Daniel Song: In the Spotlight

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As a child, junior Daniel Song sat in front of the TV, listening to music of all kinds from Chinese pop songs to classical music, his two favorite genres. At the age of 3, he started imitating songs he heard. Little did 3-year-old Daniel know, he would soon win various national and global singing contests. 

“My mother saw my interest in music and pushed me to take it up as something more,” said Daniel. At the age of 5, he began to participate in countless singing competitions and stage performances. He’s had multiple singing mentors through the years, each one teaching him something vital and unique about music. 

Daniel described that what keeps him motivated is “knowing that he may have a talent that many others might not have.” He added, “I remember singing love songs in contests and getting questions from the judges, asking me ‘you’re so young and you sing such mature songs with such feeling. Is it because you already have a lover?’ But really, I am immersing myself in the music.”

One of the challenges Daniel encountered was relearning how to sing when his voice changed. “Puberty really disrupts the entire body you’ve been used to. The way I used to sing doesn’t carry over to this new voice I possess. ” Despite the inevitable change, he adapted to his new voice through perseverance and with the help of his singing teachers. “I went very, very slow and I didn’t rush,” Daniel said. “Even now, my voice isn’t 100% finished changing. It won’t for at least another couple of years. But with my changing voice, I find different songs to fit my voice nicely.” 

To date, Daniel has participated in multiple Chinese-based competitions, achieving several awards. In 2019 he won the Singing category’s “Gold Award in the American Youth Talent and Art Contests” hosted by SinoVision, a U.S based Chinese-language television network. Additionally, in 2018, he did a mashup of singing and dance performances in the same competition and won the Gold Award in the Talent category. He added, “On a more international scale, in 2015, I got the Silver Award in the U.S. National SuperBaby Contest in Dallas and advanced to the global round in Beijing and received Bronze there. There are more, but these are the bigger and more recent ones!”

Throughout his journey as a singer, Daniel has learned many valuable lessons. “What you say about yourself or your songs or experience is all going to let people judge you before they see or hear you… I also learned a lot of contests are rigged, and judges [can be] biased. The judges make a decision in their mind before the final round of a contest,” he expressed. “A brighter lesson I learned is that there are always people out there who find your singing appealing. It’s only a matter of time before you find them.” 

For beginner singers, Daniel suggested listening to and singing music of all genres. “Every genre has something to offer. I have sung everything from opera to rock, and from my time with each genre, I learned new techniques and new aspects of music to look out for and appreciate,” he explained. “After familiarizing yourself with the genres, then you can focus on whichever one suits you best.” 

Daniel shared that he didn’t always picture himself as a singer and the path he is currently on, but remains hopeful for the future. “I really started singing because I was sort of [pushed] by my mother to… But as I got older, I realized that I wanted to sing because I loved music,” he said.  “While singing, I am in another world.”

Photo provided by Daniel Song