A singing sensation is born

[attach]3974[/attach]Herman Wong is just your average teenager.

That is, until you put a microphone in front him.

The 18 year old can belt it out with the heartfelt emotion and vocal chops of singers twice his age. So it came as no surprise to fellow George S. Henry Academy students when Wong, 18, won this year’s Toronto District School Board Idol Challenge.

This title may have earned him a ticket to stardom. Since his winning performance at Toronto Centre for the Arts on March 3, Wong has garnered himself four performance engagements coming up this May and June.

Raised in Hong Kong, Wong says he never really knew he had what it took to perform until he entered a singing competition there when he was 13.

“I just randomly sang while I was in the shower,” Wong said.

When he was 10, he learned the trombone. Today, Wong plays the guitar and drums — all self-taught. But his voice is his primary instrument of choice.

“I used to do beat boxing, if you know how to do it then you can do it. But with singing, everyone has their own unique voice and you can express a lot through the lyrics.”

Wong’s winning song at the Idol Challenge was English rock band Muse’s “Unintended”.

“I was supposed to sing ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles but I found this more interesting because not a lot of people know this song,” Wong said.

Wong said he wasn’t nervous performing in front of a large audience and a panel of judges including prominent music producer Farley Flex.

Wong’s friends came to the finals to support him.

“I heard my name and I didn’t really feel scared because I knew that someone was out there supporting me,” Wong said.

And despite all the attention, Wong remains grounded.

“I don’t want people to think I’m being arrogant,” he said. “But I’m happy that people have started appreciating me as a singer.”

Although he hopes to pursue a career in music, getting a university degree is a priority. His parents are adamant about having a backup. And Wong is in no rush to become an overnight success.

“I think if you have the talent it won’t go away,” he said. “I’m not the Justin Bieber type.”

Wong is also scheduled to sing in a video to help victims of the recent earthquake in Japan.

“I hope that my singing can help people.”