Meet 20-Year-Old Filipina Denise Julia, a Rising RnB Star

Viral success and millions of streams were not something she had in her 2022 bingo card. Prior to that, the 20-year-old sophomore college student studying International Relations diplomacy with a major in Japanese Studies from Ateneo de Manila University was just an underground musician who had released a handful of singles. But that all changed when, you guessed it, TikTok and social media helped turn her latest single, NVMD, into a viral hit. 

WIM Cover Collage x2 1Image: Denise Julia

Performing, in fact, was (and still is) a core part of her DNA, or at least that’s how Denise sees it. “Ever since, I’ve always wanted to perform. It’s always been in my blood. I wanted to be an actress. That was my first dream. And then I found out that I could sing. When somebody told me that I have a nice voice, I kind of focused on that more, like the music side.” She specifically credits working with producer NEXXFRIDAY as a catalyst for launching her musical career.

Already taking heavy inspiration from music, when she was young, Denise Julia listened to a lot of music, specifically R&B. “It’s a combination of two worlds. I grew up listening to 90s R&B women like Beyoncé, TLC, and Aaliyah, and modern R&B like Summer Walker, SZA, and Kehlani. I think my sound is definitely the combination of those two.”

On the 26th of August, singer, songwriter and producer Denise Julia dropped her newest single, Superficial Energy. The track serves as a new theme and powerful presence she wants to be known for. According to Denise, her last viral track ‘NVMD(which has amassed over 38 million streams worldwide, as well as over 15 million on her MV/lyric videos to date) isn’t exactly the vibe she wants to continue being known for. “This release felt a bit different. If I’m being honest, NVMD isn’t the vibe I want to be known for. I really see myself releasing more of RnB than pop songs.”

Denise was spotted recording the MV for ‘Superficial Energy’ with members of the Asian-American boy group The North Star Boys. Composed of members Oliver Moy, Sebastian Moy, Ryan Nguyen, Regie Macalino, Justin Phan, Darren Liang, and Kane Ratan, these young stars made their official debut as a group in August 2021. They came to the Philippines in August 2022 for meet and greets with their Filipino fans, brand deals, and their collaboration with Denise. 

The track Superficial Energy refers to a person’s fleeting attraction to someone else’s appearance. The lyrics revolve around the daydreams as a result of that single interaction, and it describes the impulsive desires of the infatuation stage. 

Watch the official music video for Superficial Energy here: