‘The Voice Kids’ alum Darlene finds her own sound as P-pop soloist

‘The Voice Kids’ alum Darlene finds her own sound as P-pop soloist

By: - Reporter
/ 12:10 AM March 03, 2024

‘The Voice Kids’ alum Darlene finds her own sound as P-pop soloist


In 2014, Darlene Vibares burst onto the local scene as a 10-year-old dreamer, whose precocious singing inspired a three-chair turn and eventually a fourth-place finish in “The Voice Kids Philippines.”

Now at 19, Darlene’s voice is as impressive as ever. But as she makes her debut as a P-pop soloist, she hopes to prove that beyond the big songs and high notes, she can also offer a fresh sound she can call hers.


“As a child, I used to perform songs like ‘Listen,’ ‘And I Am Telling You’ and ‘Girl on Fire.’ I was just impersonating adults. Now, I’m trying to find ways to bring out my natural tone,” she said at her recent talent showcase and media conference for her debut single, “Daydream” (Universal Records).


“I don’t want to stick to only one genre. I want to explore different styles and become a more versatile performer,” added Darlene, who’s now managed and trained by SBTown, an idol-centric entertainment company founded by South Korean producer Geong Seong-han.

Bubbly, K-pop flair

In contrast to the torch songs that she used as contest pieces in the past, Darlene’s new song is bubbly, catchy and with an unmistakable K-pop flair. Recorded in South Korea, the song rides a fluent wave of trap beats and hyperpop guitars—an apt musical vehicle for the light and vibrant “aura” she’s going for.

“‘Daydream’ is about the confusion that comes with falling in love. Sometimes, no matter how hard we deny our feelings, you still end up falling for that one person,” she said. “And now, you can’t stop daydreaming about that person.”

The challenge, however, was getting herself into character. She hasn’t been in a romantic relationship, she related. “I haven’t had that yet, so I had a bit of a hard time. That’s why I just looked for different [scenarios] and ideas on how to complete it,” she said. “I loved the vibe after listening to it.”

Girl group

Darlene first ventured into P-pop in 2022 as a member of the pop girl group YGIG. However, health issues that she didn’t specify prevented her from maximizing her full potential within the band.

“At first, I was sad. I couldn’t continue because my health was at stake. I couldn’t keep up with the band and I didn’t want to hold them back. And so, my management and I thought it would be better if I went solo,” she related.


There were no hard feelings among her former group mates. And for that, Darlene is grateful. “They were understanding and they were still happy that I got to join them … we have remained good friends. Some of them even visited me after my K-12 graduation,” she said, adding that she does miss the support system of being in a group.

“Going solo is challenging. As part of YGIG, I could turn to my ates for support. But I know I will be able to handle being a solo act. I learned and experienced a lot during my time in ‘The Voice Kids,’” pointed out Darlene, who competed under judge-mentor Lea Salonga’s team.

Dream collaborations

In fact, if she were to compose a new song, Darlene would call it “Strong,” because she had to be resilient and overcome struggles at such a young age.

Asked if there’s any artist she hopes to collaborate with in the future, she said she would love to work with Zack Tabudlo, and, of course, her “The Voice Kids” batchmates Lyca Gairanod, Darren Espanto and JK Labajo. “A reunion would be nice,” she said.

In preparation for her upcoming projects and releases, Darlene said she has included cardio workouts into her routine to boost not only her stamina, but ultimately, her bid for success. “I want to start small and grow from there. I want to go through the process. I want to be known locally, and hopefully, someday, go international,” she said.

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“I promise my fans that I will work hard, take care of my health and make them proud,” Darlene added.

TAGS: Darlene Vibares, The Voice Kids

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