If you were somewhat active in the Metro Manila gig circuit back in, let’s say, 2017 to 2019, then, no doubt, you would’ve probably heard of a small band called Lola Amour.

If you caught them at one of their gigs back then, whether randomly or intentionally, they were pretty easy to spot and remember. They’re that one group with the catchy instrumentals, especially the brass section, and elongated intros. They’re that big band who performed some of the most memorable shows in Route 196’s small spaces. They’re the ones who flawlessly, no matter the audience, had gig-goers do that fun call-and-response with their earworm of a track “Pwede Ba”. Fast forward to now, undoubtedly, the band’s recent meteoric rise in the mainstream that started last year thanks to their viral track “Raining In Manila” has been a long-time coming, especially for a group that’s been around for already 8 years or so.

But even back then, before all the craze and support that led them to eventually dominate the charts and radio waves, it was fairly evident that Lola Amour – currently composed of frontman Pio Dumayas on vocals and guitar, Raymond King on bass, Zoe Gonzales on lead guitarst, David Yuhico on keys, Angelo Mesina on trumpet, Jeff Abueg on saxophone, Raffy Perez on drums, as well as trumpet/guitar/bass sessionist Manu Dumayas –inherently knew how to captivate audiences with their tasteful musicianship, relatable lyricism, and powerful stage presence – something they were able to flawlessly bring, now more refined than ever before, with their highly anticipated return to the Wanderland stage after 7 years or so for Wanderland 2024 last March 9-10.

Ahead of them officially “coming home” to Wanderland, Billboard Philippines caught up with the rising funk-pop group for a short conversation about their growth from being 2017’s Wanderband winners to one of 2024’s Wanderland main stage acts, the real meaning of their latest single “Namimiss Ko Na” (I Miss It), and more. Check out our conversation with them below.

From being a Wanderband to now getting your own set at the music festival, what does it feel like coming home to Wanderland once more?

Pio Dumayas: Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but from here [gestures to members of the band at the back and his left], the only original Wanderband members are me and Zoe. Raymond and… Raymond couldn’t join us today but Mesina is on the way as he just came from his hospital duty so aabot siya dito, mamaya pa [he’ll arrive here a bit later]. But… it’s weird. It’s a different feeling. We were just talking about it a few hours ago, me and Zoe, how, last time, we… we didn’t have any crew. Our soundcheck namin, we were just… we just plugged [in] our stuff, played a bit, and then… we didn’t know what we were doing [laughs] , basically, the whole time.

But now, we can really… we can really see how much we’ve grown from that.

Zoe Gonzales: Meh.

[The whole band laughs]

So, that’s really great to hear because it shows how far you guys have come in just a few years right?

Pio Dumayas: Mga [about] eight.

[The whole band laughs]


Photographed by Mayks Go

Bata pa rin kayo! [You guys are still young!] So, you guys just announced a new album as well and you have new single coming soon. What can your fans expect from that?

Pio Dumayas: This single is… paano ba ‘to [how do I say it]? It’s disco-themed, but in classic Lola Amour fashion.

It’s about something deeper. When you go to the lyrics, it’s about… akala mo it’s about [you’d think it’s about], like, landian [flirting] or anything like that but it’s actually about Raymond’s struggle with his lola‘s [grandmother’s] dementia [in] her last few years. Parang ganun [something like that]. So, I think… just like “Raining In Manila”, it’s supposed to sound happy but the theme is about… is a little deeper. So yeah, ganun siya [it’s like that] and we have a music video paired along with it and then, announce na rin namin yung exact date ng album ‘pag announce namin nung song [we’ll also announce the exact date of the album when we announce the song]… ‘pag release namin nung song [when we release the song].

Photographed by Mayks Go

How exciting! You guys have grown from being college friends to one of the most exciting names and bands in Filipino music. And after all these years – after eight years – what’s the best thing about being in Lola Amour for you guys?

Manu Dumayas: It’s alright.

[The whole band laughs]

Manu Dumayas: I guess one of the best things is being [able] to experience things you wouldn’t expect to be doing. I guess if I ask myself… 5 years or 8 years [gestures to Pio and Zoe] before where we are now today, I wouldn’t have imagined that we’d be playing stuff like this, playing Wanderland, playing [with] Coldplay, and international acts in Singapore. So yeah, it’s a good experience, you know? Especially since I’m still in college so it’s… it’s weird, you know?

[The whole band laughs]

David Yuhico: It was going so well. [laughs] That was a good answer! That was good!

Photographed by Mayks Go

Lola Amour is set to release their long-awaited self-titled debut album this April 10 and are celebrating with two launch shows, one in Manila and one in Cebu, this April 13 and 27, respectively. The April 13 show, set to happen at the Circuit Concert Grounds in Makati, will also serve as the official send-off for bassist Raymond King as he formally announced his departure from the band last March 27. Afterwards, Manu Dumayas will officially take the reins as the band’s bassist.

Listen to Lola Amour’s latest single “Namimiss Ko Na” below: