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Oct 31, 2012

Ascenthium seeks rock superstardom in Superstar

Be The Next Superstar is Channel Five’s runaway hit family program. The winner of the show will take home ten thousand dollars and bragging rights. On Tuesday we met up with the Jeremys, Jeremy Cuthkelvin and Jeremy Vasquez in Belmopan. Tonight News Five got the back story on the band called Ascenthium.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The six-member band consisting of three guitarist, a drummer, a lead vocalist and a female bassist have been rocking the stage at the first ever season of Channel Five’s most recent talent show, Be the Next Superstar. And after twelve weeks of grueling competition against other talents including dancing, comedy, drama and singing; the rock band—a first time debut on a Channel Five show—shook the Bliss with its reverberating music.


John Hoy

John Hoy, Lead Singer, Ascenthium

“I mentioned to the guitarist like hey there is this Channel Five competition for Be the Next Superstar, you could win ten thousand dollars. And I told them why don’t you guys enter? How about we enter? At first they were all skeptical and they were like ummm, we will think about it. Final day came, the three guitarists actually walked in with their acoustic guitars and played a flamenco piece and behold we were called back and we made it into the show. That’s when we decided to say let’s kick this into high gear and let’s start this competition.”


But despite their hesitation, the group has pushed forward winning the hearts of many and wooing the crowd with their intricate style and immense talent.


Cesar Gonzalez

Cesar Gonzalez, Lead Guitarist, Ascenthium

“We are a rock band and we had to introduce rock to the show, but the way we were going to do that wasn’t the way usually rock bands would do. We wanted to warm them up first. We started off with acoustic guitars to show what we actually have and then slowly we advanced to a few other members—we included electric guitars. We didn’t go into hard rock. We provided smooth sultry music so that people could listen to the soft side of us.”


Dina Halsall, Bassist, Ascenthium

Dina Halsall

“I think it is about time for people to recognize that rock music is a genre in the country and it’s been here for a while. I mean in Orange Walk, in Corozal, in Cayo, people listen to it; they really enjoy it. And I think it needs to be put out there in a way that people can swallow it but at the same time with the depth that it actually carries.”


Guido Gonzalez, Drummer, Ascenthium

“When you are in a game, you have to know how to play a game. So the way we did it was mainly to ask advice from other performers that have been on shows like KTV Latino and they would tell us the name of the game and we know where to go from there.”


Ascenthium had its growing pains while trying to make the sum of six personalities become one.


Dina Halsall

“I was actually starting a band with a few friends of mine and my sister and we needed a drummer to teach my little sister. So they introduced me to Guido and after that that band was put back and after a while, the guys saw me around all the time trying to do something with music and they decide to just put me in the band.”


Guido Gonzalez

“Music is a beautiful thing. Why not give your life to music; why not express yourself in something as beautiful as music? Our inspirations are mostly found in people who do good things and people who tend to put others on top before themselves. We find inspiration in many people—not only musicians, but in leaders; in people that have done a lot for their communities.”


Guido Gonzalez

As to the stereotype that they are a well-funded group; it is quite the contrary.


Guido Gonzalez

“The stereotype out there is that we are a rock band and perhaps the skin color, so we have a lot of money; that’s not really the case. All the equipment that we have here is borrowed.”


Cesar Gonzalez

“The fact that we’re poor, doesn’t mean that we are going to show that we are poor—we are not going for the sympathy votes. We want people to straight up and honestly tell us how we really are. On stage, people won’t be able to tell that we’re poor; people can’t tell that sometimes we have to eat ramen and that we sometimes go without eating. We don’t want people to know that.”


But they have pulled through. Becoming Belize’s Next Superstar is a testament—not only for themselves as a band, but also to garner support from their parents. So marketing themselves for the show, for the public is pressuring; notwithstanding educational pressures.


Guido Gonzalez

“We have families, we don’t really ask for a lot of support from them. We don’t really do that very often. It was like a part of marketing again because we really needed to show them that we really need this. And because it is very hard for us because we study at the Yamaha School of Music in Chetumal and it is not cheap; it is three hundred dollars a head, a month to study there and we all go there. I think this has a lot to do with sponsorship. Marketing is like fifteen percent of what we actually need to do. If you go out there and speak what you are all about to the people that you want to be sponsored by, you really need to give them an incentive to follow what you are trying to give to them or sell to them.”


Ascenthium’s goal is to take their music and talent internationally and become cultural ambassadors for Belize.


Guido Gonzalez

“We intend to go to an international level to represent our country and genre. We already have a game plan—one that is far too long to share with you guys, but it is a very solid game plan. And we believe that it is going to get us to where we are supposed to go.”


Dina Halsall

“Everyone has a role to fill and mine, I am the bassist—not the girl in the band, not the princess of the band; it’s the bassists. So I get a lot of criticism from these guys because I’m much younger than them. I would like to say to any female out there that wants to pursue music, prepare for a long hard struggle because you are not going to be pampered or petted. You have to be strong but be feminine at the same time. Earn your respect.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Ascenthium seeks rock superstardom in Superstar”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    awesome group my hopes are that they win, like the way the portray themselves as youth trying to be positive and keeping the mind until they succeed in this music career,also to be international known and ambassadors for the Belizean music groups coming along too.

  2. Chiquibul says:

    One of the best, if not the best group I’ve seen in years. Keep it up, and use your talents wisely.

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