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Tanya Markova is an 8-member Filipino rock band from Manila. Recognized for putting on makeup and wearing costumes while performing, the band makes melodic songs with lyrics focused on mixing everyday situations with pop culture references, “childish ramblings,” local folklore and taboo subjects.
The band has a fan base all across the country, thanks to the good-humored characteristics of their songs, onstage personas, and entertaining live performances. After their first full-length release in 2010, Tanya Markova’s singles topped radio and TV charts, with their songs and music videos consistently getting airtime.
The band was formed in 2004 by vocalists Harlon Agsaoay (Norma Love) and Angelo del Pilar (Iwa Motors), with the idea to combine soft rock melodies and sarcastic lyricism. During the band’s early years, Normal Love and Iwa Motors composed comedic songs with titles that did not make sense for satirical purposes. Because of the band’s comical concept and niche, it took them a couple of months to find like-minded musicians who agreed to play under their vision. Two years later, Tanya Markova finally formed a line-up comprising of 8 members.
The name of the band is influenced by Filipino film and television, which is also a strong characteristic of their compositions. The band borrowed the first name of TV actress Tanya Garcia and the last name of Markova, Dolphy’s famous gay character from the movie of the same name. Furthermore, it is also said that the anagram for Tanya Markova is “Natay Karovam,” an Ilokano phrase meaning “Dead Neighbor,” which explains the ghoulish factor of their songs.
While not belonging to a specific style or genre of sound, the band tagged their music as “shock pop,” “happy goth,” “dark novelty,” and “baroque pop.” Bordering on the humorous side, Tanya Markova’s sound has a mass appeal that makes their music relatable.
Their songs are melodic, often carrying guitar and drum arrangements that are easy to pick up and remember. All throughout their discography, Tanya Markova has remained true to their black and white lyricism, often touching familiar Filipino phrases, expressions and beliefs.
The band toyed on ghoulish subjects in their first album, 2010’s Tanya Markova to establish their strange, playful characters. The band mentioned monsters, vampires, and even a song titled after Linda Blair, a nod to the iconic actress from the 70’s who played the possessed child, Regan, in The Exorcist. The single “Picture Picture” gave the band nationwide acclaim, topping charts in both radio and music television channels.
2012’s Tanya Markova Shock Pop Edition and 2016’s Mister Tililing EP, show a more matured approach to songwriting. Most of the songs touched romantic subjects and themes.
On their Facebook page, the band lists down an assorted set of influences, citing Cradle of Filth, Weezer, Nightwish, Club 8, Broken Social Scene, The Flaming Lips, Ash, The Cure, Beach Boys, and acclaimed rap crew Bone Thugs and Harmony. The diversity can be heard in the band’s sound, with atmospheres ranging from indie to hard rock. Oftentimes, the band injects elements of new wave and hair metal into their signature experimental pop style.
One of the band’s main influences is the band Marilyn Manson, and it shows with their use of pseudonyms inspired by famous actresses and grim references.
The band was signed under MCA records in 2010 to 2014, and became independent from 2014 to 2016. Recently, the band signed under Tower of Doom Music, and is currently recording new material for an upcoming album. The new album is set for a release during the third quarter of 2018, with all new band merch to be distributed by the DoomShop.
Other Related Information
During their time as a signed band under MCA Records in 2010, the band felt that they were signed by the label as a form of “experiment,” being the only band who released a full length album with all-Filipino songs. “As far as we know, we’re the only local band signed under them whose entire album is in Filipino,” said keyboardist Jasper Bordajo (aka Heart Abunda), in a post by Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2010. Tanya Markova were signed alongside the likes of Franco, Urbandub, Pedicab, Chicosci, and The Dawn.
Vocalist Harlon Agsaoay (Norma Love) revealed that the 22 tracks of their first album, Tanya Markova, are related and tell a continuous story. “Our songs are very graphic. If you listen to the whole album, you’ll notice that the songs are connected, that the album has a story,” said Agsaoay in a post by Philippine Daly Inquirer in 2010.
Aside from hundreds of thousands of fans all over the country, Tanya Markova has managed to get the attention of celebrities as well. MYX Philippines reported that recording artists Ogie Alcasid and Yeng Constantino, actor Raymond Gutierrez, and Parokya Ni Edgar vocalist, Chito Miranda are big fans of the band.
