Last Thursday on DLSU Live!, we had Indie artist Gelo; (Pronounced: Gelo Semicolon) perform his personal songs to cap off the last Live! Session of 2019.
Gelo; opens with a love song, “Magising”, inspired by the relationship of his best friend who was getting married at the time. He states that it is “easier to write about hurt than something as pure as love” so he wrote this song to honor their marriage.
Looking at his past, Gelo; started as a battle rapper back in 7th grade while writing poetry and prose. By 10th grade, he went on to learn the guitar, but it was only last year, 2018, that he started writing his own songs. As an artist, he started out with a few gigs and rely on hour-long busking sessions for financial support, but eventually, he started opening for popular acts such as Autotelic and Keiko Necesario several times this 2019.
Moving on to his second song, “Magsasawa Ka Ba Sa Akin” was originally written for his mom, who left when he was only 4 years old. He dedicates this song to everyone who needs assurance.
At present, Gelo; is only on SoundCloud, but hopes to be on Spotify by the end of the year. He shares that his prize for creating music is the fact that people are able to relate to it. He also likes to listen to a mix of genres such as K-pop and rap, which motivates him to constantly keep improving and write different kinds of stories through his music.
His third song, “Ikaw Sa Salamin”, is a song he considers to have changed his life. It was inspired by his past crush, who still had many insecurities despite generally being considered pretty. The song points out that insecurities are a part of being human and it is valid to feel it even if you seem “perfect”. “Ikaw Sa Salamin” is also his most streamed song on SoundCloud and one that connected with most people as well as various artists he looks up to.
Gelo; mentioned that he had a Wattpad phase, where he read and wrote stories on the site. He states that they are a part of Filipino culture and has no regrets since he also learned through those stories and experiences.
Ending his set with “Tengang Bukas”, he stated that this song is one that he doesn’t want to forget to sing in gigs. It was written during one of his darkest days, with the songwriting process saving him in the end and still saves him to this day. The song is an advocacy for mental health and is the reason he added the semicolon, a popular symbol for mental health advocates, at the end of his name.
In the near future, Gelo; hopes to be able to write an album and continue to improve more and inspire more people; maybe even someone bigger in the music scene than he is right now.