Internet celebrity vlogger Benedict Cua releases new single ‘’Di Namalayan’
For internet celebrity Benedict Cua, vlogging can be a good stepping stone to mainstream show biz.
Aside from providing an easily accessible training ground where one can explore or dabble in different entertainment fields, the digital space inevitably helps aspiring artists to grow a thick skin—a must to survive in the industry.
“Vlogging really helped me build my confidence. I couldn’t even open my mouth to speak in front of people in my corporate job in the past,” he told the Inquirer in a recent video interview for his foray into music, and the release of his first ever single, “’Di Namalayan.”
In 2018, Benedict started uploading vlogs—random musings, travel, food trips, comedy bits, etc.—to YouTube, where he now has 1.35 million subscribers. He also has 2.3 million followers on Tiktok and 484,000 on Instagram. And with that big a following, having bashers is par for the course.
“There’s a difference between a criticism and an attack. The latter I try not to take too seriously. You have to accept the fact that, even if you’re just doing the things you love, some people will always have something bad to say about you. But you get used to that over time. You learn to just focus on your work,” he related.
Besides, the occasional negativity Benedict experiences online isn’t nearly enough to dampen his fans’ support.
“At first you get a little paranoid of being criticized, but the kindness and encouraging words I get pushed me to dream bigger,” the 28-year-old social media personality said.
“I also appreciate constructive feedback. They will tell me what I did well or what I still have to improve on. Being acknowledged for your hard work makes you feel more driven,” he added.
It’s this kind of validation that gave Benedict the much-needed push to pursue his love for music. He started out by putting up covers of his favorite songs, and then sought other artists for collaborations. Many of his singing videos on TikTok, in fact, have outplayed some of his regular vlogs.
Now he has a deal with PolyEast Records. “’Di Namalayan,” an easy-listening pop love jam that evokes high school romance, is about a guy who falls in love with a girl he sees during commute.
Though he has always loved music and enjoyed doing cover videos, having an official single is something he has never imagined. “I love karaoke. But I was afraid of singing in public,” said Benedict, who leans toward R&B and indie-pop music.
Some of his musical influences include Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and TwoDoor Cinema Club. He took it upon himself to take up voice lessons to improve and polish his singing.
Earlier this year, he scored a supporting role in the GMA 7 series “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday.”
“I have always been interested in acting, too. It’s something I had wanted to try even before I started vlogging,” said Benedict, who released a self-made short film, “My Virtual Love,” last December. “If they (GMA 7) hadn’t seen those videos, maybe I wouldn’t have been offered a role.” —Allan PolicarpiO INQ
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