Sean Oliu: Mariachi Motivator

Sean Oliu

The Anaheim resident’s love of music increased dramatically after he was invited to be on Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids” in 2013. Oliu was one of six finalists in the competition (a franchise of “The Voice”) and used his $4,000 winnings to help start an after-school mariachi program at Adelaide Price Elementary. Now 14, he continues to perform and organize fundraisers for music programs in the Anaheim Elementary and Anaheim Union High School districts.

What inspired your love of music?
My grandparents had a friend who was the director and maestro of a mariachi group . That was a really great way for me to practice my Spanish, so I went there and fell in love with the culture.

Any artists you try to emulate?
I’m a huge Elvis fan, and I like the Beatles a lot. I’m in a rockabilly group, too. In terms of rancheras, I’m a huge Jorge Negrete fan.

How’d you get on “La Voz Kids”?
I didn’t really mean to! The show saw me singing on YouTube, and we got a phone call. My parents were
unsure, but I begged them and they let me go.

Why start a mariachi program?
I realized there are so many kids out there who love music as much as I do and would love to pursue it. But they can’t because they don’t have the resources. It took a lot more than $4,000, so we started our Kids Giving Back annual fundraiser. With that, we’ve raised $20,000 in two years. – Connie Lee

SEE HIM! Find out about Oliu’s upcoming performances at facebook.com/seanoliu714.

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