Filipino Musicians make it to the National Grand Finals

Another Filipino musical act made waves in one of the prestigious musical competitions here in the United Kingdom. Acoustic act, The Soulm8s, made it to the National Grand Finals of the Soundwaves Music Competition which was held at Birmingham last 24th of August.

The musical duo, composed of real-life couple Lloyd and Jackielou Balatongan, performed along with 9 other regional winners from Scotland, Newcastle, Leeds and London on a packed crowd at the O2 Institute in Birmingham. The duo, along with their Filipino, British and Spanish friends, performed at a packed crowd, where they wowed the judges consisting of producers who worked with Celine Dion and Oasis as well as record label executives.

The duo was joined by Spanish percussionist, Pipo Torres and backing harmonies, Rex Portillano-Barr and couple Jerry and Gemma Leysa. Performing their own song, “On My Own” as well as a cover of Whitney Houston’s chart-topper “Saving All My Love”, The Soulm8s had the opportunity to play in one of the iconic venues, The O2 Institute, after winning the Regional Finals last July against 13 other acts from the Midlands and Wales.


They also sang a rendition of “No Matter Where You Are”, a song from Us The Duo and another original track, the catchy “Marmalade Shake”.

Professional three-piece band, Chasing Deer from London were declared the National Winner and got a full-recording package and photo shoots, press coverage and a UK Tour at the O2 Academy Venues. The Soulm8s, though was added to the poll of artist by the organisers of the competition, Subwaves Records and will have chance to tour as one of the support acts around the country.

The duo faced tough competition from around 1000 acts all over the country across several audition stages. They claimed the Midlands Regional Finals last July held at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, prevailing against 14 music acts composing of rock bands, singer-songwriters, rappers and fellow acoustic acts.
Hailing from Iloilo, Philippines, the duo met as part of the Youth For Christ ministry band, where they fell in love and grew into music. Having two children, Liam (10) and Lyris (6) didn’t stop them from pursuing their passion in music. Lloyd came to United Kingdom to work as a nurse in Loughborough, Leicestershire in 2009, and Jackielou, a Bachelor in Music Education graduate, followed in 2011, leaving her job as a primary school teacher in Philippines.

They have since travelled around the UK playing in pubs, festivals and events. From playing in pubs across Surrey and Derby, to posh wedding venues like Chatsworth House and Barrio Fiestas around Midlands, the couple moved forward with their music career despite their busy family and work schedules. Their unique acoustic sound and great harmonies makes them stand out at open mics and festival, hence making them known to the music circuit around Midlands.

And their loyal following also have become a big part of their success, having raised more than a £1000 for their transport and logistics during their stint in the Soundwaves Music Competition. Showing how “Bayanihan” works, the duo also contributes back to the community by setting up the youth choir in Derby as well as promoting performers during their gigs and project, as part of the Derby Bayanihan Productions.

Follow them by subscribing to their website, www.thesoulm8s.com or their Facebook page, The Soulm8s.

For bookings, visit their website or contact booking agent, Portia at 07720 864668.

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