Darren Espanto can now make the argument that he has more up his sleeves apart from being a singing idol. He also can write a hit song himself.
Darren’s composition “Pasko Na” hit the top spot on iTunes just one hour after its release last November 19. The track is the lead single to his Christmas-themed album D’s Christmas released by MCA Music Philippines.
“I’m not really used to being away from my family during the holidays so they were my inspiration in writing this song,” admitted Darren whose latest album is grandly packaged in colorful booklet form and specially numbered.
“Pasko Na,” a caressing pop ballad that warmly expresses his longing for a loved one, opens the album also containing a Jungee Marcelo composition called “Pasko Bawat Sandali” and his version of the classic Jimmy Borja piece “Sana Ngayong Pasko.”
Darren revealed, “I’d like to try writing more songs. When a melody comes in, I record it on my phone. The lyrics would follow po.”
He recalled “putting harmonies and taking some things out” during the recording of his own work, a process which he found enjoyable.
The 60-page booklet-album sleeve boasts of new photos of Darren in various styled outfits.
An industry insider even pointed out that “for Darren’s age, he can write well, although he is still feeling shy about it.”
ASEAN AMBASSADOR. The 16-year-old phenomenon discovered through ABS-CBN’s The Voice Kids was chosen as an ambassador in the recent ASEAN Summit held in the Philippines.
According to his handler, he was chosen by the Philippine government to appear in more or less five infomercials about ASEAN that aired on PTV-4.
Darren was eventually picked to sing at the globally influential event featuring world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The young singer narrated, “Yung experience ko po sa ASEAN was a lot of fun. It felt good to sing along with so many talented people. I am so happy that I was chosen as one of the singers that night.”
Darren fondly remembers that after the performance, President Rodrigo Duterte approached him and the other talents to greet them and pose for pictures with them.
TAKE ON TRUDEAU. The teenage pop star grew up in Canada and naturally he has something to say about the Canadian Prime Minster Trudeau who went viral with his fast-food visit and other publicity-grabbing acts.
He said, “Natuwa po ako sa kanya kasi as I know it’s just lately that Jollibee reached Canada. Kaya siguro gusto nya i-try going to an outlet here. Also, nakakatuwa po that he tried his best to mingle with the people he met on the street.”
In a way, the release of a Christmas album links back to Darren’s childhood years. He grew up singing Christmas carols at home.
He argued, “Since I was young I loved singing along to Christmas songs even if the holidays were still months away. Having my very own Christmas record is something I am truly grateful for.”
Truly humble by nature, he did not try caroling to neighbors because of fear that they wouldn’t like his voice.
The eight-track D’s Christmas also includes his rendition of Mariah Carey’s all too familiar tune “All I Want Is Christmas” and the standard piece “O Holy Night.”
Darren’s album can be downloaded and streamed via Spotify, Apple Music, and Spinnr.