Who Is Leo Gallo On 'Westside'? The Former Boy Band Member Is Looking For Another Big Break
Netflix's newest reality series follows nine musicians attempting to make it in Hollywood — or in Westside star Leo Gallo's case, attempting to make it...again. According to Variety, Gallo was in Youth Asylum, a '90s boy band signed to Quincy Jones' label Qwest Records. However, they weren't very successful, and he's still striving for his big break.
According to a Reddit AMA Kevin Yee, a fellow Youth Asylum member, did in 2014, being in the group was difficult. For starters, he only made about $4,000 over the course of the three years the band was together. "It's not like other industries where you're paid," he explained. "It's more like the label is a bank and gives you a loan and you eventually have to pay it back. So I probably wouldn't have made any money until we sold a couple million albums and paid back our advance money and paid all the songwriters and producers and paid for all of our tours, et cetera."
He also claimed the label was controlling of their image ("We were told how to talk, dress, act"), and that the members didn't mesh well, either. "We didn’t really fight, but I wouldn’t say we really got along as a group," he wrote. "I think some of us were forced to become friends since we were living in such close quarters, and there was no one else around. Very few of us were from Los Angeles (where we were based) so they rented us a two bedroom apartment where six of us and a chaperone lived." Yikes.
But while Gallo had a less-than-stellar beginning in show business, he's been working fairly consistently since then. He was on Season 6 of The Voice, and according to his personal website, he's also a trained dancer.
"Leo keeps the peace all the time," star Caitlin Ary said in a teaser for the show. "I naturally love leading, and I got humbled by this experience," Gallo said in the same clip. "It's really allowed me to watch my fellow castmates grow and become these humongous artists right before my eyes."
However, the singer/dancer is still grappling with his own personal demons. According to Variety, he uses marijuana to escape family trauma, which viewers will likely learn more about in the series. "The show ended up feeling more like a yearlong therapy session," Gallo told Pitchfork. "It helped me look at myself as an artist and a human being through a magnifying glass."
And while it remains to be seen what Gallo found under that magnifying glass, he seems to be doing well for himself. Westside has released two original music videos ahead of its premiere — "Vibe" and "We Are the Ones" — which heavily feature the now-32-year-old. Gallo appears at ease in front of the camera, radiating both charisma and confidence.
Speaking of the music, Westside recruited some major songwriters for the series, including "Dangerous Woman" writer Johan Carlsson, Philip Lawrence (of "Uptown Funk" fame), and record producer Mutt Lange, per Variety. Ironically enough, the Westside soundtrack is being produced by Warner Bros. (which Qwest Records is housed under), so things have truly come full circle for Gallo.