By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(©) 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) — Upstarts who usually discover their talents in their homelands will do everything just to get to Hollywood.
For nineteen-year-old up-and-coming singer Joseph Santos, a native of San Diego, California, who won an amateur singing contest in Los Angeles, he wants to refine his singing voice in the native land of his parents in the Philippines before he returns to Hollywood.
If he succeeds with his plans to launch a singing career in the Philippines, Joseph Santos is like many Filipino students, who will do whatever it takes to train (study) in the United States and make a living in the U.S. for a long time.
In what could be a reverse “talent drain,” Joseph Santos (real name, Joseph Santos Kabiling) wants to bring his singing talent to the Filipino people. He is now embracing the Filipino culture, including learning the Filipino language.
In an email message to this reporter, Joseph said, “I never spoke Tagalog in San Diego. Since my arrival here in the Philippines last year, I’ve just been learning by myself through talking to my friends in Tagalog.”
Just like other singers ahead of him, Joseph started singing as a hobby while he was completing his high school education in San Diego.
He noticed that “out of all my siblings, I’d say my brother has a pretty decent voice. I actually grew up jamming with him as he would play the guitar. We would always find ourselves singing our favorite songs together.”
My family loves having videoke/karaoke sessions, however, they all focused on their school and kept singing as a hobby.
TAWAG NG TANGHALAN CHAMPION
He said everything changed when he joined and won in Tawag Ng Tanghalan (singing contest) in Los Angeles, California some years ago.
In a previous amateur karaoke singing contest that he joined the first time sponsored by Filipino supermarket chain in San Diego, Seafood City, he did not take it seriously although he placed second. He said he “was completely blown away that I actually got a place in the final decision.”
Joseph said Tawag ng Tanghalan was a “high class competition with really talented competitors. I wasn’t expecting to win because I was only focused on doing my best and enjoying everything in the moment. When the judges pulled out my name for first place, I was absolutely in awe, as in I couldn’t find any words to describe the emotions that were going on in my head. That was the competition that changed my life, and brought me where I am now.”
Joseph has now signed up as a contract singer of Viva Artists Agency, which launched his first single, “Invincible," through mall tours in coordination with Pop Generation all around Manila and a couple of provinces. It is currently available on youtube (please listen and view it below), iTunes, and Spotify. This is definitely an amazing experience and just the beginning of a long journey ahead in the industry. I’m definitely looking forward to what Viva Films/Records has planned for me, and hope to inspire young artists like myself to follow their dreams.”
WITH VIVA BOSSMAN:
VIVA RECORDS/FILMS BOSSMAN VIC DEL ROSARIO (left) with JOSEPH G. LARIOSA at the Viva Records/Films office in Pasig City, Philippines in 2015. (JGL Photo)
This reporter first came to know about Joseph Santos from a Facebook post of his aunt, Clarita Santos of Blue Cross Blue Shield, who is a friend and known to this reporter as an active Filipino community leader. I was attracted to the post because the big boss of Viva Records/Films is an old friend, Mr. Vic del Rosario.
EXTRA IN “BAKIT LAHAT NG GWAPO, MAY BOYFRIEND?”
Joseph has appeared as an extra in Anne Curtis's movie, "Bakit Lahat Ng Gwapo, May Boyfriend?” (Why Do All Handsome Men Have Boyfriends?).
Right now, he wants to focus on his singing career. “I feel in love with the reactions I got from people when I sang to them; giving any ounce of happiness I can to them through singing (is all I care). Acting wise, that will definitely come later when I’m deep into showbiz.”
When asked who his singing idol was, Joseph named Ariel Pineda, the Filipino youtube singing sensation, who rose to become the lead singer of the rock band, “Journey.”
“The very first song I actually sang for a was "Open Arms" by Journey. I grew up listening to rock music only because that’s what my Dad listened to all day long. Then I started to find my own style of music, and dig deeper into different genres of music. Today I look more towards Pop and R&B music with my new idol being Ed Sheeran.”
He said he plans on becoming a full-time artist here in the Philippines, and even becoming an international artist through music and acting. I hope to inspire people through music and encourage them to chase their dreams and strive for greatness, no matter what the challenge is.”
When he went to the Philippines last year, he was there only for “voice/dance/acting workshops.”
Knowing that youth and talent are natural mix for an artist to stay on top, he said, much as he wants to finish his college education in criminology, so he can make a living as a police detective, if his career takes off, he said, he plans to put his education on hold, to pursue a singing career.