Pilipino pop, or P-Pop, has been making significant waves recently. New and upcoming artists have made their name in the music industry thanks to their unique sound and masterful lyricism. And in these modern times, local artists often go above and beyond to explore new avenues to their music, creating new sub-genres that cater to a specific audience.
So when Manila Standard Entertainment asked the 15-year-old Esang de Torres, who jumpstarted her career with an appearance in The Voice Kids Season 2, she hopes to be known for combining two genres: pop and Broadway.
“Before, noong bata ako, palagi kong sinasabi na if magkakaroon ako ng title, sana parang ‘Broadway Pop Star,’” Esang said.
Most people know that after her outstanding performance in The Voice Kids Season 2, Esang went on to showcase herself in the world of theater, where she played the role of Little Cosette in the 2016 Manila run of the musical Les Misérables. She also took on the role of Matilda, marking her first lead role in the 2017 Manila run of Matilda the Musical.
Esang also earned the title of Lea Salonga’s “mini me” because of her passion for the performing arts. Under Lea’s tutelage, Esang learned one significant pointer from the renowned singer, how to sing with her whole heart.
“Forever kong mache-cherish ‘yung tip or advice [niya] na ‘yon kasi it’s essential that when you deliver a song, secure the message of the song itself and you’re going to portray the song as if ‘yun ‘yung character mo. Para ma-feel ng audience ‘yung depth or core ng song,” Esang said.
Yet despite having a clear goal of what she wants to be known for, Esang shared that she also hopes to learn more genres as an artist because it will help her grow in her craft. She cites soft rock, punk, or jazz as some of the musical inclinations she hopes to explore someday in her career.
With PolyEast Records, where Esang recently signed, she finds the support she needs to broaden her horizons and share her music with the Filipino audience.
The young singer-songwriter first exhibited her passion for music with her family. According to Esang, they bond through a well-loved Filipino activity: karaoke. One time, she showcased her talent, which surprised her father and prompted him to nurture Esang’s gift.
It’s fortunate that her father also had a musical inclination, with Esang saying he was part of a band during his youth.
“‘Yung hilig din niya sa music [is] very evident. Siya ‘yung tumulong sa akin sa matututunan ko noong bata ako,” Esang shared, also noting that her father played other musical instruments.
Throughout her career, she found inspiration from other artists—modern and timeless—like Elvis Presley, Olivia Rodrigo, Bruno Mars, and more. Esang shared that their influence is sometimes present in the songs she wrote and sang.
Within the year, Esang hopes to release her EP. Although the details have yet to become available, she promises that her music will further highlight her identity as an artist.