A new star is born

Published May 14, 2022, 9:30 AM

by Manila Bulletin

Meet Shanne Gulle, Kumu’s Sing for the Stars first grand champion

KUMU-KUTIKUTITAP Shanne Gulle, Kumu’s Sing For The Stars first grand champion

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better word to describe Shanne’s hard-won victory than the word “Deserved.” Hailing all the way from General Santos City, in the southern part of the Philippine archipelago, Shanne sang her way to the finish. Winning was no easy feat, but she had what it takes: talent, dedication, and the courage to take a leap of faith. And let’s not forget the final piece of the puzzle—the technology to reach the farthest corners of the globe, which is where Kumu comes in handy.

The trajectory to victory

If you want to reach the stars, you have to break the stratosphere, which is a need answered by having the best technology can offer. Kumu’s Sing for the Stars was the vehicle aspiring singers and musicians rode to see how high they could reach. Hundreds of aspirants joined the country’s first ever virtual singing contest and called upon their supporters to fuel the journey via the giving of virtual gifts. Much like an actual rocket launch with parts disengaging along the way, there were eliminations that narrowed down the contestant number from 100 down to 30, to 15, and finally, the top three.

No rocket launch is complete without people to guide its trajectory. The guest judges were Grammy Award-winning Michael Bublé, and Tony Award-winning Lea Salonga, along with other big names in the music industry, such as KZ Tandingan and Ben&Ben.  It isn’t really the end for those who didn’t make it to the top—a diamond in the rough is still a diamond beneath the surface, and during Sing for the Stars’ virtual press conference, Lea Salonga mentioned that aspiring musicians could still get discovered even if they did not win the singing competition they joined. Many can start their music journey, but only one can call herself Sing for the Star’s grand champion. The title belongs to Shanne Gulle alone.

The new star under the telescope

Shanne Gulle was then a regular Kumunizen live streamer who started her Kumu journey in 2020 at 16. She had a burning desire to grow her confidence and self-esteem, saying I wanted to be a live streamer because I wanted to grow and interact with people.” She found the Kumunity to be a very welcoming place, filled with people generous with their time and support. As Shanne put out her music content, she saw a callout for Sing for the Stars on Instagram. She was encouraged to give it a shot.

This gentle-spoken young woman with a powerhouse singing voice launches into her music career in the aftermath of Kumu’s first virtual singing contest.

The stars aligned for Shanne, and she beat more than a hundred other aspirants to the top. Kumunizens’ kind nature was also properly represented in the rapport Shanne had with the other finalists, Archie Aguilar and Christian Bahaya. The three bonded behind the scenes as they watched the finale stage being set up. With her Kumu friends along with her that day, she bagged the grand prize—$10,000, a one-year contract with Warner Music Philippines, and her own Kumu concert, which happened on April 24. In it she sang huge pop hits such as Olivia Rodrigo’s “Happier” and “Driver’s License,” good choices to highlight her winning vocals. Last on the prize list was a one-on-one coaching session with Michael Bublé, a Zoom session Shanne mustered up more of her confidence to join.

MUCH DESERVED WIN Awarding ceremony of the Sing for the Stars with Shanne Gulle, the first champion in the middle

Advice from Michael Bublé

I got anxious, I was already overwhelmed because of the win, and then suddenly, it was time to get into the Zoom call with Michael Bublé. I was really worried about my English,”Shanne recalls. The call came and went without a hitch, and Shanne experienced what could be one of the most memorable Zoom calls ever. She came prepared with a lot of questions, one of which was asking Bublé how to overcome the fear of performing before a huge audience. “Always surround yourself with positive people,” Bublé answered, as they will—unconsciously or deliberately—lift you up. He also reminded Shanne to prepare herself spiritually for a performance, saying “pray before beginning, and don’t forget to say thank you afterward.” Finally, he invited her to sing with him when he gets the chance to perform in the Philippines again.

Of all the lessons she learned during her whole contest experience, Shanne remembers her lesson in “Consistency” the most, saying you need patience and determination to make it into the top 30, top 15, all the way to the top three. If you really want it, you need to strive for it.”

The Kumu-verse is a galaxy filled with various types of content that will cater to anybody’s tastes, may it be comedy, music, art, lifestyle, and many more. Get in on the live streams, or start your own content and see how great the Kumu-nity can be! Go to the Google Play Store or the App Store and search for Kumu. Download the app and create your account for free. Start following content creators in the genres you prefer, or start creating your own content for everyone to discover.