Each of them has conquered the Pinoy rock scene for decades. Imagining the three legendary voices of Lolita Carbon (Asin), Bayang Barrios and Cooky Chua (Color It Red) in one super trio is unheard of. Tres Marias is a band formed from their close friendship.
Now we can listen to them in their debut, self-titled album available in Fully Booked, Astro and other record bars. The three esteemed vocalists were able to talk about their album and personal journeys during their album launch at the Escolta Restaurant in The Peninsula Manila.
The album is a combination of solo performances and songs where their unique blend of voices can be heard. Classic OPM hits like "Bakit Ba Ganyan" interpreted by Lolita Carbon. Her signature husky, bluesy style gives new meaning to the popular love song. The Rey Valera hit "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo" is sung by the soulful Bayang Barrios. Bayang said it is her own love letter to the millions of kababayans who work abroad, the OFWs. The three blend their voices in "Sana," an original by Florante.
The song selections are from different eras and their favorite OPM artists. Even when they don’t come from the same genres their styles come together seamlessly. Bayang points out, “Nagko-compliment din sa audience. Si Cooky kasi mas na kikilala ng mga bata. Si Lolit ang music niya ay kilala ng lahat. Pero pag hindi nila kilala mukha. O kaya pag kumakanta na si Lolit, ‘yan na pala yan!’ Nag wa-wild na yung audience. Nagko-compliment. Akin naman world music. So iba rin yung audience ko. Mas kilala si Cooky sa mga kabataan. Kaya na dadala rin kami ni Lolit.”
Lolita Carbon came from an earlier era in the '70s and '80s when their music was not easily accepted. The Asin hits of "Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran," "Himig ng Pag-ibig," and "Balita" have strong messages for the environment and social justice. Their themes, however, were not commercially bankable especially in those early days, “Yung market ng Asin songs ay iba. Kung ikaw ay isang malaking kumpanya hinatid sa 'yo ang production ng Asin, pa isponsor kayo. At lalapit ang production ni Pops Fernandez hihingi ng sponsorship. I’m sure pagbibigyan mo yung Pops. Yun ang nakita ko.”
There are quite a few factors in the local music scene that frustrate them. Cooky Chua talks about how foreign artists succeed like K-Pop, “Kasi suportado sila ng gobyerno. Yung sensibility rin ng artist. Parating nating peg yung makakanta gay ni Mariah Carey mga ganoon. Parang doon ako minsa nafu-frustrate. Bakit yung mga gauge natin. Masyado tayong nagka-copy or ang magi-switch tayo sa labas.”
The Tres Marias will conduct the soft launch of their album at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe this Saturday, March 8. Their guests include Gary Granada, Noel Cabangon and Mike Villegas.