his work. He’s definitely an all-time and current favourite.
Charlotte Day Wilson is one I just discovered last year. I love listening to her!
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.