Singer-songwriter Jon Guelas is very likely to make it bigger in the Philippines when he becomes fluent in Filipino.
The Filipino-British singer-songwriter dropped his surname “Burrell” when he signed up with the Philippine-based Tarsier Records in November 2021. Guelas used his full name when he was a member of the British boyband Unified Vibe from 2018 to 2020.
Robbie Williams formed the band by getting together five solo auditioners in The X Factor in the United Kingdom, all of whom he was asked to coach. Unified Vibe became popular in the UK for some years but the boys disbanded in April 2020 to try their luck as solo acts.
Guelas found a producer (the NFL player Christian Ballard) of his two singles, released in the UK and the United States.
The Cambridge-born Guelas was heavily into football until he was 17. He was 18 when he was scouted for the X Factor. He aced unanimously from all judges, with Williams describing him as “obviously incredibly talented.”
His stint in The X Factor 2018 kick-started his career in music.
Tarsier Records has released his second single, “The Hardest Thing,” a sentimental pop song that explores the complicated emotions of wanting to be truthful despite possibly causing pain to someone special. Guelas wrote the track.
“Sometimes, it is so difficult to be honest with someone you’re with because you don’t want to hurt them. You still care but you’ve grown into different people, so how will you go about that?” he said.
His first single with Tarsier was “Did I Let You Go,” which he co-wrote. The song is described as “a heartbreak anthem [that] has an acoustic pop vibe with a catchy chorus.”
“Did I Let You Go” became the theme of season 2 of iWant series He’s Into Her starring Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan. The producers had the loveteam recording a duet which the fans lapped up.
Guelas has dyed his hair black to make him look Pinoy. He actually has brown hair as can be seen in most of the YouTube videos of Unified Vibe.
When he learns to eat balut, his tongue might acquire a fluency in Filipino. He recently failed in a balut-eating TikTok challenge by his manager, TV and concert director Frank Lloyd Mamaril. Guelas only managed to sip the broth of the balut from its shell.
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