Friday, February 25, 2011

A Star is Born

by Fion Lim

Once in a while, an unknown someone with a simple desire, coupled with a big talent went on to carry out some simple acts, which rolled out a chain of successive events that culminated into an incredible shot-at-stardom story.

Just yesterday, I was talking to my friend about how I wondered if I would ever met someone who carried out a simple idea and made it big. A friend, an acquaintance, it doesn't matter. I just like inspiring stories.

This morning, I was on famous video-sharing site, looking at my favorite inspirational videos. The link to the most popular videos on YouTube catch my attention. I didn't usually pay attention to that link but today I did. Right at the top is a video posting by Esmée Denters. I got curious and watched the video. I'm glad I did because it's turned out to be one inspirational story after all.

Esmée Denters, an 18-year-old girl from a small town of Oosterbeek, Netherlands is an excellent example of someone who did something simple and created something big for herself. Hers is an amazing story where an unknown girl with the help of the Internet and her homemade video postings, got herself a singing contract just nine months after her first Internet appearance in August 2006.

Esmée possessed a strong passion for singing since she was a child and it's been her dream to become a singer for years. Her dad "was always playing music" and Esmée could resonate with it. She was so in love with singing that she sang constantly, so much so that her mother would go "Quiet, Esmée, please!"

She was mostly used to singing alone in her own bedroom. And she never did quite believe it when her friends told her that she has a good voice. But seeing how other people posted personal videos of their singing on YouTube, gave her the idea that she could do something similar.

She did and she loved it, and thousands loved it too. Esmée quickly created a stir on YouTube, doing cover versions of popular songs by Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morrisette, Alicia Keys and others soulful artists whom she can feel a connection with. Additionally, she wrote her own songs and posted videos of her original songs at YouTube.

From the simple act of singing into her sister's webcam and then posting her videos on YouTube, thousands and thousands started to pay attention and tune in. Esmée converted listeners into fans swiftly. Even record companies around the world sat up and listened. Many listeners urged her to give it a go at American Idols. In a short span of time, Esmée had transformed into an Internet phenomenon... Probably way beyond her wildest imagination.

The most inspiring news? On June 5, 2007, in an official announcement made by Justin Timberlake, Chairman/CEO of the new Tennman Records in a press release, Esmée became the first artist to sign a recording contract with the label.

In addition, she would be doing the opening for Justin Timberlake's 2007 European Tour at six venues. What a huge leap from posting personal videos on YouTube to commercially performing on the stage!

Esmée is an inspiration to thousands of aspiring singers around the world. Her simple act of taking the first step of showcasing her singing talent at YouTube, has rocketed her status to a YouTube celebrity and her videos gained global attention. Amazingly, her YouTube videos have been watched over millions of times.

Below is one of the cover versions she has done on Youtube, Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross.

It's very soulfully and beautifully sang. I love it. Out of her 60 videos, I chose to display this song because I found it inspiring.

Seem like young Esmée's dreams have come true...

I hope her story has inspired you and let you think that you too, as an ordinary being, could achieve extraordinary heights too if you believe and go for your dreams.

Meanwhile, watch out for Esmée Denters!


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