It’s not unusual for artists to host anniversary concerts when they hit a milestone in their career. Gary V just celebrated 40 years of being in the industry earlier this 2024, while Sarah Geronimo celebrated 20 years in 2023. This year marks The Voice alum Darren Espanto’s 10th year in music. The catch? He’s only 23.

For the past 10 years, the country’s spotlight has fervently stayed on Espanto. During his breakout stint in the inaugural season of The Voice Kids, he had captured the hearts of “Darrenatics” at just 12 years old. In the years since then, he’s become a host, a dancer, an actor, an endorser, and of course, a performer.

“I’m really just surprised with everything that’s happened,” he shares to Billboard Philippines. “It’s felt like that it’s been shorter than 10 years…I didn’t win The Voice Kids, but 10 years later, I’m still doing what I love.”

The Making of Darren Espanto

To celebrate a decade in the industry, Espanto is set to stage D10 at the Araneta Coliseum this June 1. As he talks about what’s going behind the scenes for this weekend’s concert, he reveals that he didn’t actually plan to stage such a grand celebration in the first place. However, after some prodding, he decided to go all-in for his first decade in the industry.

“I feel so much pressure,” he says, still laughing. With such a busy schedule — doing shoots, rehearsing, and everything in between — he reveals that everything happening at the same time makes him feel extremely nervous to mount such an important milestone in his career. Nevertheless, he says that he’s “so excited” for people to see what’s in store.

“[The concert will be] visually pleasing, like the stage design. There’s stuff incorporated on the stage that I haven’t seen before in a concert here,” Espanto shares, when talking about what fans can expect for June 1. “It’s not the usual setlist. There will be things I haven’t performed before…There’s a part for everyone to relate to [because] this is me, reliving my journey along with the [audience]. There’s going to be a lot of reminiscing.”

The Making of Darren Espanto

And his journey as an artist would not be complete without a host of people that have helped him become the multi-threat star that he is today — that’s precisely the reason why he enlisted the support of Lyca Gairanod, Ogie Alcasid, Gary V, Sarah Geron, and Vice Ganda to join him in his anniversary.

“These are some of the people that have made a mark in my life as well as my career. Because this concert is journey throughout my 10 years, all of these people are important, even in my personal life,” he remarks.

Showbiz is cutthroat. It can be ruthless. Not everyone can handle it. But for Espanto, the one thing that’s been his shining light throughout everything is his passion for singing. Whatever happens, he will always be that young singer who had a dream and wanted to make it happen.

The Making of Darren Espanto

When Espanto started opening shows in Canada as a singer, it seemed unimaginable that in a decade, he would become one of the most sought-after hosts, actors, and performers in the country. But even then, there was something special brimming inside him. He just didn’t see it yet. But others could.

“Before I even joined The Voice Kids — this was back in Canada, when I did a front act gig — Tito Martin Nievera talked to me backstage, when I was nine years old. He heard me sing, and he said, ‘You’re going to make it, boy. And you’re going to make it far.’ And then, when he performed with me again on The Voice Kids, he said, ‘I told you.'”

So, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Darren Espanto is a success story that’s been 10 years in the making. The best part? The story is far from over.

Tickets for Darren Espanto’s D10 anniversary concert are available via TicketNet. Purchase your tickets here.