EXCLUSIVE: Denise Julia Loves to be Loud and Proud as a Queer Artist

EXCLUSIVE: Denise Julia Loves to be Loud and Proud as a Queer Artist


Denise Julia has added her own splash of color to the vast realm of music. The Gen Z R&B songstress talks to MEGAStyle about being a queer artist making queer music

The Philippine neo-soul hotbed is under a sexy spell with the tracks NVMD and B.A.D. The captivating spell caster? Denise Julia. Forging her way further with her maiden studio album, Sweet Nothings (Chapter 1), the artist continues to weave romantic longing over rhythms and tempos that manage to be both laidback and urgent. Throughout her discography, the singer’s unruffled swagger and confidence, as well as her feminine equilibrium of strength and softness, become more full-throated—even extending to her personal affairs. Denise is loud and proud about wearing her Pride colors and lacing queer theory —with fervor at that—into her music. With June is the perfect month to blast ‘rainbow music,’ Denise Julia is an artist you can listen to with pride, and even after the festivities of Pride.

The rising Filipina R&B sensation, Denise Julia

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“In this industry, I don’t think people are used to an artist who wears very feminine, girly, and sexy fashion coming out as queer,” Denise begins. “So with my style and how I present myself, it’s important for me to show that people who are queer can look like this, dress like this, and make music for our community, too.”

Outside of her artistic talent, Denise Julia is celebrated for her openness about sexuality. Her honesty and desire to explore this in both her life and her work have cemented her place as an icon to look up to for the LGBTQIA+ community, especially among the Gen Zs. In a country where queer visibility is vital, Denise is loud, free, and raising liberating vibrations through her music. Fearless and self-assured, Denise makes being a representation for young people who are out of the closet or just inching out of it a priority.

In Celebrating Love in All of Its Forms

At the release of her debut album, Denise explicitly stated that one of her self-written tracks, Sugar n’ Spice, is a sapphic song. Chronicling the feeling of Cupid shooting your heart, Denise’s love-filled work sounds the way love should feel: effortless and effective, pure and powerful. 

Not only a stellar addition to the R&B canon, this song also symbolizes a pivotal moment in Philippine music. When the song came out, members of the LGBTQIA+ community called it the ‘gay anthem,’ with sapphic Filipinas rejoicing. Now in Pride Month, Sugar n’ Spice is a love song for the ages, one that details in words and soulful vocals the whys and hows of full-on romantic bliss.

The songstress takes this beyond sound and takes a big step forward for Southeast Asian and Filipina queer representation with a music video directed by Samantha Lee and starring Angela Cepeda. The collaboration, with Sam Lee’s notable works being sapphic movies Rookie and Billie & Emma, is a wide-eyed proclamation of love. The stars of the video show intimacy, tenderness, and the magic of girls’ love—all perfectly packaged into this syrupy valentine track. Denise also met with BINI Mikha Lim for a reaction to the music video, where fans captured sweet and kilig moments from the two artists.

Denise Julia queer music MEGAStyle Exclusive Pride Month LGBTQIA+ Sugar n' Spice music video Angela Cepeda
Denise Julia stars alongside actress Angela Cepeda in a love-filled music video for sapphic song Sugar n’ Spice

“The public doesn’t really see kikay girls as someone who can love women. They expect me to act a certain way, to be acceptable as part of the community,” Denise reveals to MEGAStyle. “So it was important for me to take a stance against those people who keep distorting the reality that I am very much queer. So that’s what I did with Sugar n’ Spice. In the Denise Julia way—which is as authentically as possible—I dressed as myself [in the music video], I played as myself, and I showed how I see love between women.”

Making Her Debut on Live TV in Pride Month

The R&B/Soul hitmaker also made her debut on ASAP Natin ‘To last Sunday, June 2—perfectly opening the curtains for the most colorful month of the year. “It’s perfect timing,” she declares to MEGAStyle. “I recently just came out as well, and at the same time, I’m really pushing for more morena girls to be the face of the Philippine entertainment industry.”

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With her appearance on live television, Denise Julia says she hopes to inspire ‘little morena girls’

 On the national TV stage, Denise was a powerhouse singer and neo-soul leader, performing as both a queer and morena artist. She further shares that growing up, there was not a ‘pop star’ she could look up to that dances and makes music like she does. “To be able to do that in front of the whole country marks a really special moment for me, and I hope fellow morena girls and members of my community can see themselves in me,” she says.

Pioneering the Pinoy LGBTQIA+ music landscape

“I really hope we can be more welcoming and more open-minded,” the singer-songwriter opens up. “Until now, there’s still a lot of struggle. There are other queer artists who came before me, of course, but within the limits of the music industry. It’s nice to be one of the first few that really fights for queer representation.” Out and proud, Denise Julia’s life-affirming work speaks loudly to members of the community and beyond it; her restless energy to drive change through her art has delivered great progress. The courage of her conviction is her defining DNA as a pioneer in the Pinoy LGBTQIA+ music scene, and she continues to do so in her own way.

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Denise with director Samantha Lee on the set of Sugar n’ Spice

“I hope the ones that come after me are not as caged in as much, and they can just do whatever they want because other artists before them have already fought the hard battle,” Denise says with a hopeful smile. “Then we’ll have more queer music by queer artists to consume and enjoy.”

Photos and Featured Image: DENISE JULIA (Via Instagram and X)

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