Tanya Markova Album and Songlist Discography
Tanya Markova (2010)
1. Radio Inferno Intro
4. Picture Picture
5. Mag Exercise Tayo
6. Linda Blair
8. Hoy! Bampira Ako! (Takot ka na?)
9. Bye Bye Mosquito
10. Sentimental Value
13. Reunion of Soul
14. P.A. Roadie Fernandez
15. Monster Mommy
16. (A) Ninong
17. Disney Reprise
18. Psst Psst
19. Riot sa LRT
20. Radio Inferno Sign Off
21. Linda Blair (Clean Version)
Mister Tililing EP (2016)
1. Bermuda Love Triangle
3. High End
6. E.O.W. (End Of the World)
Tanya Markova Shock Pop Edition (2012)
1. Grand Finals Destination
2. Da Facebook Song (Ang Ganda Ganda Mo)
3. Beats Birit
4. Picture Picture (Sonic Remix)
5. Picture Picture (Club Remix)
6. Picture Picture (Swabe Remix)
7. Under De Table
8. Picture Picture (Acoustic Version)
9. Jacuzzi (Acoustic Version)
10. Da Facebook Song (Acoustic Version)
Other Releases / Compilation Albums:
This section is still under construction. Check back again soon!
Tanya Markova Members
After 2 years of trying to complete the roster, Tanya Markova had its first official line-up in 2006 led by vocalists Harlon Agsaoay (Norma Love), and Angelo del Pilar (Iwa Motors). The rest of the band was comprised of keyboardist Jasper Bordajo (Heart Abunda), guitarist EJ Guevarra (Jennylyn Sucaldito), guitarist Florante Sabas (Rez Curtis), drummer Edu Broce (Ruffa Mae Milby), bassist Francis Chavez (Skrobak Iskopanjo), and Philip Alejandro (Mowmow).
Two months later, original guitarist EJ Guevarra (Jennylyn Sucaldito) returned to Manila to play for the band again. Jennylyn Sucaldito left the band for personal and work purposes and moved back to Bacolod after a few demos during the band’s early years.
While established in Manila, members of Tanya Markova hail from different parts of the country: Bacolod, San Carlos City, Leyte, and Isabela.
Death of Guitarist, Sugar K
In September 2009, the Tanya Markova experienced a tragedy with the death of guitarist Jollybee “JB” Barbajo (Sugar K). Sugar K was the band’s original drummer, but only switched to playing the guitar when Ruffa Mae Milby decided to join the band. This sudden loss prompted a hiatus so they could individually deal with emotional hardships. It was also a time for the band to plan the kind of direction they wanted to take thereon.
Norma Love – Lead Vocals
Iwa Motors – Co-lead vocals, guitars, cowbells
Isabel Olé – Lead Guitar
Rez Curtis – Lead and rhythm guitar
Skrovak Iskapanjo – Bass guitar
Robot Jaworksi (aka Android E) – Keyboards, synthesizer
Levy Poe – Drums
Mowmow – Backing vocals, tambourine, percussion
Rufa Mae Milby – Drums
Sam Quinto – Drums
Heart Abunda – Keyboards, Synthesizer
Jennylyn Sucaldito – Lead guitar
Sugar K (deceased) – Lead guitar
Tanya Markova Music Videos and Other Media
The band shot the music video for “Disney” in 3 days, dressed up in Disney characters for its stop motion treatment. Directors Odin Fernandez and King Palisoc praised the band for being professionals throughout the arduous filming. "It’s not easy to be manipulated. To have the patience to lie down for say, five hours, is amazing. Masarap katrabaho yung grupo," said Fernandez, in a post by Pep.ph.
Live Performance Videos (Playlist)
Official Music Videos (Playlist)
Official Lyric Videos & Other Content (Playlist)
Tanya Markova Awards And Recognition
PMPC Star Awards for Music (2012)
Nominated: Male Rock Artist of the Year
Nominated: Music Video of the Year
Awit Awards (2011)
Nominated: Best Performance by a Group of Recording Artists (Picture Picture)
Nominated: Best Performance by a New Group of Recording Artists (Picture Picture)
Nominated: Music Video of the Year (Disney)
NU Rock Awards (2010)
Won: Best New Artist
Won: Best Music Video - "Disney"
Won: Best Live Act
Nominated: Artist of the Year
Nominated: Album of the Year - "Tanya Markova"
Nominated: Guitarist of the Year - EJ Guevarra, Florante Sabas
Nominated: Song of the Year - "Picture Picture"
Myx Music Awards (2011)
Won: Favorite New Artist
Nominated: Favorite Music Video - "Disney"
Nominated: Favorite Song - "Disney"
Nominated: Favorite MYX Live Performance
DWRX Monster Radio RX 93.1 (2010)
Won: OPM Band of the Year
Won: New Artist of the Year