After coming back from performing in The Outstanding Filipino American awards ceremonies (TOFA) in New York City where he also got an award, Darren Espanto admitted he is excited to see more of his fans from all over the world. “I performed in Carnegie hall. It was very exciting lalo ng makita ko yung mga Filipino sa ibang bansa na sumusuporta din sa akin. I was very happy and excited na naka-perform ako ng maayos kasi dun na nag-trigger yung sipon ko, lahat lahat na po, I was coughing and I had phlegm pero naka-perform ako ng maayos and I was just so happy. At saka yung mga Filipino na nakita ko very welcoming silang lahat,” he shared during The Voice Kids All-In concert presscon held last October 30 at Jollibee Ortigas.
During his recent performance, Darren said he was overwhelmed by the standing ovations he received after his two songs. “Hindi ko in-expect na tatayo sila at papalakpak ng ganun. Actually sa first year ng TOFA awards si Miss Lea Salonga ang kumanta tapos second year si Miss Charice and then si Miss Lani Misalucha sa third year and this year ako. Actually they were choosing between myself and sir Jed Madela pero dahil din sa schedule ni kuya Jed ako yung napili na mag-perform at sinuportahan din kasi nila ako sa The Voice Kids,” he shared.
The 13-year-old said he is excited for his group concert with The Voice Kids champion Lyca Gairanod and the five other finalists on December 6, 8 pm at the PICC Plenary Hall. “Excited na po kami kasi this is our first major concert together and we're hoping na suportahan nilang lahat,” he said.
Darren said his love for Disney movies helped hone his singing at an early age. “Nung bata pa ako, mahilig akong manuod ng mga Disney movies so sinusundan ko yung mga kanta ng mga Disney characters and my parents and my relatives discovered na nasusundan ko pala yung mga tono ng kanta so sabi nila baka in the future kaya kong kumanta and that eight years old I had my first public exposure. I was the front act for Aegis in 2009 in Calgary so dun ako parang nagsimula,” he added.
Apart from preparing for The Voice Kids All-In concert, Darren said he is also happy promoting The Voice Kids The Album which is now out in record stores under MCA Music. “Kinakabahan ako kasi hindi ko alam kung bibilhin ba ng tao pero sana suportahan nila ako. Yung schedule din kasi mahirap kasi lahat kami busy so yung recording we always had to find a way to record para ma-release in time ito. It's very exciting at naririnig na namin yung mga kanta namin sa radio for the first time so very proud po kami talaga at nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng tao na naging parte ng journey na ito sa amin. My favorite song in the album is actually ‘Domino’ from the deluxe edition of The Voice Kids kasi dun ako nakilala and yun yung blind audition song ko at yun din yung nickname ko na binigay ng mga supporters ko sa akin, yung ‘Mr. Domino’ po,” he explained.
Darren said he joined The Voice competiton so he could fulfill his dreams and see more of the country. “Gusto ko lang maranasan yung exposure dito sa Pilipinas kasi Canada ako lumaki at doon ako nagsimula kumanta so I wanted to go here for experience. At saka pinapanuod ko talaga yung The Voice since nung first main season so sabi o noon sana magkaroon ng kids edition na natupad so pinilit ko yung parents ko na lumipad kami papuntang Pilipinas. Nung umpisa medyo parang hindi pa matutupad kasi dadaan kami sa butas ng karayom. Pero natupad naman po and now I'm here. Sana tuloy tuloy ang blessings at pagtanggap ng tao sa akin at saka I wish to have a world tour in the future and gusto ko ma-establish muna yung pangalan ko bilang isang singer tapos pagkatapos gusto ko mag-try ng acting din po, sa theater siguro po,” he admitted.
Even though he is on his North American tour this month, Darren said his local fans don't have to wait too long to see him come back to the country. “Masaya ako dito sa Pilipinas kasi ito yung homeland ko talaga. Pinoy na Pinoy po ako. Masayang masaya ako dito sa Pilipinas at yung mg pagkain, yung mga tourist spots gusto ko pang mas ma-explore,” he said.
The Voice Kids The Album is available at record stores nationwide. It is also available for download on iTunes and streaming via Spotify, Deezer and Guvera. The Voice All-In The Concert will be held on December 6, 8 pm at the PICC Plenary Hall with special guests The Voice of the Philippines grand champion Mitoy Yonting and runner-up Klarisse De Guzman.