“X Factor: UK” 2018 singer Maria Laroco was raised listening to the music of her parents.
She was bitten by the singing bug at 3 in her native Pangasinan. Even before she learned how to sing, she was already humming to the songs of Sarah Geronimo and Yeng Constantino. Years later, she would wow local and international audience in singing contests and shows.
The powerful belter counts Lea Salonga, Aretha Franklin and Liza Minelli as her influences. She is a fan of pop, jazz, and soul genres. In 2014, she joined “The Voice Kids: Philippines.” Four years after, she flew to foreign shores, capturing the discerning taste of “X Factor: UK” judges Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Williams, Robbie Williams and Simon Cowell.
Though her “X Factor: UK” journey hit a snag – she had a problem with her visa– the experience opened a lot of doors for her.
“Hindi ako nakapunta sa US sa Judge’s House because I applied for a Visitor’s Visa instead of a Performer’s Visa,” she related. “Ang ginawa ni Simon, he decided to keep me sa competition but I had to stay in London and use Skype.
“Kaso iba pa rin ang feels sa live. Still, I’m thankful sa opportunity,” she further said.
Maria, her parents and brother stayed in the UK for five months – all because of the goodness of the hearts of kababayans and some kind individuals who opened their hearts, homes and wallets to the family.
And Maria did not fail her benefactors. Under the mentorship of Simon, she was able to grow further as artist. Maria also received outstanding reviews for her performances in that international show, with her audition piece, “Purple Rain,” getting her a lot of notice.
Last year, Maria returned to the Philippines to continue what she started. As a recording artist, she already garnered different awards, such as Top Global Teen Performing Artist 2019, 2019 Kuala Lumpur Awardee, 2019 Asia’s Music Princess given by Global Music, and 2019 Excellence Award Pasadong Mang-aawit sa mga Kabataan. She also released her first album, “Just Maria.” In the latter part of 2019, she became the first solo artist of EMC Entertainment, Inc. She released “Pilit Pa Rin,” which can be streamed through various platforms such as iTunes and Spotify.
This month, the nineteen-year-old is set to stage her first dinner-show, “First Love,” on February 14 and 15 at Iago’s Restaurant in Tomas Morato. This will be directed by Mannix Baja under EMC Entertainment, Inc with Hanzel Villafuerte as media communications head.
“I will, of course, serenade the audience with love songs. Pero hindi lang ito pang lovers, anyone can watch at malay nyo dito nyo makita ang forever nyo,” said Maria.
For tickets, call (0926)678-9722, (0917)176-1369, (0936)698-2077 and look for Hyacinth or Michelle.