Despite hit songs, Dubai-based Pinay to continue work as nurse
Although she has had at least two hit songs to her name, a Filipina nurse in the United Arab Emirates plans to continue pursuing her nursing career for now.
Mariella “Yelle” Gutierrez Castro also said she plans to continue working as a nurse and laser therapist, though her employer has been supporting her music career.
"I’m planning to continue working as a nurse and laser therapist. I’m testing the waters. I’m just a newbie (in the music industry). A nurse for now, (but) why not do some awesome things at the same time?" Castro, who works at the Dubai Medical Village in Jumeirah, said in an interview with Gulf News.
“My plan actually is to study more, focusing on the aesthetic and anti-ageing process. I want to study that stuff. But besides that I also want to learn to play some musical instruments,” she added.
Gulf News said Castro's first two songs appear to "lean towards the twenty-something crowd, though Yelle’s voice reminds...of Mandy Moore."
When asked if she sings to her patients, she said she does not.
"No, not really. But my employer (Dr. Hamid Taghaddos) supports me in my music career," she said.
Castro, 24, goes by the name Yelle in the music industry.
Her two recently released tracks, "Bubble" and "Escape," have been a hit on mymyx.com and iTunes, the Gulf News report said.
Gulf News said that as of June 18, "Bubble" was at No. 14 on the popular online Filipino music countdown (myxph.com) and No 21 on iTunes Philippines.
Castro started singing when she was 4, after her Dubai-based father gave her a cassette recorder with a microphone as a gift.
Her repertoire grew from Lea Salonga songs such as "A Whole New World" to classical piano.
But she joined her father in Dubai after passing the nursing board exams in 2009.
While in Dubai, Castro wrote "Bubble" in January 2013, though she clarified the title was not related to the financial crisis.
“Someone told me that whenever you’re performing, you have to create a certain bubble so you wouldn’t be affected by the crowd around you. It’s a shield or protection. Anything or anyone could serve as a bubble for your family or relationship,” she said.
Castro wrote "Escape" while on a camping trip with Dubai friends during a long Eid holiday.
She said she needed that "escape" because "I wanna decide on my own, think clearly, away from people. And when I thought of the first lines of the song, it was clear that I had made my mind up.”
But she said her recording deal with GMA Records was a fluke of sorts.
“I was practising and my father, who was outside our house with friends, called me and introduced me to Sherrie Ang, a music industry executive. She asked me to video record some of my songs and do some covers too. I did and to my surprise she sent it to different record labels back home,” she said.
Castro went to Manila in March to play some of her compositions for GMA records head Rene Salta. She then signed a contract and recorded the two songs, and did photo shoots and videos in 32 days. — VC, GMA News