Asia’s Pop Heartthrob got candid with fans who tuned in to his TikTok Live.

Sought-after performer Darren Espanto took to TikTok Exclusive to reconnect with fans after finally returning home following months spent in lockdown abroad. The now 20-year old Darren sported a new, more grown-up look, but remained casual and candid with fans who tuned in to his live stream on TikTok.

“I’m past my teenage years, and through life you’ll experience different things, and I guess I’ve been able to incorporate that in my own music which makes it a lot more mature, not just from the sound but also from the lyrics that are in it,” said the more mature Darren.

One of the more recent life experiences that Darren talked about during the TikTok Exclusive was the time he spent in lockdown in Canada. He and his mom left the Philippines on March 15, 2020, right when the community quarantine was announced. Darren shared that he became anxious over what would happen to performers during the pandemic, but also took his time abroad as an opportunity to bond with family members, his sister in particular.

Darren shared that the situation was better in Canada, but it wasn’t always easy for their family since both his parents are medical frontliners. “You really have to appreciate the small things in life,” he said, while recalling the times when his parents needed to isolate, and they couldn’t even eat together as a family. The day-to-day situation was tense, and it was especially trying at Christmas time, when the second wave happened, and Darren and his sister couldn’t even get close to their parents over the holidays.

His new appreciation for the simple things gave Darren a whole new perspective. Something he now says he misses about his time in Canada was not being recognized when he would go out. He even shared a story about how he was able to go to the grocery store in his pajamas, without anyone finding out who he was.

Now back in Manila, Darren is back to work, with a new song to share with his fans. At his TikTok Exclusive, Darren shared that he is excited for everyone to watch the music video for his new song, Tama Na, which will debut on June 20. Darren will also be staging a comeback concert entitled Home Run, which streams worldwide on June 19 at 8:00 PM, with a special rerun on June 20 at 10:00 AM.

According to Darren, the evolution of one’s music doesn’t stop, even during a pandemic. He recorded Tama Na over a video call with songwriter Zack Tabudlo, who wrote the song in just one day. Darren said that this track is different from anything he has released before, and is more mature than his previous tracks. The song talks about letting go of toxic relationships. “Kailan mo sasabihing Tama Na,” a fan asked Darren through TikTok’s Q&A Feature. His reply was, “Kung medyo toxic na at parehas na kayong hindi masaya. You should learn to let go if it’s gonna be beneficial for the both of you.”

One of the highlights of his TikTok Exclusive was when Darren taught viewers the steps for his Tama Na dance challenge on TikTok.

Having been in the showbiz industry for 7 years, Darren has learned a lot of important lessons. One is the importance of putting in the work. He shared, “You have to work hard for it if you really want something to happen. You can’t just wait for it to happen.”

Another valuable lesson, and one he would have wanted to share with the younger version of himself, is to refrain from sharing your entire life on social media. Instead, you should reserve some things for yourself. Darren added, “Reserve a few things for the people who are close to you and people who you truly trust.”

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