Nathan Randal: Emerging talent with penchant for Broadway tunes and the classics

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Nathan Randal: Emerging talent with penchant for Broadway tunes and the classics
Nathan Randal is among the young talents today who are chasing their dream of becoming singers. He feels blessed to have been given the chance to grace the pre-valentine show of Kuh Ledesma and to get invited again to the latter’s post-Valentine concert on Saturday at the Hacienda Isabella. Nathan likes to sing the classics and songs from musicals. His goal is to do his best to showcase his God-given talent.

MANILA, Philippines — Nathan Randal is a new face with the aspiration of becoming a singer. The 10th grader was featured in the pre-Valentine show, “The Diva Sings the Love Songs of the Divas,” topbilled by Kuh Ledesma. The Original Pilipino Music (OPM) icon described Nathan as “a very, very promising artist,” who has a penchant for singing “difficult songs” and “the classics,” in an interview.

Recently, The STAR had a virtual chat with Nathan, whose endearing personality is undeniable and apparent.

“I started singing with my dad. I was like three or four,” said he, looking back on how his interest in such a talent developed. “He would invite me to his office just to listen to music.”

Nathan got introduced to artists like Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Josh Turner and country music. He considered his dad “the inspiration.”

“I was just singing at home,” recalled he, who eventually “wanted to spread music” and develop the artistic seed his dad inculcated in him.

His love for music was also heightened when he chanced upon the video with the title “Try Not to Sing Challenge” on YouTube. “The Phantom of the Opera,” his favorite musical, caught his attention. “I was like, ‘Wow. This is really good. I want to do that. I want to be that. It really got my heart — musicals, Broadway, OPM, oldies,” said he, who was discovered by Ivy Violan.

By the way, Ivy is an Original Pilipino Music (OPM) artist and a winner of international music festivals.

Nathan had a taste of the limelight and performance via the musical, “Martir sa Golgotta,” directed by TV and film actor Lou Veloso. It led him to be part of Broadway-themed shows (that featured tunes from “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Miss Saigon,” to name a few), private events, weddings, and concerts with pop, classical, opera, and OPM repertoire. It was also Ivy who made it possible for him to meet Kuh.

“Actually, that’s a very big opportunity,” said Nathan, who is of Filipino, American, and Italian lineage, about his participation in the Kuh pre-Valentine show. “I’ve been so blessed. Thank you, Lord. From the bottom of my heart, I actually, really want to thank (Ms.) Kuh Ledesma. She’s such an inspiration and motivation. She always gives me pep talks.”

During the musical presentation with well-loved tunes from Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Barbra Streisand, Nathan did solo performances of the Willy Cruz composition Mahawi Man ang Ulap and the Josh Groban hit You Raise Me Up. He held his own in duets with Kuh, doing their renditions of Beauty & the Beast and The Prayer.

“At first, I was so nervous. There was never a show I got so nervous beside that show, like, the most because this is it. This is Kuh Ledesma, the Ms. Kuh Ledesma. It really took its toll on me. So I was like, I need to do the best performance I ever did in my life,” said he. “So as soon as I got up on that stage, I felt the crowd. It was such an easy crowd to please because they’re so friendly, so nice. And just one look at them, you can say that they are actual fans of Ms. Kuh Ledesma, and they’re there to support her. It was a very comfortable situation as soon as Ms. Kuh introduced me on stage. The band was amazing. Everyone that was part of the production was absolutely amazing.”

Come Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., Nathan graces the Kuh post-Valentine show titled “More Love” with Isabella, Maegan Aguilar, and Richard Merk as guest artists. Dinner is at 6. For details, call 0960-8850288 or 0920-2868895.

Asked what’s next for him after he has flexed his muscles in singing, Nathan said: “My main goal right now is to do my best to showcase my talent, to become an example and an inspiration to the other young talents to pursue their dreams in singing.”

“It’s not going to be easy,” added he. “Just do my best to get up there and make a name for myself.”

Nathan is striking a balance between his studies and singing. He seems to enjoy the process of multi-tasking.

“Good thing that my school is very nice, very understanding, and it has reached the point where they would just give me, like, homework or extra work to do,” said he, who has also made some realizations along the way. One of which is this: “Singing is not that easy, performing, getting out there, but you just have to be yourself. Be confident and trust what the Lord, our God gave you,” added he.

As a singer, Nathan looks at himself as a performer and a storyteller.

“I guess somewhere in the middle of that,” said he, who wants “to portray the actual meaning, the actual concepts of everything I’m trying to sing to make an impact on everyone that’s watching.”

At this early point in his career, Nathan had this to say: “(I feel) super blessed.”

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