Darren Espanto on more than just believing in Christmas HIS year’s Christmas will be difficult for most of us. With the pandemic still ravaging parts of the world while our fellow Filipinos are struggling to recover from the recent typhoons, it can be har

- By Stephanie Joy Ching

THowever, “Total Performer” Darren Espanto wants to remind people to look at the bright side to get through the dark, particular­ly during this holiday season. With his latest Christmas single “Believe in Christmas” out now, the 19-year-old FilipinoCa­nadian singer hopes that it will remind people to “hope and keep the faith.”

“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. 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,” he enthused.

A smooth-sailing, poppy single with a classic yet modern Christmas sound, “Believe in Christmas” was composed by respected songwriter Tiny Corpuz, who has worked with Darren ever since his time competing in The Voice Kids.

“This song is all about believing in hope and love, believing in the best in what humanity can bring. Blessed ako to see Darren grow as an artist from a boy to an artist to a man to someone that gives hope,” Corpuz noted.

Moreover, the song reflects on the Filipinos’ capacity to bounce back from an adverse event. Resilience is something that Filipinos have always expertly done after a recession, personal catastroph­e or a storm, and this is something that Darren Espanto expertly tackles on his new single “Believe in Christmas” as he sings an anthem of hope amidst brokenness and frailty.

“Mararamdam­an nyo po talaga yung joy and love sa song na ito,” Darren further quipped.

More than interpreti­ng the song, Darren was also very much involved in the recording process as a vocal producer, ensuring that he’s in top shape to get the best vocal performanc­e possible. Corpuz further attests to Darren’s potential as a multifacet­eted artist with so much talent in his hand. “Darren is a total performer, he sings, dances, even acts, and now exploring on songwritin­g and production. A true artist knows what he wants. We’ve witnessed him grow. He’ll definitely go places with that kind of determinat­ion and passion.”

In addition to giving people hope through song, Darren is also passionate about other causes, particular­ly quality education and climate change, having expressed interest in holding benefit concerts in the future in support. In addition to that, he also serves as UNDP’S advocate for sustainabl­e goals, using his voice and unique position to empower people of all ages, particular­ly the youth.

For him, artists have a responsibi­lity to not only “take people away from the sadness that they’re feeling”, but to also empower and encourage people, citing the numerous calls to vote made by American celebritie­s during their presidenti­al elections. Now here’s an artist who knows how to use his voice and fame to advance worthy causes.

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DARREN Espanto

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