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Kapamilya Spotlight: The stellar music journey of Darren Espanto

As a former trainee himself and with so many amazing milestones and growth as an artist, Asia’s Pop Heartthrob Darren Espanto pays it forward by helping other aspirants as one of the mentors in Dream Maker, the country’s first idol survival search.

In the talent show, which is a collaboration between ABS-CBN, Kamp Korea, and MLD Entertainment, the aspirants will go through rigorous training with the help of mentors, in the hopes of making it to the final group that will debut in Korea.  

Achieving dreams in the music industry involves intense work, discipline, and talent, challenging yet worth it, and with how Darren has been living his pop star life so far, we see how this all comes into play. As he takes part in the huge responsibility of shaping the “dream chasers” into becoming the next global pop group, let’s take a look back on his incredibly impressive and inspiring music journey via this edition of Kapamilya Spotlight.

The Next Star

Darren started young in the music scene. He was 10 (the youngest contender) when he joined the 5th season of “The Next Star,” a Canadian TV talent show where he belted out Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” during the audition and finished in the Top 6. Not only did he impress with his mind-blowing talent but he also earned the judges’ respect for his positive attitude, which is an essential factor for a star.

The Voice Kids Philippines   

But the biggest game-changer in his budding career came in the form of a two-chair turn audition in The Voice Kids Philippines. His rendition of Jessie J’s mega-hit “Domino” was an easy sell to Bamboo Mañalac and his eventual coach Sarah Geronimo. He would finish as the second placer and make it to Lea Salonga’s “top three unforgettable voices on The Voice of the Philippines.”

ASAP Natin ‘To

Darren was absorbed by the country’s longest-running concert TV show where he has made it clear that his talent knows no bound. He brings his A-game on the ASAP stage whether it's a ballad, pop, or a rock performance, and in his collaborations with the biggest names in OPM. From being Sarah’s protégé, he became one of her constant co-performers on the show. 

He has found a home on the ASAP stage where he evolved not just as a singer but a total performer, gifting spectators with stellar, ‘hataw’ performances each time.

The Hows Of Us

Darren’s journey involves a lot of possibilities and moving out of his comfort zone. From a recording artist and concert performer, he ventured into acting by starring in the record-breaking 2018 movie “The Hows Of Us” with no less than Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.    

Lyric and Beat

Following the height of the pandemic, apart from a homecoming concert and performances on ASAP Natin ‘To, he also starred in the musical series “Lyric and Beat” where he showcased again his strengths as a total performer.

A lot has changed about Darren since making a storm in The Voice Kids and these changes, physically and artistically, are nothing but good things. Amid the pandemic, he surprised us by reinventing himself as a full-grown, more daring young man carrying the moniker “Asia’s Pop Heartthrob” as a step in conquering the global music scene.

The The Voice Kids alumnus now shines more than ever and is geared up for the next chapter in his career, this time, sharing his musical genius gleaned through the years to other dreamers.

Catch Darren as one of the Pinoy mentors in Dream Maker alongside Angeline Quinto and Bailey May, together with an international panel of Korean mentors and trainers.

Dream Maker, hosted by Kim Chiu and Ryan Bang,  airs Saturdays and Sundays starting November 19 and 20 on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.