Meeting Louis Xavier, there is no trace of the 220-pound teenager who was called fat and ugly repeatedly by bullies. Today, the 22-year-old has a lean sculpted body ideal for his 5’8’’ height and a lighter weight of 145 pounds. But more than the body transformation, Louis Xavier is an emerging singer/ songwriter whose song Keep Holding On is gaining notice as he wrote it in commemoration of the International Refugee Day.
“I wrote a song called Keep Holding On which I dedicated, initially, to the victims of terrorism in Syria and Marawi,” he said. “Later on, I rewrote the song as an ode to the International Refugee Day which is commemorated every June 20.”
The United Nations Refugee Agency set that date each year to call on governments and the public to look into the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who were forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict or persecution.
“The lyrics of the song empowers bullied kids, then and now. It is an anthem against violence towards children in general,” he explained as he recalled his own experience.
“I almost quit school because of the bullying I received from both classmates and teachers,” he said. But with the support from his family and close friends, he was able to emerge stronger after that challenging phase in his life. It took two long years to shed off the unwanted weight to slowly gain confidence in himself again.
Christened Gio Aragon, he picked Louis Xavier as his screen name because he loves France’s King Louis XV’s favorite dessert that was named after the monarch.
“Louis is after the French king, and XaVier from the Roman numeral attached to his name,” he shared, adding that he is also enamored with the Goth style since he was a kid. He also enjoys the films of Tim Burton and reads books set in Transylvania.
But aside from music, Louis loves desserts. In fact, he can easily bake sans rival, cream puffs, or macaroons. After high school, he took up a 15-month chef’s certificate course at Enderun College.
“This is where my musical odyssey began. There was this beautiful piano in the students’ lounge that I kept tinkering on. Since I had no formal music education, I was practicing my ear to pick up the tunes. After a while, it became easier to play melodies by ear and get comfortable with the piano’s keys,” he revealed.
When he turned 18, he composed a rock ballad entitled Sacred Wine, which according to him was “a gift to myself; it was my toast to ‘all of our crimes.’”
After that, a lot of opportunities came in such as appearances in TV commercials and being one of the finalists in a UK songwriting competition. He is currently working on a dance-pop album called Explode that will contain 10 all-original songs.
For the meantime, he wanted to bring Keep Holding On to more ears, especially to those who need to hear it most.
“If I’m given the chance to visit a displaced children’s camp, I would gladly sing and even bake goodies for them so they can forget the terror around them, even for a while. I’m planning to do a fundraising concert early next year where proceeds will go directly to charity,” he said. “I want to be the voice of the voiceless and hopefully, I can inspire others, especially the young ones. If I can talk to my much younger self now, I would tell him that you’ll grow up to be a better person one day. No one can bully you now.”