Local creative uses music to express himself, break social anxiety

The city of Orlando is filled with creative voices and minds that use art as an expression, as a way to connect with others, and as a form of therapy.

Derek Villanueva-Ortiz is one of those voices.

In 2017 when he was only 13, Villanueva-Ortiz, who performs music under the pseudonym Amnesia, wrote his first lyric.

“I fell in love with the creation of music,” says Villanueva-Ortiz about the early stages of his journey. “It allowed me to express myself in ways I couldn’t do physically.”

Villanueva-Ortiz says that at an early age, music helped him express himself verbally in ways that he had never been able to before. He credits music and writing with helping him deal with social anxiety and loneliness.

“Fortunately for me, I had a microphone to talk to,” says Villanueva-Ortiz, who began recording himself with a $30 microphone at the time.

Derek Villanueva Ortiz 1
Derek Villanueva (a.k.a. Amnesia) after his first live performance in October 2022

Over the years, he worked to hone his craft and simultaneously addressed his social anxiety.

“I am no longer afraid of the world’s perception of me. I’ve grown to love myself. This alone has made a significant impact in how I convey my music to the listener’s ear,” says Villanueva-Ortiz.

As Amnesia, Villanueva-Ortiz has found a voice that he believes can help others. From “ambient sounds” to “uplifting beats,” the artist hopes to convey a sense of “diversity” through his music.

“I hope to build a sense of community around my music, something I never felt.”

At only 19 years old, Villanueva-Ortiz is in the early stages of his musical career and hopes to build on early accomplishments. He recently performed his first live show on Halloween weekend and is actively making music.

To follow Derek Villanueva-Ortiz and to list to his works as Amnesia, visit the artist on YouTube or follow him on Instagram.

Are you an artist or creative in Orlando looking to share your journey? Contact us with your story.

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