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No singer, no problem: Imago to carry on after Aia de Leon’s exit

The cover of Imago's last album, 'Effect Desired None'. Aia de Leon is third from left.

As fans wondered what would happen to Imago after lead singer Aia De Leon announced her departure from the band, at least one of its remaining members is certain that their future is anything but uncertain.

Bassist Myrene Academia. (Photo by Kris Rocha)

“All three of us will continue with the band”, Imago bass player Myrene Academia told InterAksyon during the recent launch of “Fat, Salt and Flame”, the latest album of her other band, Sandwich.

Without elaborating, Academia added that getting a new vocalist to replace De Leon, who sang all the band’s big hits such as “Akap”, “Taralets”, “Sundo” and “Anino” is an option, although she also said that at the moment, the band has not yet announced plans for a new recording.

If Imago, whose members also include Tim Cacho on guitars and Zach Lucero on drums, does continue as Academia assured, it’s also possible that she herself could step in and front Imago from hereon. The latest album of Sandwich features Academia singing lead in at least one track.

In announcing De Leon’s departure from Imago, the band issued this statement at OPM online media channel Radio Republic:

“Aia has decided to pursue a career outside Imago. The band knows this is a point in her life where she has to explore different outlets for her artistry. We wish her only the best in her endeavors and although she is no longer our bandmate, she is and will always be our friend”.

Formed in 1999, Imago immediately established a solid following on the strength of their unique brand of alternative pop, punctuated by De Leon’s charismatic stage presence. De Leon, Lucero and Academia were all recognized by the now defunct NU107 Rock Awards for their individual musicianship while “Akap” was voted as Music Video of the Year at the peak of their popularity in 2007.

Imago’s last album was 2010’s “Effect Desired None” which had “Huling Yakap Ng Mundo”. Last year, the band’s record company, Universal Records, posted a video of the song, “Sa Ngalan Mo”.

The last tweet on their official Twitter account, @imagomusic, posted last March 26, days before De Leon’s departure, best sums up the band’s current status: “hiatus. abangan”.