On Tuesday of last week, July 4, when Jollibee opened its milestone 1,000th branch in Taguig City’s BGC Triangle Drive, the occasion was graced by the stellar song performances of Morissette Amon and Darren Espanto, singing in duet for the large excited crowd the “Ang Sarap, Ang Saya Maging Pilipino” anthem of the great Filipino fast-food chain. This was but one of the latest public engagements of the Filipino-Canadian singing sensation, who has wowed squealing girls and impressed music critics for years with his unbelievable vocal range.
That voice has helped 16-year-old Darren become a favorite nominee and awardee in some of the country’s most prestigious music and entertainment awards, especially the MYX Music Awards. This year he did win Fave Artist and Fave Male Artist, while his song “7 Minutes” got two nominations for Fave Song and Music Video.
And Darren’s popularity isn’t confined in the Philippines either. One of the latest posts on his official Facebook page is a screenshot he has taken from the “Top 10 of Asia” web magazine of RHA Media Sdn Bhd. in Malaysia. Their feature on the “New Asian Singers Making Waves in the Music Industry”, dated June 2 this year, would have Filipinos bursting with pride at Darren Espanto being ranked first in that Top 10 listing. He (and fellow Filipino artist Jason Dy at Number 2) beat out crooners from our neighbors near and far like South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Mention was made of Darren being the youngest idol singer to perform solo at a sold-out event during his May 29 birthday concert at the Mall of Asia Arena.
During his early days of fame ad stardom, Darren has been guaranteed to wow audiences and listeners with his voice reaching to high registers. It has served him well when covering high-pitched hits like Rihanna’s “Only Girl (in the World)” during his time in Canadian YTV’s “The Next Star” back in 2012-13, or Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” at the semi-finals of ABS-CBN’s “The Voice Kids” in 2014. But as he transitions into the latter half of his teens, even Darren is well aware that adolescence will mature his vocals away from those sorts of big-belting tunes.
How he has coped with this eventuality is a sure mark of his singing abilities and star power. It was a simple matter for Darren to begin exploring other song genres that cater to his vocal evolution. The best example for this would be his upcoming cover of the hot Latino tune today, “Despacito” by Luis Fonse and Daddy Yankee (with a Justin Bieber remix). Just to hear Darren’s version is so awesome. You’ll be sure to hear it sometime on his performances in ABS-CBN’s “ASAP” in the coming Sundays.
Keep up with the latest happenings for Darren Espanto at his FB page (@Darren Espanto Authentic) and Instagram account (darrenespanto1).
Photo courtesy of Darren Espanto’s IG