X Factor Australia 2014 grand winner Marlisa Punzalan thanks Ronan Keating for believing in her

X Factor Australia 2014 grand winner Marlisa Punzalan remains profuse in her thanks to mentor Ronan Keating of the popular '90s boyband Boyzone. She says, “Ronan never stopped believing in me.” The Australian-born Pinay teenage singer also cites how Pinoy rock group Aegis inspired her when she gave her interpretation of Metallica's rock ballad, "Nothing Else Matters," which earned her a standing ovation in the show.


Nagkaroon ng series of Valentine shows dito sa Pilipinas ang teen Pinay-Australian winner ng 2014 The X Factor Australia na si Marlisa Punzalan.

Kelan lang ay nasa promotional leg naman siya ng kanyang debut album na ni-release sa Pilipinas ng Ivory Music & Video.

Ito pa lang ang ikalawang beses na nakarating sa Pilipinas ang Australian-born Pinay teen. Una’t huling bakasyon niya sa Pilipinas ay noong 2009 at sa kanilang kamag-anak sa Samal, Bataan siya tumira.

GRATEFUL TO RONAN. Sa panayam sa 15-year-old Fil-Aussie singer ng isang local news program, nagpapasalamat ito sa Irish singer/songwriter na si Ronan Keating dahil sa ginawang pag-mentor sa kanya.

Nakilala si Keating noong early ‘90s dahil sa Irish boyband na Boyzone at pinasikat niya ang hit song na “When You Say Nothing At All” na naging theme song ng pelikulang Notting Hill na pinagbidahan nina Julia Roberts at Hugh Grant.

“Ronan never stopped believing in me.

“He always boosted my confidence and supported me throughout the competition,” pagmamalaki pa ni Marlisa.

Hindi lang ang former Boyzone lead singer ang naging mentor ni Marlisa kundi pati na rin ang Grammy Award winner na si John Legend na naging guest mentor niya sa isang episode ng The X Factor Australia.

ALBUM. Isa sa naging premyo ni Marlisa sa kanyang pagkapanalo ay isang recording contract with Sony Music Australia.

Nilalaman ng kanyang self-titled album ay ang mga kantang inawit niya sa show na pinili ng kanyang mentor na si Keating.

Kabilang dito ang mga classic songs tulad ng “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Yesterday,” “All By Myself,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “Nothing Else Matters.”

Inamin ni Marlisa na hindi siya pamilyar sa mga songs na ito noong nasa competition pa siya dahil mga awitin ito na sumikat noong hindi pa siya ipinapanganak.

“I wasn’t familiar with some of those songs so I had to learn them.

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“I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get them right. I’m glad I did,” ngiti pa niya.

Pinakamahirap daw na pinaawit sa kanya ni Keating ay ang “Nothing Else Matters” ng Metallica.

Naniniwala si Keating na kaya ni Marlisa awitin ang rock ballad na ito kahit na alam niyang hindi ito pamilyar sa mga heavy metal songs. Pero ito nga ang nagbigay ng standing ovation kay Marlisa sa contest.

INSPIRED BY AEGIS. Naging inspirasyon raw ni Marlisa sa pag-awit ng rock ballad na iyon ay ang Pinoy pop-rock band na Aegis.

Paborito ni Marlisa ang bandang Aegis dahil sa husay ng kanilang vocal range.

“I was really impressed with them!

“They can hit all the high notes, it’s amazing!

“They’re such huge inspirations and it would be awesome if I can record their songs someday,” diin niya.

HIT SINGLE. Natuwa naman si Marlisa dahil naging hit sa Australia, New Zealand, Singapore at dito sa Pilipinas ang kanyang single na “Stand By You” na sinulat ng sikat na Australian songwriters and composers na si Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci.

Nag-debut raw at No. 2 ang kanyang single sa Australian charts behind Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and ahead of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

Kasalukuyang nagwu-workshop si Marlisa sa pagsulat ng mga songs under Jon Hume ng pop duo na Evermore.

“It feels really amazing.

“Thanks to my supporters, I’m so glad that I can share my music to the world.

“I’ve been doing some songwriting and I hope I can record my own songs for my next album,” panalangin niya.


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