YouTube sensation Maria Aragon is no Baby Gaga

by Nickie Wang

Fil-Canadian singer Maria Aragon is overwhelmingly grateful to Lady Gaga for giving her the opportunity to be noticed by the world after the pop superstar promoted her cover of the single “Born This Way.”

Although Maria has already appeared on The Ellen DeGereres Show and Good Morning America after Gaga dubbed her as “the future,” the 11-year-old charmer wants to be known entirely on her own merits.

“I want to be known simply as Maria Aragon. I know I’m being called Baby Gaga because of meeting Lady Gaga before but hopefully as I stay longer in the business people will recognize me because of my own talent,” the young singer said and added, “Hopefully that would come in a couple of years and I really want to continue this without being called Baby Gaga.”

Last month, the YouTube sensation arrived in Manila to sign a contract with ABS-CBN’s record label, Star Records. Two weeks later, the young singer gladly announced that she has already recorded an album that includes her rendition of “Born This Way,” the CD’s carrier single.

Throughout the production of the self-titled album, from voice tapping to recording, composer Vehnee Saturno was mentoring Maria. The award-winning hit maker lauded Maria’s level of professionalism.

“The kid was sick for a week, the album was completed only in two weeks. And even though she wasn’t feeling well, she still showed her willingness to work,” Saturno revealed.

Saturno furthered that it was not easy to put out the album considering Maria is just a young talent. They had to select songs that are appropriate for her age. While the main goal of the album is to showcase Maria as a fresh talent with sweet and amazing vocals, Saturno confessed it became possible because Maria is such “a smart kid.”

At the album launch of Maria’s debut CD, the young singer opened the program singing “You’re My Home” (a Lea Salonga original), the official movie theme song of the blockbuster Star Cinema offering Way Back Home starring Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes. She also sang the kid-friendly rendition of “Can’t Smile Without You,” a classic popularized Barry Manilow. Included in the album are original tracks kung “Bubuksan Mo Ang Puso” and “Follow Your Dream,” both by Vehnee Saturno, and remakes “One Hope,” “One Dream” and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony).”

“The experience was great and a lot of fun, I didn’t feel like working. They made me feel comfortable as if we’re just playing. That’s the reason why we finished the album that fast,” Maria stated.

On Sept. 8, Maria will be back in Canada in time for the school opening but for the meantime she is enjoying all her time in the Philippines visiting places like Bohol and Boracay.

“I love the country, people here are more warm and friendly compared to people in Canada,” Maria beamed.

Maria’s newfound fame came so easily. After her video was endorsed by Lady Gaga in February, the young singer had gained significant media attention. Some of her recent appearances were in a mobile phone commercial and a performance at the Canada Day Celebration, which was attended by more than 300,000 people including Prince William and wife Kate Middleton. Apart from Lady Gaga, she considers Michael Jackson as her biggest musical influence.


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