Music prodigy, singer, songwriter, indie record producer, and fictionist
April 16,1996 – July 27, 2020
Paola Bettina C. Mauricio (April 16, 1996 – July 27, 2020) was a producer and singer/songwriter who passed away at age 24 after a long and arduous battle with cancer. Her sound leaned toward future-facing synthpop with lyrics spanning topics from the introspective world to class warfare, on top of melismatic melodies and beats worth chill-dancing to.
Music was Paola’s lifeblood. Her earliest memories were of listening to “One More Time” by Daft Punk, “Kiss of Life” by Sade, and 2000s house from Hed Kandi down to Moony. In 2015, at the tender age of 19, she independently released her debut EP Testing the Waters with its lead single, “The First.” This bedroom pop and R&B track quickly gained recognition in the local music scene—which led her to perform alongside notable electronic musicians such as Tarsius, Drip, MOONWLK, BP Valenzuela, Lustbass, Similarobjects, and more.
Moments of self-doubt hindered Paola from progressing further, but her producer, Justin De Guzman of Deeper Manila, insisted her to continue. Through his dedication and guidance, Paola was able to release a new single in 2017 called “Consent to This” which reached 8,000 listeners across 14 countries. This was followed by her 2018 single “Tell Me So,” with over 10,000 streams on Spotify.
All of this she pursued while balancing her studies as an information design student at the Ateneo De Manila University with a minor in Korean studies. She was also a 2018 Loyola School Awards for the Arts (LSAA) Awardee for Music Composition for her significant contributions in the arts during her time at the school. Paola’s gift for words were honed during her stay at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) under its creative writing track. From 2011 to 2014, she worked on various facets of writing within the mystical mountain of Maria Makiling. And on her senior year, Paola’s first short story collection, The Lines in your Hands, was published as requisite for graduating.
In 2019, Paola was handpicked alongside other aspiring musicians to participate in the PhilPop Bootcamp, an intensive songwriting mentorship and training program, led by National Artist for Music Mr. Ryan Cayabyab.
Paola’s illness did not stop her from producing music. She stayed strong and released “Fear My Enemy” in May 2019, to signify a new era. Tracks such as “Kintsugi” and “Safe & Complete” were released to the public months after her passing with more tracks set to be released in 2021 to ensure her voice lives on for years to come.
Choie Funk · April 17, 2021 at 11:24 am
I’ve met Paola through her parents who are friends of mine, and have learned how talented she was – she continues to inspire even beyond death, perhaps also because of it! Thank you for this post that celebrates her and keeps her embedded in our heart and soul. Especially in these trying times, we keep our search for what is meaningful and Paola’s art communicates the essential. As an educator & parent myself, I cherish every kid even more knowing that the soul has no age and wisdom defies all barriers, even death. More power to you!