A queer Filipinx in the midst of Detroit’s bubbling creative community, RV Mendoza’s soulful vocals and musical genre blending is not only joyful, his music walks alongside his unapologetic authenticity and rich personality. Whereas one moment he appears an indie ingenue with an angelic voice, there is also the sassy party boy with a deep love of Chromeo and Carly Rae, a strong encourager of acceptance and love of oneself and a hilarious cutie cutting up and making the most of whatever he’s doing. It’s hard to bare down Mendoza’s work as just that of a musician; ignoring elements of his work as a mental health warrior, a queer advocate, an immigrant artist and so much more would undermine his multifaceted radness.
“I’m becoming the representation I’ve always craved.”
“I’m held captive by my need to feel authentic in everything I do,” Mendoza explains. “It’s actually a lot of work constantly reconciling my feelings with my situations. But in the midst of that, I’ve somehow been able to move through the world without losing myself. I get to bring my analytical personality and my big heart to the table. In my efforts to be real with myself, it inspires others to be real with themselves.”
Cheerleading for self-love is evident in social media and YouTube channel, often lit with humour (“I weaponize my thiccness for the forces of good”) and a foundation of openness, tenderness and support. One can’t help but love his beautiful spirit.
“People were not kidding when they said that the things you push away about yourself will soon become your biggest asset. As I’ve gotten older, when I look in the mirror, I’m realizing that I’m becoming the adult I’ve always needed,” he says.
With the March 2018 release of Uhaw Island, putting disco-pop to the forefront, featured on Buzzfeed for “doing the most” and recently having an artist residency plus performing at Fringe Arts Festival in Manila, growth for this young artist is on the ups.
“I’m becoming the representation I’ve always craved. I’ve transformed into the kindness I never let myself have access to. Getting to that place come with tears and perseverance, but at the end of it all, being queer is one of the greatest things I’ve ever found out about myself.”
Follow RV Mendoza on Instagram at @rvxmendoza