Rapper gets billionaire Branson's attention

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2016 05:08 PM

Curtis Smith raps for Richard Branson at the ANC Asian Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on Wednesday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- An aspiring Filipino rapper spewed verses about his rough childhood and got the ear of billionaire philanthropist Richard Branson.

Working student Mito Fabie was called to ask a question for Branson during ANC's leadership forum in Manila Wednesday, but he took the opportunity to perform his composition, "Going in for life."

Branson instructed his staff to give his business card to the 22-year-old Fabie, who goes by the stage name Curtis Smith, in honor of Kapamilya star Anne Curtis Smith's perseverance to pursue a music career in spite of her vocal limitations.

"The fact that I met him, and he allowed me to rap, getting his number is crazy," the entrepreneurship student told ABS-CBN News, grabbing his head in disbelief.

Branson, whose Virgin Group includes music production, also asked Fabie to upload his demo to the billionaire's blog.

"It's about the truths I learned from people like Richard Branson, growing up," he said of the rap verses he performed.

Fabie said his father died when he was 16 while his mother left the country a year later, leaving him under the care of his paternal grandparents.

He performs at Manila night clubs at night with DJ friends while studying in the daytime. On his spare time, he volunteers for Gawad Kalinga.