Compiled by Tim Sun
The Oracle: When did you first start singing and how did you get into it?
Arthur Filppu: I’ve been singing a lot since I was a kid but the first time I really started doing it for school shows and getting in choirs and doing voice lessons was in seventh grade.
TO: What is your favorite part about singing?
AF: It really lifts up my mood, and it seems to lift up the mood of people around me. Even by yourself, it will make you happier. Then you get to share it with other people, and they like it.
TO: What is your favorite song to sing and why?
AF: My staple, I guess, is “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. In seventh grade the way I got into singing was through a talent show. I was nervous out of my mind for it since this was before I had ever sung in front of anyone. I chose “When I Was Your Man” and I sang, and everyone loved it. I was so surprised by how many compliments I received and how good it felt to sing up there. That experience really changed me. I used to play sports a lot and I still did in middle school, but I started to focus a lot more on music. So that song has always kind of been important to me. I know it by heart. If someone were to come up to me and say, “Sing me a song,” I would sing “When I Was Your Man.” It’s my favorite.
TO: You performed recently at Gunn’s Open Mic and Staff/Choir Musical. What were those experiences like?
AF: They were awesome. I loved the whole experience of the Open Mic. People enjoyed it, and some of my friends were there so it was just a really fun way to start a weekend. The choir show was also fun and I liked doing it because it was part of a play.
TO: What’s your favorite part about acting on stage and what’s the feeling like?
AF: If you really want to do it well, you can’t go on autopilot. You have to really know what you’re saying and connect with the original singer and apply it to something. If you’re singing about a breakup, try to think of something similar that might have happened in your life. I think it’s kind of magical when you’re in the moment and everyone is listening and there are no worries other than just focusing on what you’re doing. I think that’s one of my favorite feelings ever.
TO: How do you think singing has impacted your life and what lessons have you learned from singing?
AF: It has helped me a lot. I think it has helped me the most in confidence. When you get up there and sing in front of a ton of people and they like it, it makes you more confident. Singing has really taught me to just go for things. It’s also helped me meet a lot of new people and get new opportunities.
TO: What do you believe makes you special as a singer?
AF: I think I’m good at learning things quickly; that’s an important skill. I think I also really have a way of keeping the mood good. I think I really have positive energy when I sing.
TO: Who are your role models as a singer?
AF: I kind have three: Justin Timerblake, Michael Jackson—I really like his performances—and Bruno Mars; [I like] Bruno Mars probably the most. I sing a lot of his songs, and I really like his music and everything about him.
TO: What’s the most challenging part about singing?
AF: I think a lot of classical and genres other than mainstream pop can be different, and that can be difficult. And making sure that you’re not just singing blankly, but that you’re putting emotion and performance into it, can be difficult sometimes.
TO: What are your future plans regarding singing?
AF: I want to continue choir throughout high school, and I want to possibly do it in college and maybe be in an a capella group or something. If I get more opportunities maybe more.