Getting in touch with his Filipino roots and at the same time bringing his own brand of music to audiences are what made Filipino-British singer Jon Guelas want to stay in the Philippines.
The Breakthrough Six Outstanding Men of the Philippines 2022 nominee has already managed to make his presence felt via a collaboration with Vivoree Esclito as they sang together the heartbreak anthem of the popular series “He’s Into Her,” “Did I Let You Go.”
Guelas revealed that he writes from experience, like “a heartbreak or something that hurts.”
“But I really want to write Filipino Tagalog songs,” he said during his first live press conference, last Thursday, Aug. 25.
“Before I was heartbroken, I wrote a song. It is basically just about leaving a relationship too easy. I was in a relationship and then we broke up. I questioned myself, ‘Why?’ I could have done more things to keep this going. And I decided to write a song,” he narrated.
Writing songs is Guelas’ “outlet” and “coping mechanism” to get used to the break-up.
“I would say that a lot of it are painful. It’s a lot easier to write about heartbreak rather than being in love,” he stressed.
But he has come to work on nurturing his writing ability and learn how to write from different perspectives. He also finds fellow musician Arthur Nery “a big inspiration.”
“The way he presents himself, his music, his songwriting, I think it touches me. His songs are in Tagalog and I can’t understand all the words [but] you really get emotional,” he said.
For now, Guelas is bent on improving his Tagalog. He has a tutor who’s giving him a one-on-one lesson. His friends and relatives also try to speak to him in Tagalog to speed up his learning.
Guelas also joined “X-Factor” in September 2018 where he earned four yes votes. Jon got through to the finals with a group formed by judges Robbie Williams, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell. The band toured United Kingdom and parts of Ireland to sell-out shows. In 2019, they did a mall tour in the Philippines and made appearances on ABS-CBN’s “ASAP Natin ‘To” and MYX PH, the Wish bus, and Monster RX 93.1. Jon also co-wrote two chart breaking songs which led to various radio and TV appearances in Britain and Ireland.
Guelas has just performed at the “He’s Into Her” concert at the Araneta Coliseum yesterday, Aug. 27. The singer-composer, managed by Frank Mamaril, will perform next at the 1MX concert on Oct. 1, at Apps Court Farm in London. JB