In Awe of The Marías

in Music by

“Maria approached the mic with such peace and grace. Her lovely aura resonated throughout the walls of the theatre.”
— José Calvo

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the throes of a wondrous new relationship or discovering new worlds on your own, The Marías’ “All I Really Want Is You” is the perfect song for just these moments. The sassy, R&B-pop single forms part of the band’s official first full-length album, Cinema.


The Marías’ wide repertoire of music is especially evident in Cinema as they present a modern merging of dreamy electronic pop and R&B, with a little tropical, a little jazz. The Marías have the perfect vibe for any occasion—in other words, hurray for Cinema. Its chosen title artfully effectuates in sound its meaning and mood.

Singer María Zardoya recently posted a photo from Florence and captioned it as being from the castle of her dreams and part of the song’s video which was directed by Bethany Vargas. (By the way, Bethany’s photos are striking.)

María, a Puerto Rican artist raised in Atlanta, grew up with a natural talent and ability for learning music. Her father taught her to play guitar but she later studied and composed music on her own, developing her own style.

After moving to L.A. with the winnings from a costume contest she met multi-instrumentalist Josh Conway, and soon they were dating and making music together.

In this video, The Marías play a cool compilation of songs, with a candid interview in between. I love being allowed a glimpse into an artist’s world, and the conversation in the video feels so natural, authentic.

The video includes the songs “Hush” and “Call You Back,” tracks that affirm the band’s range of sounds, vibrations, and emotions. There’s plenty of electronic pop and also doses of tropical rhythms, jazz, and rock.

When it comes to Cinema, there is quite a lot to decipher in this description:

“María Zardoya and multi-instrumentalist producer Josh Conway mined inspiration from such hyper-imaginative filmmakers as Pedro Almodóvar, achieving an untamed emotionality that acutely amplifies the most intimate of feelings. When met with the exquisite nuance of their sound—the lavish textures, shapeshifting percussion, lyrics sung in both English and Spanish—the result is a body of work that bends reality and heightens the senses to glorious effect.

“Co-produced by Conway and Zardoya and recorded in the couple’s L.A. apartment, Cinema embodies an eclectic aesthetic fitting for a band that cites influences as broad as Tom Waits and Bad Bunny. But while the album fully echoes their prismatic sensibilities—Zardoya gravitates toward R&B and Latin music, Conway leans toward rock-and-roll and psychedelia—each song spotlights the sophisticated musicality The Marías first brought to their 2016 breakthrough single ‘I Don’t Know You.’ “

We are just delighted that…

The Marías
and bold,
and sassy



We must also mention María’s appreciation for Pedro Almodovar. One of her favorite films by the director is Talk to Her, which is the name she also chose for one of her songs. In press material for Cinema, she explains:

“I grew up watching his movies and always wanted to be an Almodóvar girl because they’re all so strong and feisty. He’s been a huge inspiration for The Marías from the beginning, especially in terms of our visuals—I love his use of color and all the pops of red, and the very high level of detail he brings to every single frame.”


José Calvo writes from The Marías’ recent concert in Chicago, where they performed at the Vic Theater:

“On a chilly Friday night at Chicago’s Vic Theatre, The Marias performed in front of a sold-out crowd for their second show at the iconic music venue. The Cinema Tour is on the second half of its US dates. OGI and Evann Mcintosh opened the show warming up the crowd with their dreamy melodic music.

“The Marias appeared in a beautifully lit, cinematic-style stage setting and were received with a warm welcome from their fans. Maria approached the mic with such peace and grace, her lovely aura resonating throughout the walls of the theater.

“The band’s first song, ‘Just a Feeling,’ off of their latest album, Cinema, put the audience into a trance state of mind. Maria swayed in the middle of the stage locking eyes with everyone. Her engagement with her fans is more than just about music. She paused during their set to go check on a fan who seemed to be in distress. She asked if she was okay. Once she saw everything was fine, she resumed with the next song on the list.

And, their set felt as if it went by in the blink of an eye. 19 songs went by in a split second! They ended their encore with their hit song, ‘Cariño,’ off their album Super Clean Vol. II.”

The Marías’ tour continues through summer 2022.


Featured image: María Zardoya, lead singer of The Marías, performing at the Vic Theater in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, February 25, 2022 (José Calvo)

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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