Denise Julia and Samantha Lee brought their artistic genius together to make a sugary, sapphic-love-filled music video for ‘Sugar n’ Spice’, and it’s everything.
Samantha Lee is low-key winning the manifestation games. Those of us who witnessed what went down on X between R&B singer-songwriter Denise Julia and director Samantha Lee before they came out with the Sugar n’ Spice music video should count ourselves lucky. Those of us chronically online saw the beginning of a beautiful partnership between two (and more) creative women, and a follow-through that was adorable, sweet, and nostalgic.
From a simple post on X to a full-on music video brought to life by a team of young women, Sugar n’ Spice is a visual, musical love letter to queer women (and all those who believe in love) from queer women, and how we saw it come to be is one of the most lovely things about being in this generation.
THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Ok but what if we made an MV 👉👈🥺 https://t.co/sH99rQxDqb— Samantha Lee (@givemesam) December 5, 2023
Denise Julia’s pretty much known now for being open and 100% real about her life, music, and experiences, and for being very active online. It was adorable when the singer shared the meaning behind the track, how she wrote it about a “pretty masc,” and immediately after, Direk Sam went on to shoot her shot—and everybody sat straight up in their seats (we did, at least). With eight words, the writer and director totally manifested this collaboration into existence.
By January 19, Denise revealed that the music video was recently filmed, and that a girl directed it. Direk Sam also immediately reposted her post, so we weren’t left to wonder for too long. Shortly after, Denise teased the music video and expressed her desire to share something she treasured deeply through the music video: “the beautiful experience of falling for a woman.”
FOR THE GIRLS
THIS MV IS SO SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL. All the nuances of sapphic love 😭😭😭— 설오 ✨ (@labanbading) February 3, 2024
gf said that if only we had this growing up we would know faster that we like girls lol https://t.co/4Pcqt7r9qB
The Sugar n’ Spice music video is sweet, warm, and kilig-inducing, a shared trait of Samantha Lee rom-coms. It stars Denise Julia herself and Angela Cepeda, who recently also had a role in Direk Sam’s Rookie (2023), as two young and in love young women just having a great, sunny late afternoon. Set in a warmly-lit, lived-in room, the video was nostalgic, chock-full of references to 2000s and 2010s music videos and culture, like when Denise was playing the crush game FLAMES or when Angela put on a cheese ring on Denise’s finger. It was, like how Denise described the song Sugar n’ Spice itself, “light, positive, and love-filled.”
Reactions to the music video were positive, with people praising the team’s efforts to capture a familiar, fun romance between two young women and celebrating the visibility of a sapphic, Filipino-made music video. It’s unfortunately quite rare to see these types of media and stories being made mainstream, especially in connection with music and with queer women in front of the camera, behind the scenes, and holding the mic, so it’s amazing to see queer women come together for a joint slay and champion love in all forms in a way that gives everyone the warm fuzzies.
Continue Reading: 9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sleep On Denise Julia