In Lanz Lawrence Balcita we discover another incredible voice from the Philippines. Born December 2004, Lanz sings with a vocal and emotional maturity normally found in highly trained singers twice his age. Understandably, his parents are very keen that this incredible talent does not go unnoticed so are very enthusiastic about Lanz’s first featured article on Torchlight Talent.
The Voice of the Philippines
As someone who graduated in Vocal Studies, I find it utterly fascinating to see a very clear trend in the young singers emerging from the Philippines. My first contact was a University Choir touring to Scotland over ten years ago who were nothing short of outstanding. A Filipino friend – herself a competent singer – assured me that choral singing commonly reached a very high standard in her country. In addition to this my good friend Rod over at Rivenmaster’s Place has been influential in the blossoming career of young Sam Santiago whose star quality speaks for itself and, of course, in the previous article on Torchlight Talent we were introduced to the delightful child prodigy Bourne Luna.
I’m convinced there must be physiological rationale why so many young Filipino’s have such mature and powerful voices but regardless of the reason, the results speak for themselves and they are mind blowing! If you don’t believe me listen to Lanz’s cover of ‘When we were Young’ by Adele:
The Global Music Revolution
Lanz’s father shared a little of how they first discovered their son’s talent:
“At the young age of three, I noticed that he could hum a song perfectly in tune, which is very unusual for one so young. His passion for singing was clear from an early age. Since I, as his father, love singing, I was completely amazed that at times when I sang a particular song, he was also singing with me even though he was still stuttering over the words! When he reached four, he could sing karaoke despite the fact that he could still barely read the lyrics. This might be the reason that he is able to memorise a whole song – not only intellectually but also emotionally.
My entire family and relatives are really astonished every time he sings. At all times, in numerous events and gatherings, in different places, they mentioned that Lanz has an incredible and awesome voice. It was then that I saw his potential. Since I know something about music, I started to train him with all my patience and enthusiasm. As his parents, this has brought us great pleasure and incomparable happiness. He truly is a blessing to us.”
There is no doubt that the music world is a competitive and challenging industry but I do wonder why artists as clearly talented as Lanz do not have more recognition. I know that Rod strongly agrees with me that non-western cultures often seem to be under-represented at best and mis-represented at worst. The age of the internet gives more challenges but also more opportunities and it is a privilege to be involved in some small way in a revolution to give independent talent more quality exposure.
Holding on the The Dream
Lanz does well at school and keeps on top of his studies alongside working hard at his music. Even when success has not been automatic he has persevered. This is a trend with most of the young artists I promote and it is so much healthier than the instant fame and gratification model that seems make up the majority of reality TV. Lanz’s father shared this story with me:
“A couple of years ago, he competed in a prestigious singing contest sponsored by Magic Mall which was held in Dagupan City, Philippines. Contestants came from all across Luzon. Unfortunately, he was not able to bring home the grand prize, but a runner-up place instead. Nevertheless, that did not deter him from trying to get better.
Last year, he competed in another singing contest here within our hometown. His work finally paid off and he came away as the champion.”
Many – if not most – children in western culture are growing up believing that a panel of television judges who may or may not have musical knowledge and expertise are the ones to tell them whether they have any talent or not. As well as this being clearly flawed logic it is also very dangerous as it compounds the illusion that the ultimate goal of music is for commercial gain. As someone who does music for a living I have no wish to deny the importance of the financial side of music but it is only a small part of the story.
Communities of Encouragement
Communities where music fulfils a higher purpose are more important now than they have ever been. It would appear that Lanz and his family have found this essential encouragement within their church community:
“As a member of Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), Lanz Lawrence often has the privilege of singing for our church gatherings. After he finishes a song, you can always hear thunderous applause from the crowd and people shouting ‘encore’.
His mother and I believe that there is no use dreaming if your dream is small. So we really are reaching for the stars and dreaming big. With strong Faith in Almighty God, Lanz Lawrence will someday turn this dream into reality.”
Do Your Part!
Lanz and his family are a wonderful illustration of the importance of positive feedback in affirming young people. You can be part of this by subscribing to Lanz on YouTube, following him on Facebook and leaving him encouraging comments. A little can go a long way.
We at Torchlight Talent would like to wish Lanz and his family every joy and the success he deserves as he follows his dreams in music.