Remember Mackie Empuerto?

He earned fame as a member of TNT Boys, a boy band made up of three young finalists of the 2017 TV competition “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”

Mackie is back to claim a piece of the limelight, this time, spreading his wings as a solo artist.

The 16-year-old is proud of his latest single, a remake of “Can This Be Love.”

In an interview, Mackie said he couldn’t be happier with the latest development in his career.

But he reiterated that it doesn’t mean the TNT Boys will be disbanded.

“Nag-e-explore lang po ako ng mga new things na kaya ko pong gawin,” he said, assuring that he’s still part of the group along with Francis Concepcion and Kiefer Sanchez.

They still communicate on a regular basis.

Asked how Francis and Kiefer reacted to his latest milestone, Mackie said both were happy for him.

They’re supportive of each other’s endeavors, he said.

In terms of exploring his career, the young star aims to be a well-rounded performer.

“Yung kumakanta while dancing,” he related.

He also wants to try acting, particularly in dramas.

Meanwhile, Mackie revealed that at some point, he was afraid he won’t grow as an artist without the rest of the TNT Boys.

“Natakot po ako mag-explore pero naniwala lang po ako sa sarili ko na kakayanin ko,” he said.

On the other hand, Jonathan Manalo, creative director of ABS-CBN Music, pointed out they’re also planning for Francis and Kiefer’s solo careers.

“Tina-timing lang yung plano sa bawat isa,” was how he put it.

“Nagkataon si Mackie yung unang nakitaan namin na may babagayan na song, bagay sa kung paano nag-evolve sa boses niya ngayon,” he added, “Definitely di maiiwan ibang members. May plano tayo sa kanila. In the future makikita natin yan.”

In the same interview, Mackie also talked about how he coped with teenage puberty, which he admitted, affected his voice.

According to him, he was really “frustrated” going through that “awkward stage.”

“Kasi dati bumibirit kami ng super taas, pero dahil sa paglaki ng boses, ngayon di naabot,” he said.

But thankfully, he was able to overcome it by “accepting” the changes in his voice.

“Sobrang hirap kasi may mga songs na ipapakanta sa amin tas mapapansin na hindi ko kaya. Nakakalungkot. Pero ngayon nakakaya na. Natututunan ko na kung paano gamitin itong new voice. Bumabalik na po ng konti yung voice ko.”

He advised those aspiring to become singers going through the same to not give up.

“Don’t stop singing. Practice lang everyday,” he said. “Normal na dumadating sa buhay ng lalaki ang paglaki ng boses… Magiging okay lang din yan.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (