Darren Espanto (Darren Lyndon Gonzales Espanto) is a young Filipino-Canadian singer from Canada who came back to the Philippines to chase his dream, a dream he never thought would come true!
Born on May 24, 2001 in Calgary, Alberta Canada to parents Lyndon and Marinel Espanto, Darren was raised through Filipino values and teachings. Even the Filipino language is something that he and his sister, Lynelle, are very well versed of. A great standard that Filipino families abroad should imitate.
Since music and performing runs through their blood, Darren’s innate talent in singing was discovered at the age of 2. He would follow the tunes of Disney songs from the movies Lion King and Sleeping Beauty. His father, who also sings, would teach him lessons and tips, which he thought have helped him a lot. His mom, on the other hand, who was a choreographer back in her high school days, taught him to spice up his performances with charming dance moves.
Darren admitted that he was formerly shy. He would only sing with his family in karaoke, which in turn had helped hone his talent. He first sang in public during a Talent Show in his school when he was in fourth grade.
Reaching his dreams wasn’t a walk in the park for this chinito-looking belter and his family. He had been through a couple of competitions which brought him to where he is right now.
He joined the Pinoy Singing Sensation Season 3 in Edmonton on August 2011 and emerged as the grand champion. The songs such as To Love You More, A Moment Like This, Ikaw Ang Pangarap, One Moment In Time, and Listen made him seize the title.
He’s also among the stop 6 finalists of YTV’s The Next Star Season 5 in 2012. He blew away the judges with his rendition of Bruno Mar’s “Grenade” during the auditions and earned him a “Golden Ticket.” He made his way to the competition with his own versions of the songs Only Girl in the World, Give your Heart a Break, Payphone, Domino, and Give a Little Extra. Despite not winning the crown, Darren was offered by Corus Entertainment in partnership with Sony Music to record his first cover single Shake your Body by Jackson 5.
He was also given a break in television as a guest star in YTV’s series “Life with Boys” in their 2nd season, 16th episode. Directed by Steve Wright, it was aired on August 13, 2013 entitled “So You Think Your Family Can Dance with Boys.”
Darren’s strength of character brought him to ABS-CBN’s The Voice Kids Philippines audition. He captured the discerning ears of Coaches Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo Manalac. The smart and first-rate performance of Jessie J’s “Domino” easily caught the audience attention. His audition was a trending topic and its youtube video reached a million views in no time. With that one song his fanbase was created, the DARRENatics.
He survived the 13-week long competition by giving out his best in all his performances. He was undoubtedly “Phenomenal” as what Coach Lea Salonga commented in one of the episodes. His powerful vocal range was revealed when he gave justice to the songs What Makes You Beautiful, Listen, One Moment in Time, Ngayon, Somebody to Love, and You Are my Song. Darren was proclaimed as a Runner-up after the text and online votes were tallied.
Instead of being upset by the turn out of events, Darren was still very grateful for his loyal fans’ support. His avid followers asked of him not to leave the Philippines and venture his career in the country. Since then, he became a daily trend in the Twitter world. The DARRENatics grew in number from hundreds to thousands. Celebrities in the big industry such as Kris Aquino and Jed Madela had also joined the circle. Countless invitations sprouted from TV guesting, to mall shows, to concerts – he is indeed one busy and in-demand talent now.
Besides his unquestionable talent, Darren had also earned the respect of his fans through his amiable personality. People love him because he is respectful, kind-hearted, mannerly, humble, and very appreciative. Many would say that he is an ideal son, a perfect brother, and the best role model for the youth. Everything you want your young man to be is rolled into one Total Performer, Darren Espanto!