An all-Filipino migrant worker rock band based in Dubai has been signed by a major record label in the Philippines. The band Gatilyo, which mean “trigger” in English, comprises Mark Legaspi, David Ojeda, Axzell Florida and Clyden Bonifacio and formed in Dubai in September 2015.
The four men are all Filipino migrant workers and musicians, Gulf News reported. Legaspi, the band’s singer, said the chances of being scouted by a record label in Dubai was almost zero.
“Getting exposure in Dubai is very, very hard. There is no label in the UAE, especially for the music that we play,” Legaspi said.
Another problem the band faced is that they all have full-time jobs. Ojeda, the band’s lead guitarist, works in video production. Their drummer, Florida, works as an airbrush artist, while Bonifacio, the band’s bass guitarist, works as an office at a fashion retail company.
“Because we all have day jobs, we have our families here, we can’t play music 24/7, unlike in the Philippines,” Bonifacio said.
However, despite their busy schedules and working for their families back in the Philippines, the band signed with Warner Music Philippines last November after they performed as a front act of famous Filipino rock band Kjwan in Dubai.
Legaspi said that after the concert, they met Joel Ellorin, Kjwan’s manager, who offered them a recording contract. The band signed with the label and went on a promo concert tour in Manila in February.
In April, the band released their second single and are now preparing to release their first album, which is expected to be out in October.