The pandemic seems to have a way of transforming people to look and sound more mature than when you last met them less than a year ago, shortly before many parts of the country went under quarantine.
For instance, Darren Espanto appeared more serious and robust at the recent video conference for the launch of his new single “Believe in Christmas.”
A few months ago, the 19-year-old singer returned to Canada, where he was born, to live again with his nurse parents and a younger sister.
In 2014, he came to Manila and joined ABS-CBN’s singing competition The Voice Kids where he emerged first runner-up to champion Lyca Gairanod.
Darren first joined contests at age 10, winning in Edmonton, Canada. He went on to join YTV’s reality show The Next Star also in Canada. He made it to the top six, the youngest finalist in the show’s history.
Darren is also the youngest singer to perform in a solo concert at SM MoA Arena in 2014.
In 2015, he sang “Tell the World of His Love” during Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines. The Filipino-Canadian also performed in China in April 2019.
At the video conference, Darren said he has learned to record songs, edit them and do music videos.
He has also gotten to know his family better.
How he looks at Christmas is embodied in his new single.
“This year, there’s no other way to celebrate Christmas but to be grateful for the simple things that life has to offer amid trying, challenging times,” he said.
“More than ever, this gives us a chance to strengthen our faith and love for one another, and protect the family and loved ones whose lives matter more than anything else in this world.
“This Christmas is different from what we’ve been accustomed to, for sure, but I’m positive that we’ll emerge stronger, better individuals after this crisis unfolds. For as long as we have each other, no grueling situation can hold us down.”
“Believe in Christmas” was composed and produced by Tiny Corpuz for MCA Records. The single is now available on online platforms.