Only a few days ago while visiting Facebook, I took notice of a post by Sam Verlinden of a young man that immediately captured my attention.
He is, seven year old Sam Santiago. What really charmed me was his vocal quality along with his charismatic personality which really shined through while singing his song. It took me only moments to publish his video to the video of the day list and contact his parents for an article. I am delighted to introduce to you this young performer, who is not only well ahead of the game with his vocal talent but already a star performer who is becoming more and more in demand in both California and the Philippines.
Sam started singing when he was about four years old. His family moved to Corona from Mission Viejo when he first began to show an interest in music. Stuck in traffic with not much to entertain him but Mom, his brother, and the radio, led Sam to find his singing talent. Kelly Clarkson and her hit singles “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Because of You” were his favorite songs. As he continued in his new found talent, Sam realized that Kelly was truly his idol at that time.
At school, Sam was still stuck in his own world of singing. His kindergarten teacher was really amazed with how well he sang during his free time. There was an assignment that she gave that had to deal with what everyone in the class wanted to be when they grew up. Sam’s answer was simple, “a rock-star, and a pastor”. Sam’s 2nd grade teacher emailed his mom because she always caught him singing or humming in the class which distracted other students.
At least twice a month, Sam’s dad and the band that he is in, plays around southern California. Occasionally, Sam is asked to sing with them. Sam told me, “I have a blast singing on stage! Whoever has heard me sing has nothing but positive comments about my voice. All of my parents’ friends and relatives told me that I am talented and gifted.”
Sam started taking vocal lessons with Thomas Appell in October of 2009. Since that time, his voice has greatly improved and become even more enhanced. In addition, Thomas was very instrumental in teaching Sam how to hit the high notes with ease and use vibrato. Sam’s family abroad wanted to hear him sing so his parents decided to upload videos on YOUTUBE and that’s when his popularity really took off.
Sam explained, “My dad submitted a YOUTUBE audition to AMERICAS GOT TALENT. ‘This was very exciting because AGT replied in no time and sent us the paperwork to start the process. Unfortunately, two weeks later AGT brought up licensing problems on song writer and track clearance.” Even though Sam’s parents worked hard to get all this done (new songs and new tracks), unfortunately none of them were cleared. They decided to just sing another song “You Light Up My Life” w/ piano accompaniment by his vocal coach. (Sam had never heard this song before but he got it down in Five hours of practice and recording) Once recorded, the family tried desperately to upload it right up to the last two hours of the due date.
Sam has also been invited to perform in a Filipino concert in Torrance California on August 28th and is one of the headlining acts. (see poster left),
Sam exclaimed, “I am very thankful of my family who fully supports me in my dream to become a successful entertainer. I wish to become a worldwide hit and be the next Michael Jackson. I thank God for the gift and talent that He entrusted me and I will try my best to make everyone proud and make a difference!”
Sam just qualified for the simi-final round in the O.C. ICON Vocal Competition being held in Santa Ana, California on August 15th. Be sure to stay tuned for updates about this event! Were pulling for your Sam!
“Without a doubt this young man will make a difference in the world. He has already captured the eyes and ears of many and will continue to achieve every goal and dream he sets his mind to. We all wish you the very best Sam! Keep singing and performing. As far as I’m concerned you are already a big star! Rivenmaster”