After her stunning rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain” at the widely held X Factor UK that moved judges Simon Cowell, singer Robbie Williams, Louis Tomlinson, and Sharon Osbourne to give her a standing ovation that also put her in Cowell’s Top 6, Maria Laroco is back in the Philippines.
She’s here to promote her first album titled Just Maria that Mark Kelle’s Odic Records based in Fort Mill, South Carolina is releasing worldwide, including the Philippines.
Maria is now 18, a full-grown teen ager with dreams to make a name in the worldwide arena of pop music.
Her story is as interesting as her stint with X Factor UK. The entertainment media got wind of her talent first when she joined the kiddie version of the American show The Voice in 2014. She may not have won, but she also clinched a recording deal with Universal Records for which she did her own version of “Beauty and the Beast” that was released nationwide. She also recorded a revival of Geneva Cruz’s “Hindi Ko Kaya” used in the Tagalog-dubbed Korean drama All About Mom aired on GMA 7.
The young singer who says that she started singing when she was only 3-years old, seems unstoppable joining even something as frivolous as “Will to Win” segment in Willie Revillame’s popular Wowowin, becoming a grand champion and little known singing competition in the Great British Festival in Makati.
Yet, Maria is proud to say that she represented the country in the Child Aid Asia concert in Tokyo.
Despite her impressive performance, her stint, though, in X Factor UK didn’t take her till the championship rounds after her live streaming performance for Cowell and his guests in his Malibu home. The judge wanted her to perform live for his guests but Maria failed to secure a visa for the US compelling for a performance at a London studio that was streamed to Simon an his guests. She sang “California Dreaming” and according to reports, again impressed Simon and his 50 celebrity guests including Paula Abdul who said, “It’s a whole different thing.”
Yet, the following day, Maria got the letdown from Simon, himself, who rang her from Malibu to say she didn’t make it to the next round.
Whether or not she’s going to make a comeback in X Factor UK depends a great deal on the show organizers. She said at the presscon last week that she hasn’t gotten a call yet from the show.
“Usually, you wait till they ring you and tell you when you should go for the live auditions. Because prior to that, you do on-line auditions too. And if they liked your initial audition, then you’d receive a call to tell you when and where to go next,” Maria explained.
Just now, she’s busy promoting Just Maria, the album she recorded for Odic. There are 10 original songs in it including “Imagine” that she said is the “carrier single” of the album. “It’s a love song that tackles the ‘Magic of Love’ that most teenagers feel. It is now available for streaming from music platforms like Sotify, Deezer, Spinner, ITunes among others.
There’s no doubt this young girl has the drive and persistence, qualities that a performer should have. The question now if she can connect to the market that she’s trying to penetrate so she could be a world-class pop performer.
We will have to see howJust Maria performs in the various charts.