MARIA Laroco went to London last year to audition for “The X Factor UK”. She sang Prince’s “Purple Rain” and she got a standing ovation not only from the audience but also from the judges Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Field and Robbie Williams. She started singing when she was 3 years old and had earlier joined “The Voice Kids” in 2014.
Born on Januay 30, 2001, she not only sings but also dances, acts and writes her own songs. She has joined many other amateur singing contests. She was a grand finalist in ‘The Will to Win’ of “Wowowin”. She then sent a video of her as audition to “X Factor UK” and was invited to go to London.
The problem is she didn’t have money for the plane fare. But it so happened the British Embassy in Manila conducted a singing contest in the “Great British Festival” held in Makati and she won as grand champion. Her prize was two tickets to London so she was able to go there and audition in person in “X Factor UK”. “It was very difficult as you have to undergo a series of four auditions,” she says. “Fortunately, I made it singing ‘Purple Rain’ and became a finalist in the Top 6.”
When the show was held live at the Judges’ House in Malibu, California, she missed her chance to perform live as she was not issued a US visa. She did get to perform via a video recording from a studio in London but sadly failed to make it.
“I was not given a visa because we applied for a visitor’s visa when it should have been a performer’s visa,” she says. “I think not being able to perform live really hurt my chances. It was heartbreaking for me not being able to go to California. What’s funny is that the song I sang then was ‘California Dreaming’. But I’m still thankful for being given the opportunity to sing in ‘The X Factor UK’. They told me to return and I will.”
Her journey continues as she now releases her first album with 10 original songs, “Just Maria”, under Odic Records, an international recording label. The carrier single is titled “Imagine”, a love song that a lot of millennials can relate with as it deals about the magic of love and its complexities. It’s now available at all digital music platforms like Spotify, Deezer, Spinner, iTunes, etc. You can follow Maria in her Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts at marialaroco. You can also email her at email@example.com.