How Zephanie was tapped to sing Disney’s ‘Aking Hiling’
As part of its celebration for its 100th anniversary, Disney released the animated film “Wish” in November and tapped Filipino pop singer Zephanie Dimaranan to sing “Aking Hiling,” the Filipino version of “This Wish,” originally performed by Ariana DeBrose.
According to Disney, Zephanie was handpicked because she represents the fearless and inspiring young woman whom this generation can look up to.
“We hope that her version, “Aking Hiling,” will allow us to connect even more strongly with Filipino Disney fans to tell a story of courage and hope,” said Rachel Fong, head of Integrated Marketing for Disney Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia.
This once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between a multinational conglomerate and a 20-year-old is a testament that Zephanie is a star in the making, if not one already. In a recent interview with INQUIRER.net, the young singer said that nothing compares to the feeling of such an experience.
“Surreal po talaga. It’s a dream come true. Before pa naman po na simula ako pumasok sa industry na ‘to, isa na po ‘yon sa mga bagay na nilook forward ko, or pinagpapray ko rin. And ‘yung mga taong nakasubaybay talaga sakin ever since isa rin ‘yon sa mga dream nila for me,” said Zephanie.
Coming from a family of singers, Zephanie began covering medley Disney songs on Youtube before she won Idol Philippines at age 16. According to the singer-actress, her collaboration with Disney is also a testament that there is a right time for everything.
“It’s a proof po na may panahon talaga sa mga bagay na meant sa buhay mo. It’s just the right time na dumating siya because I can really relate to the song, doon sa message, even doon sa movie nagsspeak siya sakin kasi parang it’s all about wishes natin sa buhay na gusto natin matupad,” she said.
After five years in the entertainment industry, Zephanie shared that her preparations for this project with the multi-dollar company are no different from her preparations for her previous projects, as she believes all of them have one goal, which is to create what needs to be produced.
“Honestly, hindi ko super nafeel na different ‘yung prepations ko for this one compared sa mga ibang projects, kasi it felt so easy because everyone was so cooperative, lahat kami iisa ‘yung goal,” Zephanie said.
The youngster was not the first one to be tapped from her home agency, Cornerstone, to sing a version of a Disney song; however, being a few more steps ahead into becoming like Disney-legend Lea Salonga, Zephanie hopes that this opportunity will open more doors for her to reach the international arena and be able to dubbed and sing her own Disney song and movie.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to, and nakakaproud po bilang isang Filipino artist magamit and mashare ‘yung talent natin sa international scene and ‘yung mapabilang po sa mga icon natin. Hindi po ako makapaniwala na nabigyan po ako ng ganong chance, so I’m really grateful for it, and I hope isa po ‘to sa mga door na magoopen pa sa mas marami pang opportunities for me,” Zephanie stated.
(I can’t believe that I was given such a chance, so I’m really grateful for it, and I hope this is one of the doors that will open to even more opportunities for me.)
Despite being dubbed “This Generation’s Pop Princess,” Zephanie is trying to put her eggs in more than one basket by also venturing into songwriting and acting. She shared that 2024 is an exciting year for her as she plans to release a new album and hold a major concert, while doing a few acting gigs on the side.
Given that the future is bright for the pop princess, Zephanie extended a message to all the aspiring dreamers like her to never give up on their dreams and to keep dreaming even when one of your dreams becomes a reality already.
“To all the young dreamers like me, kahit sino kahit di young kahit anong edad ka, meron kang mga pangarap and desires sa heart mo ang lagi ko po sinasabi, never give up. Believe that there’s a right time for everything, and if it’s meant for you, it will be for you. And keep dreaming and wishing kapag naachieve mo na ‘yung isang pangarap mo, mangarap ka pa uli ng isa pa,” she affirmed.
Zephanie is set to perform at the 28th Asian Television Awards, which will be held on January 12 and 13 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.