Netflix’s first shot at reality TV seems to be a major success, as fans are raving about the new show ‘Westside!’ Leo & James of the show spoke to HollywoodLife their journey to stardom in front of the cameras.
Netflix is jumping on America’s obsession with reality TV and has delivered an engrossing series called Westside, which follows nine up and coming musicians working with producer Sean Patrick Murray. Each musician, some who have already made names for themselves, like Pia Toscano (American Idol) are challenged to dig into their creative and collaborative minds to come up with content to perform at a showcase at the famous 1OAK club in LA. While the show is filled, episode to episode, with true, musical genius and a look at a musician’s creative process, as well as the struggle to “make it,” there also is a fair share of drama — this is reality TV, of course. Leo Gallo, James Byous and Lexi Krekorian from Westside visited HollywoodLife to talk about the new show, the opportunities it has created for them and, of course, the drama.
“For the most part, all of us really jumped into this. There was only one person that didn’t fully jump in and was just putting up a shield of who he thinks he is, and I’m talking about Austin [Colby],” Leo Gallo revealed to HollywoodLife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “He didn’t want to get any deeper or hear anything that was true to him. He would close off and there would be a lot of things that we would do, but then he’d do something completely different just to start shit. I’m not a shit-starter and James calls people’s shit out, so that’s why we let him have it. Ultimately, I’m so thankful that he did because it just raised up an awareness of, ‘Wow, you’re really not here for all the right reasons.” Leo went on the explain that while James can come off intense and angry this season, he really is a “cool guy.” “He was lost and dealing with his demons,” Leo revealed. “I just happened to be on the show when I hit rock bottom,” James, who is now sober, revealed to HL. “You get down to the bottom and you’re like I don’t want to go any lower than contemplating suicide, in the fetal position, weeping, and vomiting, and shaking. That’s as low as I want to go.'” Leo added, “He has found his way.”
As for the music, Leo, who is a former member of the boy band Youth Asylum, has a voice of an angel and he’s tapping into his creative juices by not only working on his own career, but also helping his Westside co-stars. “I’ve been in the industry for a very long time, and I’ve always put on different hats and different costumes and told different stories that weren’t my own, and this was the first opportunity where I was allowed to just tell my story,” he explained. “It also helped with the cast, because I’ve been in the industry for a longer period of time, and I was the one that kind of helped everyone through their struggle times and the whole thing.” He continued, “I wanna create a world where there are no limitations.”
“I’m just a musician, I just wanted to play music,” James said of his reasons for going on the show. “I really believed in my music and I just wanted a place to put my music where more people would hear it.” He added that if Westside were to hopefully get a season 2, he hopes that audiences will be inspire by his story. “I got really into martial arts, so I’d like to be showing people the healthy lifestyle that I’ve found for myself,” he explained. I’d like to inspire people to try to find whatever that is for them.” Fingers crossed for that season 2! You can stream Westside on Netflix, now!