I realized that maybe this is actually something that I could do forever, making music and becoming a music artist
Not everyone can say they dropped their course to pursue their dreams. Everyone has something that they’re passionate about, and everyone has their own calling. Sadly, in life, not everyone has the chance to pursue them. My name is Andre Chang, an upcoming music artist, and this is my story.
I was one of the late bloomers. Growing up, all the people and friends that I was surrounded with seemed to have their lives planned out. Some wanted to be doctors, lawyers, business owners, and engineers. Even my best friend throughout high school and college was dead set on becoming a pilot ever since the day we met seven years ago, and I envied him a bit because of it.
I always wondered what it was like, to have something to be passionate about, something that I could do forever as a job and not be miserable about. I bounced from different dream professions throughout my life, wondering if I should be a doctor or a pilot as well, but they just never clicked with me. Due to the pandemic, my senior high school classes were purely online, which gave me a lot of time to think about my future. I decided to try different things, such as writing, coffee brewing, video editing, voice-overs, voice acting, and even writing songs and music. Nothing really clicked with me, and the only thing that I was really interested in was making music, but I set it aside because I knew that it would be impossible for me to pursue it.
So instead, I took my talent in coffee brewing and I honed it, in the hopes of starting my own coffee shop business in the future. My family and relatives told me repeatedly that I should start a coffee shop, and I do actually enjoy making coffee, but I just dreaded the process of starting a business and handling the sales, the costing, management, and other stuff like that. Nevertheless, I still held on to that idea, since it was the closest I ever got to seeing myself doing something I like in five years.
Then came college applications. I only applied for two courses—AB Film at De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde, and BS Marketing Management at De La Salle University (DLSU)–Manila. I applied for film because it was also something that I enjoyed, more specifically the videography and seeing the actual film come to life, and the marketing course was for my future coffee shop business plan. I decided to be practical, and I enrolled in DLSU for marketing.
“I decided to be practical, and I first enrolled in DLSU for marketing.”
Months before college started, this was when I wanted to do a big passion project with my friends. I wanted to make a cover of a song and post it on YouTube and on social media. I then contacted my friends, and we got busy planning. Eventually, I made a YouTube channel under my name “Andre Chang,” and we posted a total of four covers, one of us three together and one solo cover of us each. I still remember the time when we uploaded the first cover and posted it; my heart was racing, and a lot of my close friends were surprised and amazed by the cover. This was the same day that made me realize that maybe this is actually something that I could do forever, making music and becoming a music artist.
With this realization in mind, I was faced with another dilemma—I now knew what I wanted to do, but college applications were done, and I was about to start my marketing course in DLSU. At first, I thought that it was fine because I could use the knowledge from this degree when I started my music career to market myself. Unfortunately, a month into my course, I already wanted out. I started to research on how to transfer, and I planned to tell my family about it for their permission.
After mustering up the courage, I asked them directly if I could transfer to DLS-CSB and take AB in Music Production. At first, they were hesitant, and my dad was silent throughout the entire conversation. My mom asked me a lot of questions about what I felt, and eventually she told me that as long as I would take something that I actually enjoy, then they would support me. Hearing this was a relief, but the weight on my shoulders wasn’t lifted yet since my dad was still hesitant about it. Eventually, after months of thinking, my dad really saw the passion and the drive in me and supported my decision, as well. I then completed all my requirements and successfully transferred schools and took my dream course.
Honestly, it all still feels surreal to me that I actually was able to find my passion after all these years of not knowing what I wanted to do in life. I’m lucky that I have friends and family who support me in my dreams, and I wouldn’t be here without them. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t turn back time and enter CSB directly because even though I hated my subjects, I value the time I spent there and the close friends I’ve made who I still hang out with even after transferring.
My main goal is to keep posting covers of songs on YouTube and TikTok so that I can build a fan base early, and I plan to release my first song in 2024. I have a plan to keep on releasing music while marketing them on TikTok and other social media platforms, and hopefully grow a fan base that appreciates my music. I already have some songs that I’ve written and produced, and who knows? Maybe I might release some of them in the future. For once in my life, I can actually say that I can see myself in five years doing something that I’m passionate about.