Defying Gravity, Defying Odds: Ethan David

By , on August 7, 2015

World Championship of the Performing Arts 'Junior Vocalist of the Year' Ethan David
World Championship of the Performing Arts ‘Junior Vocalist of the Year’ Ethan David

Recently, I had the privilege of  interviewing newly crowned ‘Vocalist of the World’, Ethan David.

Ethan competed in the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) — and won — with the song “Defying Gravity” from the hit musical “Wicked.” According to Ethan, he chose the song specifically for its inspiring message.

The road to such an accomplishment was paved with hardship, but Ethan was determined to reach his goal no matter the cost. And what a cost it was! Ethan had to raise about $8000 for the trip to the WCOPA, in addition to his rigorous training. The fundraising campaign he lead included selling chocolates and bottles, along with local performances. Though he was denied by most of his possible customers, Ethan refused to give up.

But what kind of a boy is Ethan David? How was he inspired to sing? The answers lay in one motivating factor: A love to share his talent with all.

Ethan with his mom Maridel and dad Froilan
Ethan with his mom Maridel and dad Froilan

Who is Ethan David?
He is 12-year-old who will do everything to pursue his dreams.
“I love helping and inspiring other people and I am a singer and my hobbies are swimming, basketball and soccer… I started realizing that I really wanted to sing when I was 8 years old.”

What inspired you to become a singer?
“My mom inspired me to become a singer. I also have some favorite artists like Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars–they are my favorite singers in the world.”

Did you have formal voice training?
“First of all, my Mom taught me how to sing. I had formal voice lessons with Kiks de Leon of KMZ Production and proper breathing techniques by Tita Joey Albert.”

How did you perfect your singing?
“My mom tells me to practice everyday, every single morning to get ready for the competition.”

Why do you sing?
“I sing because it is my passion and I like singing. Also, I want to share my talent to the world. I will tell them to never give up on your dreams because if you give up, you will never reach your goal.”

How did you find out about the WCOPA?
“I found out [about it] because my Mom sings with Tita Joey Albert. Tita Joey Albert told my Mom to let me join WCOPA.”

Tell us about your fundraising experience.
“The [hardest part is] carrying bottles while selling chocolates… Everyday I try to sell 30 chocolates. My Mom tells me to go [out for just] one hour, but I go [for] 4 hours.”

Ethan being honored at the Surrey City Hall
Ethan being honored at the Surrey City Hall

How was your experience with the competition?
“It is not just about the championship, you [also] get to meet new friends. I met friends from around the world like Thailand, Czech Republic, the Philippines and a lot more. It is not just being competitive, it also about making friends.”

Why did you choose ‘Defying Gravity?’
“I chose ‘Defying Gravity’ because the song means a lot to me. People tell me to give up on [my] dreams and that [I am] not going anywhere…. [but in the song, there’s a line that says] “no one’s gonna bring me down” and that is what I like about it.”

Is WCOPA the most memorable experience and why?
“Yes, because I won the best junior vocalist of the world and [it was] my first time to go to L.A., so it [was] a really fun experience.”

How does it feel to be the vocalist of the world?
“I feel very happy and also proud because I didn’t think I will represent Canada or even win the title ‘Junior Vocalist of the world.’”

How has winning WCOPA change your life?
“Definitely WCOPA changed my life. When I am walking in the park, sometimes people [tell me] they are proud of me.  I am on the news too. But I think I am the same Ethan as before…
“I met some producers who want to do music for me in [Los Angeles], too… Hopefully, this will come in God’s time… I am also visiting next month to say thank you to the Filipinos who have supported me.”

Where else have you performed aside from WCOPA?
“I’ve performed locally in some Filipino events and I sang in the hockey games.

Can we expect any concerts?
“I had an invitation in Australia to do a show, a music producer wants to do original  music for me in L.A., and yes, I will visit the Philippines and do some guestings there.”

Ethan with interview Jeremiah Sumagui
Ethan with interview Jeremiah Sumagui

What is your advice to young performers?
“My advice to them is: If you have a dream that you want to follow, never give up and always try to reach your goal. If you do that, you will [definitely] reach  your dream.”

Going back to the competition, were there other factors — like finances — that prevented you from joining the competition?
“Oh, yes. Training is the hardest one because sometimes you do not get the right note… [Plus] I am still in school [and I have to sell] chocolates and bottles [to raise funds.] It is hard to squeezed that [into my schedule].”

Do you have a message for our readers?
“I would just like to thank them for the support — especially the Lord, my loving parents, and Tita Janice Lozano who help me a lot. Also, I would like to tell them if you want to join WCOPA, just contact Tita Belinda Reyes.”

Thank you, Ethan, for your inspiration to your fellow young adults everywhere.

Visit Ethan’s official Facebook page here.

Interview by Jeremiah Neil Sumagui, special to the Philippine Canadian Inquirer
Edited by Ching Dee, Philippine Canadian Inquirer
All photos courtesy of Jeremiah Neil Sumagui and family

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