Spotlight on Darren Espanto


Darren Espanto has definitely taken the industry by storm, two years after being named as The Voice Kids season 1s runner-up. But the fact of the matter is the Total Performer did not have it easy. This weekend, we would retrace how a shy, teen singer from Canada charmed legions in the Philippinesand all over the worldone performance at a time.

Before all these success and stardom, Filipino-Canadian Darren Espanto was every inch a normal child. Born to Filipino parents Lyndon and Marinel Espanto, Darren’s parents were nurses who migrated to Canada but were originally from Nueva Vizcaya.

What has set then young Darren apart from the rest was his exceptional singing voice, which brought him to places in Canada. With pure talent and a huge amount of support from his parents as his ammunition, Darren conquered one singing competition after the other. There was the Pinoy Singing Sensation and YTV’s The Next Star competition, among others.

Though he did not have any formal singing training, Darren says his stint at The Next Star helped a lot in terms of vocalization and caring for his voice.

As his performances gained popularity and his singing skills improved, so as Darren’s name. Eventually, Darren was invited to perform as front act for various stars that performed in Canada such as Aegis and Bamboo. | @darrenespanto1

As if he was really born to sing, Darren could already carry a tune as young as 2-years-old, according to his Daddy Lyndon. Among the first songs he sang were Disney tunes such as the ones from The Lion King and Sleeping Beauty, which he was able to watch when he was a lot younger.

Although his nurse parents were not professional singers, they were nevertheless big fans of the karaoke, which is probably where Darren got his inclination for music.

But, Daddy Lyndon accounts that whatever passion his son has for music and singing nowaways were not really inherent to him. In fact, he had a big role why Darren eventually came to embrace his singing talent. | @darrenespanto1

Fast forward to a few years later, in 2014 to be exact, a shy 12-year-old took The Voice Kids season 1 stage with his booming version of Jessie J’s Domino.

His performance caught the ears of coaches Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo. Although he has performed as a front act of the latter, he eventually chose to be part of the former’s team because “she could help him in the industry.” His performance of the late diva Whitney Houston’s One Moment in Time helped him advance to the finals where he went head-to-head with his co-Team Sarah member Lyca Gairanod.

His final songs included Basil Valdez’s Ngayon and Martin Nievera’s You Are My Song, which he even performed while playing the piano. However, he unfortunately finished as a runner-up to Lyca. And the rest, as they say was history. | @darrenespanto1

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