Sturdier, more mature sound for former ‘AGT’ kid Gwyneth Dorado
In 2015, Gwyneth Dorado burst onto the music scene as a guitar-toting 10-year-old girl, who blew away audiences with her big voice in “Asia’s Got Talent (AGT).”
But while that image of her as a precocious young talent is a big part of who she is as a singer, Gwyneth, now 17, feels it’s about time she makes a mark without the “AGT” tag.
“If I were to reintroduce myself, I guess it wouldn’t be about being the ‘AGT’ kid anymore… I have grown a lot. I have matured. I feel I’m a new artist,” Gwyneth told the Inquirer at the recent launch of her new single, “Tulala.”
After her stint in the reality talent search, where she was a finalist, Gwyneth went on to pursue theater, starring in local stagings of the musicals “Annie” and “The Sound of Music.” From doing covers, she turned her focus on writing her own material. Her songs “Shooting Stars” and “Laro-Laro” were used as themes of the films “Happy Times” and “Pansamantagal,” respectively.
“After those musicals, I signed with Virtual Playground and released new singles. But then the pandemic came. Now, I’m back, focusing on my music career and studies,” related Gwyneth, who’s a second year senior high school student at the University of Santo Tomas.
Juggling those two things will be a challenge, but nothing she hasn’t already experienced before. “I had to be homeschooled for a while when I was doing theater… Now, I have a scholarship in high school and I can’t have low grades. But I still manage to do it while doing rehearsals. It’s a struggle, but my family has been nothing but supportive,” she said.
Like all child singers, she underwent vocal changes when she reached adolescence. But thanks to her voice teachers, it didn’t take long before she regained full control of her instrument, which has only grown sturdier and more resonant.
“My voice has evolved and I thank my coaches for teaching me about correct breathing, posture and other technical things. I feel like my voice has improved a lot and I have seen its growth. My voice sounds fuller now… And I’m more confident to just sing, sing and sing. Go lang. I don’t get easily tired like before,” she said.
And that power and newfound stamina she put on full display during the press launch, where Gwyneth performed a diverse set that included Broadway torch songs, Disney classics and even hip-hop tracks. Her new single, “Tulala,” meanwhile, is a restrained, acoustic-guitar driven ballad that shows off the gentler side of her voice. “It’s more of an inspirational song than a love song because it talks about how the sun will always rise, no matter how dark it gets,” she said, adding that she’s still experimenting with her sound.
“I’m exploring styles I can pursue. I want to give listeners something new with each new song I release. I try whatever I find interesting. ‘Kaya ko ba ‘to?’ I would ask myself,” she said. “I feel like it’s important to know different genres, so you can switch things up.”
After college, Gwyneth plans to try out for musicals abroad, like “Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables” and “Hamilton.” And who knows? Acting may be in the offing for her in the near future. “My management also does acting workshops. So why not learn a new skill? That would be a great opportunity for me,” she said.
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