As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Special Edition 2022 – I Belong
Denice Badua (they/them) is an independent Filipino artist, music producer, and audio engineer based in The Greater Toronto area. They have been working as a professional musician and singer for most of their career. Denice has had the opportunity to perform worldwide, from large-scale arenas in Metro Manila to intimate Cafes by the Lakeshore in Mississauga, Ontario. Their sound can be acoustic R&B or Neo Soul, often accompanied by their voice and rhythmic guitar licks. Denice has a degree in Audio Production and engineering from one of the top recording schools in Canada. They also produce and engineer several artists of all genres and various levels of experience in music.
Tell us a little about your musical background; how old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your passion for music?
My musical background is rooted in curiosity. I was around eight years old when I began exploring the guitar. What sparked my love for the style of music I play today was witnessing the warmth I felt from R&B, Neo-Soul, and Jazz music. There’s something about a 7th chord that never misses.
What inspires you to wake up every day and continue pursuing your dreams?
My desire to show up for myself and the communities I identify with (Queer, Trans, POC) inspires me to continue pursuing music. Of course, there are days when I lack the motivation and passion for playing and singing, but my heart always finds its way back to being grounded in honoring my existence and all the parts that make me who I am.
Take us through your songwriting process. What types of environments do you feel you need to be your most creative?
My songwriting process ranges from song to song, depending on inspiration. It can come when a random chord progression hits just right during a jam session or when I’m deep in feelings. I often get attached to a spontaneous chord progression, mumbling melodies, and letting a phrase find its way into the song. I then build the song’s story and structure from there!
What guitars are you playing right now?
I put the same amount of care into being financially conscious as I do into finding the right sound. I firmly believe in not needing the most expensive gear to create beautiful music. That said, for electric guitar, I bounce between my Squier Classic Vibe ‘70s Thinline Telecaster, which I use for warm and round tones, and my Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster, which I use for a little more grit. While working at a music store, I came across these well-loved guitars and was immediately drawn to both. I consider myself very lucky to have found these guitars — or rather, they found their way to me! As for acoustic guitar, I play a Taylor 322ce, which cost me a little more but was an excellent investment.
Finish this sentence: I believe music…
I believe music is as unique as the human experience — it takes on many forms and invokes a wide range of emotions. It’s what makes it so beautiful.