Okay sorry for the “click-baity” title, but you have to admit, Sabrina Marasigan’s nickname is quite a clever wordplay, and makes her easy to remember.
But once you hear her sing, you’ll quickly realize that Brina Mars is more than just a witty stagename.
This 22-year old Filipina-Canadian has what it takes to edge out the competition not only because of her determined and unflappable disposition but rather because of her talent that shines through in whatever she sings, whether she goes solo or with her band Skyfall.
This is one reason why the one and only Jay Durias of South Border has given her the go signal to cover one of their mega hits, Kahit Kailan and approved only her to cover it. She has even gone as far as studying the ins and outs of the music industry, business side and all, but found she was happier being onstage and performing.
Not many singers can claim they started out with a bang and Brina Marasigan is one of them. Having started out as a wedding singer, people will automatically think that she fits just one mold, sings with just one style and sings the same old songs about love, devotion and loyalty. But believe us, the girl is far from being one dimensional.
Determined to become a success in the music industry, Brina has always loved music learning the industry inside and out. She took music production courses in school to get to know the business side of things but quickly found out she was happier singing and performing onstage.
She also tried joining renowned professional singing competitions like Philpop and Himig Handog where her entries (including her single Till We’re Both Alright) came at respectable numbers. Even though they didn’t make it to the top lists, she never stopped forging on. If anything, these setbacks have only made her more determined than ever to make it to the top.
Listen to its soothing melody below:
However, something happened that made her take a side step from the path she was treading and almost made her quit singing for good – her parents’ separation.
For a time, she didn’t want to sing and didn’t even listen to songs she loved prior to the breakup. Her mom thought that a trip to the recording studio would bring her out of her depression and it was then that Paulo Zarate, owner of said recording studio (Studio Z) and one of Brina’s mentors requested her to make a demo. The singer inside of her took the chance to soar again and needless to say, she impressed Paulo so much that he again asked her to record, this time her first commercial jingle. This started her back on the road to recovery and eventually, she found her way back to her first love.
Listening to her sing, one wouldn’t think she was just relatively new to the business or that she didn’t begin singing professionally just a few years ago. She could easily belt out the notes with the best of them, whether singing solo or with her band Skyfall. So impressive is her singing that Jay Durias of South Border thought her deserving to cover one of the band’s mega hits, Kahit Kailan. Well-known for being very strictly selective about artists who want to do covers on the band’s hits, he did not only approve of her doing the cover, she was the only one he approved to do the cover.
Young she may be, but she is adept at singing any kind of genre you can throw at her. She can sing to any kind of audience, young or old, ably showing her true personality. This is the kind of singer she wants to be known as – someone who is true to herself and able to impress anyone who watches her. It also helps that she had seasoned musicians/producers like Paulo and Rox Puno (the late Rico J. Puno’s son) believe so much in her talent that they are willing to take her as far as she can go.
Pursuing her love for singing and at the same time, trying her hand at song writing did not come easy for Brina. Not being a natural songwriter was one challenge she had to overcome, so difficult it was for her that she found herself constantly trying to find the right melody, even if the lyrics poured out from her heart freely. She was reluctant to write for fear that the song would come out all wrong, but Paulo encouraged her by pushing her to write, not letting up until she came up with a finished product. Every time she visited the recording studio (which she also considered her second home), he would ask if she had a song ready to go and she would always hesitate.
But then no true effort that goes unrewarded and for her, it was in the form of her first original single Till We’re Both Alright. For her freshman effort, she opted to write about mending broken relationships, having gone through one with a friend and with what happened to her parents. She has even made it relatable enough to apply to romantic, filial and friendly relationships. It is a song she co-wrote it with her guitarist, Andrei Dionisio Jr, son of the late Andrei Dionisio Sr, songwriter and arranger extraordinaire behind some of OPM’s best-loved hits.
Aspiring to be like her idol Bruno Mars, as far as versatility goes, she also aims to conquer the world by being able to sing anything with her unique flair, just like the Grammy Award-winning Phil-Am singer. She wants to create songs that reach out to a significant and variable spectrum, adjusting to what her audience wants, but still being true to herself and what she wants. In fact, her closest friends gave her the moniker “Brina Mars” – says a lot about the direction she wants to take doesn’t it?
Hard it may be to please people, especially an audience that judges by physical appearance, Brina believes that music can conquer anything and anyone. When you love what you do and when you sing from the heart at every performance, Brina knows that she will find her audience one day – the crowd that sits quiet while they listen to her lovely voice weave magic on lyrics she wrote or that have been written just for her.
If you want to experience true talent at its best, you may want to watch out for Brina’s first album, for which she has already recorded six singles. Five of them were written by her and the other one is her Kahit Kailan cover. You may want to watch out as well, for her first single Till We’re Both Alright, a song she co-wrote with Andrei Dionisio Jr., son of the late Andrei Dionisio, a well-loved songwriter who is behind some of OPM’s greatest hits. Guaranteed to fly off the shelves when it comes out soon, you will love the extraordinary experience Brina will give you with this album that is chock full of songs accompanied by live band music.
For more of Brina Marasigan, you can catch her every Friday at the Nautilus Bar at the Prime Hotel in Quezon City.