The much-anticipated solo concert of Jim Paredes in Sydney this Friday will showcase hits from his APO Hiking Society days and songs from his latest album, Laro.

A year after APO Hiking Society split in 2010, member Jim Paredes released a solo album that allowed him to experiment with his music. While he still worked with the same pianist and arranger, Ernie Baladjay, who he worked with during his APO days, Paredes said that this time around, their attitude in making the album was different.


Laro by Jim Paredes

Laro by Jim Paredes

Laro by Jim Paredes



"We made sure we were not paying attention to what was currently popular. We did not even ask ourselves what was selling these days. We did not want to be straitjacketed into conformity by bringing in the “Is it commercial?” question that can turn a decent piece of work into something awfully compromised. We had no crowd in mind to play to. We just wanted to play, doing music that we enjoyed and liked," he wrote in his blog.

The result, as he described it, is a "motley collection of songs with different themes", composed during various stages of his career (some were composed back in the 1980s).

"My purpose with this album is to bring forth into the world my creative offspring. Like real kids, some are modern and hip, some are old-fashioned, some like to experiment, some are moody and some are the cuddly types who enjoy making me feel good and mushy. Whatever, however they are, they pointed the way to how best they should be treated."

Longtime fans get to hear Paredes rap in one of the songs, something he hasn't done in the past.

"In all my years of recording, I have always wanted to rap, and I did on “Laro.” I thought it would establish the fact that this is laro and I am 'playing'."

But even when he's on play mode, he still manages to blaze a new trail in the industry as some of the album's songs tackle topics and themes that he believes remains unchartered in Original Pilipino Music (OPM), like infidelity, lust and duplicity.

Ultimately, concertgoers this weekend will see him on stage in a rare occasion where music is all about creativity and not commerciality.

"'Laro' is my gift primarily to myself. I have worked really hard all these years to please audiences through and with APO. I wanted to do something to surprise and delight myself."

Watch him on October 4 (Friday) at the Entertainment Dome, Burwood RSL. Tickets $45-$65 and can be booked online

Quotes in this article originally appeared in Jim Paredes' blog and published by The Philippine Star. 


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