We were invited to chat with Darren Espanto, the Canadian-Filipino singer and runner up in The Voice Kids, and Greyson Chance, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter, who told us about his new music and what he has been up to during his long break from the industry.
Interview with Darren Espanto
1. What was your first introduction to music growing up ?
I grew up listening to Disney songs, you know how they would sing in the movies? So while I would watch them I would sing along to the tunes, and at the age of 2 my parents said that I could carry a tune and that’s pretty much it. It later got further enhanced or developed when we had karaoke nights. I’ve never really done any formal voice training so my parents would tell me what to do and not.
- What would you say are the challenges you face being in the music industry at such a young age ?
I guess it’s having to stand out, because there are a lot of people in the show biz and music industry, also being known. Being young, it’s kinda hard because of all these schedules and you don’t know how to face them sometimes. But it’s just one of those things that you have to take day by day and stay chill and relaxed even if everything’s hectic.
- What motivates you as a musician ?
What motivates me would have to be the “Darrenatics”, the extended family, the supporters, my family and friends.
- What are your musical influences ?
Well, i’d say Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Whitney Houston.
- What is it like juggling school and work in general ?
Sometimes it’s kinda hard because you have to do a test and you have a schedule in the same day, but my school’s pretty flexible with it. If i have to do something they’ll change it to the next day or date when i’m available. I’m doing pretty well because I’m home schooled, but I go to the school for tutoring and for tests.
Interview with Greyson Chance
1. How’s it like being back in Asia?
It feels really great to be back here in Singapore. I was feeling a little nervous before because I wasn’t sure how everyone would react to the new EP (extended play) but it’s really good to be back and I’m excited to be here!
2. What were some of the inspirations and motivations behind this EP?
The inspiration behind it all was mainly what was going on in my life as an 18-year-old, mostly the day-to-day things that were going on in my life at the time and also, I moved out to LA permanently from Oklahoma, so there’s a lot of that too.
3. What were some of the biggest challenges and what kept you going?
I had confidence issues because I was really worried about what people were going to think. You know, I thought they’d go, “Oh it’s this kid again, trying to do this music thing again,” and also the fear of the old fans not liking it. So, I think just getting past that was very tough for me. But once I did it, everything kinda fit together nicely. I just knew that I needed to prove myself, there were no ifs and buts. Wow, I kind of really got emotional after all that. *laughs*
4. What are some of the most memorable moments of your career?
I think coming from Oklahoma, you know it’s a really rural area, so I would never have been able to travel to Singapore and all these places, and to experience so many different cultures. And also, having the opportunity to see how my music has impacted others. There’s this girl who came up to me yesterday, showing me her tattoo of the EP font and logo, and she said that my music really helped her a lot and she wouldn’t be here today without it. That was just heart wrenching, I didn’t know how to respond to that.
5. What advice would you give 12-year-old Greyson?
Um… Never pick up cigarettes.. They’re bad but fun but bad. *laughs* Also to just stay confident and be focused on the music and to let all of the other things fade out.