There is no clear-cut path to success and emerging Davao-based artist Paul Pablo could attest to that. The 22-year-old singer is the artist behind the hit singles “Bangin,” “Kalawakan,” “Bai” and now his newly released single, “Di Inakala” under Warner Music Philippines.

In a social climate as constricted as ours, going beyond the norm could sometimes mean boxing ourselves in a mold that guarantees acceptance from others, however, vexing to the soul. Oftentimes, we mask ourselves just so we could earn validation from the people surrounding us.

Count Paul Pablo out on this one.

The openly queer artist promotes inclusivity in his craft and strongly believes that there needs to be an inclusive queer representation in the music industry. He is able to break barriers by simply being himself. However, he shares that his self-expression doesn’t define the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole:

“What I am and how I present myself in public does not define the LGBTQIA+ community completely. I am simply a product of my preferences, and I believe that we all act and present ourselves differently. It’s difficult to represent something so broad and distinct when you know you can’t justify all of them. But my community holds me in great respect, and they will always be a part of my success. I may not be the ideal or perfect role model, but I am the person and artist who will honor our community and try to break down barriers and renovate mindsets in order for the music industry and mainstream media to take us seriously as we are.”

Paul also expressed how his newest release, “Di Inakala” is just in time for Pride Month. He wanted to fully bare himself in the form of a song, conveying the feeling of finally being with someone who you’ve always wanted to be with. The young artist reveals that in his song writing process, he doesn’t particularly just write about his own experiences. Sometimes, he draws inspiration from the stories of other people.

Despite having not been in a relationship before, Paul sheepishly shares that he is still capable of writing love songs about the love he would one day want to experience for himself. Paul shares that in “Di Inakala,” he is able to convey his yearning of being in a relationship with someone he loves and adores.

To fully connect with his growing Cebuano fans, Paul wants to hold more events in Cebu.

He said: “The most practical way for me to establish a connection with the Cebuano crowd is to bring myself physically to them and try my best to create music in the Bisaya language.”

With the emergence of queer artists in the Philippines, Paul Pablo hopes that they will continue to break barriers and never stop trying something new just because it scares them. “When I was starting my career, I was so afraid of not being understood and appreciated by people.”

As people evolve and become more understanding of the plights faced by the LGBTQAI+ community, we are finally able to celebrate our queer brothers and sisters, loudly and proudly and without reservations.

“Now is the best time to fully express yourself without having to fear the consequences,” Paul encouraged his fellow queer artists.