Lola Amour band unchanged by unexpected success

Lola Amour band unchanged by unexpected success

By: - Reporter
/ 12:20 AM April 19, 2024

Lola Amour


Lola Amour isn’t about chasing success. So, despite all their achievements and the attention they have been getting since dropping their chart-topping hit, “Raining in Manila,” the members of the pop-funk band don’t want to look too far ahead.

Yes, success can be sweet but there’s more music to create and work to be done.


“It’s cool at the start. But then you realize that you have to keep working and doing what you have to do. We don’t think that ‘Oh, we’re famous now!’ It gets busier; we now do things like press work. But [success] doesn’t change who you are,” lead vocalist Pio Dumayas said in an interview at the concert launch of the band’s debut album at the Circuit Events Grounds.


“We’re proud. But at the same time, things have stayed the same for us,” departing bassist Raymond King said for the band, which is also composed of Zoe Gonzales (lead guitar), Angelo Mesina and Manu Dumayas (trumpets), David Yuhico (keyboards), Raffy Perez (drums) and Jeff Abueg (saxophone).

Lola Amour was formed in 2013 as part of a merger between two rival school bands at De La Salle Zobel. Playing music started out as a hobby. It didn’t immediately occur to them that it could actually be a viable career path.

Fun pop

The band began playing prominent music festivals like Wanderland in 2016, and released its debut EP, “Don’t Look Back” the following year. While they have since scored hits like “Fallen” in 2021, it was “Raining in Manila”—cleverly released during the monsoon season last year—that brought them massive success.

So far, the song’s official releases on Spotify and YouTube have been collectively streamed more than 205 million times. It topped charts on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube Music. Their show in Rizal Park was attended by about 40,000 fans. It piqued the interest of international artists like the K-pop acts Enhypen and Bambam of GOT7.

And in what turned out to be one of the most unforgettable moments of their still-blossoming career, Lola Amour shared the stage and performed “Raining in Manila” with Coldplay during the Philippine stop of the iconic British band’s “Music of the Spheres” world tour.


“We were late to the party when it came to figuring out that we wanted to do this for a living … We never expected the success—we never chased it. So, we’re just really lucky to have all these things happening to us,” Pio said. With momentum on their side, the band recently released their nine-track self-titled debut album (Warner Music), which aims to showcase the band’s “musical and storytelling skills” wrapped in a “fun pop” package. Feeling of acceptance

Lola Amour

Lola Amour —FACEBOOK

“Our best songs are usually about facing the worst of times, but when you take out the lyrics, the music behind it sounds fun. I think that reflects the feeling of acceptance that we all want to feel on our worst days,” the band said in a statement.

Lola Amour refuses to box themselves in one genre. No two songs sound the same, they pointed out, and each song itself is a mix of various styles and sounds. But if there’s one thing that binds everything together, it’s the band’s signature use of horns, which makes the tracks undeniably theirs.

“All of the songs sound different. There’s disco, funk, ballads … something borderline rapping and gospel … a lot of experimental stuff. I don’t think we have a signature sound when it comes to genre, but there’s the familiar voice, how we used the horns and instrumentation. That’s how people realize that it’s Lola Amour [they’re hearing],” Raymond said.

David likened the album to an emotional roller-coaster ride. “When you listen to it as a whole, it will take you on a journey. It starts off with fun, high energy. It dips toward the end, but the emotions increase,” he said. Compared to their previous material, the songs on “Lola Amour,” Pio said, are thematically more mature, tackling topics like mental health. “We tackled mental health twice. There are love songs, but you get the sense that they’re more mature … that they’re really from life experiences,” Pio said.

“Part II: Bliss,” for instance, is about a school batchmate who took his life amid depression. “The topic seems out of character for us. But we were happy to write about it. It was one of the songs that we had to respect as much as we could. We already had it back in 2018,” Pio related.

Keep trying

“We did minimal alterations to the original version. We wanted to make sure that every little element conveyed what was happening to him,” he added.

Asked if they feel pressured to come up with a hit as big as “Raining in Manila,” Pio said each member feels differently about it. But as far as he’s concerned, all the band can do is to keep trying. “We need to write something else. I would like to think that this can’t be the peak,” Pio said.

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“This is our first song of this magnitude. It led us to Coldplay. I don’t think we will ever be able to do something like that again. But after a while, you just have to keep trying. If you keep thinking about it, or overthinking it, wala ka ring mapapala,” Pio said.

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