Michael Bublé and Lea Salonga on Finding the Next Big Voice on Kumu
The internationally renowned singers are judging Kumu’s first-of-its-kind livestreamed singing competition, "Sing For The Stars"
Kumu, one of the biggest social media platforms in the country today, has been a trailblazer in fostering communities, showcasing talent, and creating content since its inception in 2018.
The platform is currently home to the most recent iteration of Pinoy Big Brother; last year, they collaborated with Star Cinema to produce Love at First Stream, an entry to the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival; now, they are set to launch the first-ever livestreamed singing competition in the world, Sing for the Stars, with internationally renowned singers Michael Bublé and Lea Salonga tapped to judge.
“Kumu is the home of musicians,” Kumu founder and CEO Roland Ros said, according to ABS-CBN News. “Through this competition, we're discovering and highlighting new voices on a world stage in a unique and brand new way.”
At a press conference on Friday morning, March 11, Michael and Lea talked about what they’re looking forward to witnessing and hearing during the competition, and the kind of voice—and talent—they’re hoping to discover on the platform.
Asked whether he thinks there would be a difference in terms of the expectations on what the contestants will have to bring to the virtual stage, Michael answers: “For me, there’s not a difference.”
“Singing isn’t special,” he says. “A lot of people can sing. Lot of great singers, lot of people that are better singers than I am. What is special is when you can hear someone and recognize that voice instantly. That is the difference between a star and just your everyday person who wants to dabble in singing.”
Dialing in from the United States, Michael also shared that he’d just been with Kelly Clarkson, with whom he’d been talking about something similar.
“There’s a woman who technically has a great voice, who can sing,” Michael says of the powerhouse singer. “But she has what differentiates her from many other singers—this incredible tongue, this rich, rich, round, beautiful sound. When you hear Kelly on the radio, [and you’ve never heard the song before] you know who that is. You know in an instant.”
“I will know who is exceptional to me the moment I hear that voice,” the four-time Grammy winner says.
“And it won’t be because their pitch is so much better or because they can do these incredible runs; it will be because they have something in their voice that is so unique, that I’ll realize, 'That is somebody who can be a star, a recognizable voice on the radio, television, or movies.' That’s what I’m gonna be looking for.”
Lea, agreeing with Michael, says: “We’re looking for stars. We’re looking for that voice, that tone, that just makes you kinda stop and listen. There are people who are great singers, wonderful voices, and then there are the Frank Sinatras of the world.”
“The first moment you hear that voice, it’s like, 'Kaboom. There it is. That’s the person I’m going to follow for the next half century of my life.' It’s that. That’s what we’re looking for,” the Tony winner adds.
The winner of Sing for the Stars will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000, a one-year record contract with Warner Music, a concert on Kumu, and a one-on-one coaching session with Michael Bublé. The first phase of the competition opened in February, while the search for the Top 30 began yesterday.
Lead photos from Kumu