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Looking back with gratitude as he blazes ahead

May 26 ------ Many artists today under the age of 25 can claim to have 10 years of experience in show business. Darren Espanto, who now goes by the mononym Darren, is one of the rare ones whose career has not stopped since he first appeared on "The Voice Kids." "I feel like it's been such a long time since The Voice Kids but at the same time, it feels like it's been such a quick journey as well. But when I look back on everything I've done, I would say to myself, 'A lot has happened in my life and career.' I'm just very grateful for the past 10 years," Darren said. 


Darren was only 12 when he joined the competition, but it gave him opportunities to grow personally and professionally, paving the way for him to fulfill his dreams of being a performer. "When I was 12, my only dream was to join the The Voice's blind auditions and then join [variety show] 'Asap Natin 'To.' I'm glad I'm able to achieve them. "Later on, my bucket list also included staging my major solo concert, releasing albums and singles, and being part of acting projects. I'm glad they are happening now and there's nothing wrong with wanting more," he shared. 


Darren made the statement as he prepares for his star-studded 10th anniversary celebration in "D10" concert happening on June 1 (Saturday) at the Araneta Coliseum. 


Joining him in this milestone are some of the amazing talents who have been part of Darren's journey as a singer, including Erik Santos, Gary Valenciano, Lyca Gairanod, Ogie Alcasid, Sarah Geronimo and Vice Ganda. "There's a lot of surprises in the concert, from production to stage design, and of course, the guests — I'm very excited to share the day with everyone." 


Darren, however, admitted that despite the preparations and the many performances he has given onstage over the past 10 years, he still feels nervous about having his first major solo concert. "I combat that fear and nervousness by enjoying the experience, being present in every process. Right now, I'm excited because we've created this lineup and prepared months ago. I'm lucky to have the venue available on June 1 because that's the exact day of my showbiz anniversary." 


Two weeks before the concert, Darren also released the music video for his latest single "Hanggang Kailan" which features his "Can't Buy Me Love" co-star Belle Mariano. "It's a different kind of beat, because usually the songs I write are pop, ballads with belting. This one's a lot more laid back. It's more on the storytelling, being in the moment and asking the universe until when are you going to wait for the right person?" Looking ahead, Darren said his next big dream is to release music internationally. "I think about what else do I have to offer to those who continuously support me. It's all about reinventing yourself at the end of the day. I want to be on the global stage, too, and hopefully that happens soon." 


In ending, Darren said that if there's one lesson the past 10 years have taught him, it's this: one doesn't need to be a winner to feel like a winner. "I didn't win but a lot has happened in my career and my personal life, many of which I never expected to happen. So my message is don't give up as there's always going be a door that'll open for you. It might not be now but, when the time comes, as long as you are willing to take risks and improve, it's going happen." 




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