You followed Cyrus Villanueva’s journey in X Factor Australia where he made it through to the Grand Finale and eventually won the talent competition. Now, the Filipino Australian singer is living his dream as a recording artist writing and performing songs across the Land Down Under.
After winning the talent reality show, the young singer, also known mononymously as Cyrus, received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia and released his debut single “Stone.” His self-titled debut album Cyrus was released in December. It features studio recordings of selected songs he performed in The X Factor, was certified Gold by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
Since then, Cyrus’s career has certainly taken off to higher heights making his Filipino fans crave even more to see him in the flesh and perform live.
Their wish was certainly granted when the 20-year-old singer arrived in Manila on Nov. 3 and graced the unveiling of SM Mall of Asia’s giant Christmas tree two days later.
On his Instagram account, Cyrus writes, “Manila, y’all were something else. Thank you for making an Aussie kid feel at home.”
During his gig, the young singer performed a few songs including a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Love Your Self,” his own version of the Christmas ditty he learned to sing when he was just six years old, “Oh Holy Night,” and “Dancing on My Own,” the same song that impressed the judges in X Factor convincing them to put him through the next rounds of the competition.
His gig at MOA was actually the second time he visited Manila. In 2012, he visited the country to meet with his relatives.
Cyrus is a well-rounded musician. Apart from singing, he also plays the guitar and piano. He ignited his singing career by performing gigs in bars, cafés and at weddings during his spare time while studying graphic design at the University of Wollongong.
While he considers the late Michael Jackson and English pop star Ed Sheeran as his favorite singers, he grew up in New South Wales listening to the music of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Nat King Cole. But he credits his father, who is a full-time musician, as his main inspiration to pursue a career in music. In previous interviews, he thanked his father for nurturing his interest in music. He also joined his father on music gigs as a roadie, before going out on his own.
Cyrus is the second singer with Filipino descent who won the X Factor Australia. The first is 16-year-old Marlissa Punzalan who nabbed the winning title in 2014.