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The UK government launched the Rethink. Reskill. Reboot. campaign to encourage creative people to think about finding new ways to transfer their skills in a shrinking jobs market. Unfortunately, they chose to encourage a ballet dancer to become an IT Consultant in the advert and that went over like stone cold porridge on a winters day.


I think the government missed an opportunity to uplift and encourage people to augment and grow as creatives in new directions in order to increase the possibility of finding new revenue streams and possibly jobs. I've been a musician for many years, but I've only recently started learning to draw. I need this skill in order to illustrate the ideas I envision in the lyrics of my songs. I aim to learn to animate and create cartoons, films and even television series from scripts and songs I've written over the years. Naturally, The Music and Film Company will manage all of it. I wrote a song called Holding Onto Grudges and it's probably not about the things most people first imagine based on the title. I've added 3 drawings of the concept in my head about this song... you can see how much I've progressed in 2 weeks.



Holding Onto Grudges is a song we released to towards the end of 2020. It's about making the choice of holding onto your grudges or letting them go. I wanted to create an image of someone who could be holding on or releasing her grudges, but I didn't have the skills to do that. The drawing below shows my progress on creating my first piece of concept art over a 2 week period. I'll never be a great artist, but I'm happy to get the idea across... the concept. Besides, we have Sophie Wyllie, a professional artist for the important art such as album covers for Project Undeniable. My works will be used for behind-the-scenes stuff. Maybe in the Amazon Prime videos documenting the process of creating 52 broadcastable songs in a single year. You can listen to the song on Spotify for free. Be sure to follow me if you want to listen to the whole project in 2021.




When the nation went into COVID-19 lockdown, I somehow created a music tech company which attracted venture capital investment and that led to 5 new jobs in the creative sector with the investors handling all the business elements of the business and my small team managing the creative work. I'm glad I'm a disciple of Business For Bohemians! It's the best book I've ever read on how to live your best life.


So, with a steady paycheck and interesting work to get on with 2021 looks set to be a busy year for me, however, I had already started Project Undeniable, a song-a-week-for-a-year project and I aim to see it through with the small group of collaborators working on it with me. I found a learn-to-draw course on Udemy which allows me to learn at my own pace with training videos, so I've been slowly moving through it all. Once I'm done, I'll learn to make digital art then animation. I've already bought the courses just to make absolutely certain I stick with it!


I've already got over 1,000 songs and song ideas written so you'd think it wouldn't be too hard to deliver 52 songs, but the challenge is I'm still writing! It's also difficult to choose 52 songs from such a vast vault of material. Each song has to fight against several hundred contentders to make the list. I hope you enjoy Holding Onto Grudges and if you happen to be holding on tight to a few grudges of your own, I hope you'll soon decide to let them go just like the balloons in my very bad drawings.


Working hard to draw better pictures! Sending love and kind thoughts from England.


Rhonda

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Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Today, I carried a folding table about a mile down a steep hill through freezing rain and cold winds then up 2 flights of stairs and I did it in order to have a place to draw at home. That might sound a little crazy to some people, but I've been taking a self-paced online art class for the past few months because I really want to learn to draw the ideas in my head. I've been writing a show called Virgin Mother of Five after binge-watching Korean melodramas on Netflix the first time our nation went into lockdown. I think I'll release the series as an audiobook while learning to draw a bit better, but eventually the show's going to be on Amazon Prime video. I'll let you know how I get on with this new creative adventure.


We're just about to reach the end of 2020 and in the new year, I'll begin a new project with my friends Scott, Sophie, Sebastian and Ryan. We've been working hard for the past few months to have stuff ready before January, that way we'll always be a few weeks ahead of the weekly song. I hope you'll tune into Spotify and have a listen to the weekly tunes


Back in 2011, I set my mind on learning to play the guitar and piano fluidly enough to write and sing the songs that were in my head. I managed to do that, but you won't hear any of my instrumental music in Project Undeniable in 2021 because Scott is creating a library of his own instrumental works based on my original ideas and songs.


It's interesting how I value and respect the need of different creatives to express their skills and talents in their own way. A few years ago, I was far more precious about my songs, now I enjoy sharing and developing them with friends. I like seeing the visual representation of what my songs mean to others through Sophie's artistic eyes. It reminds me of Robert Frost when he wrote The Road Not Taken as a joke about a friend of his who was notoriously indecisive about which path to follow on their rambles in the woods, but people immediately picked up on deeper, more meaningful insights even though Robert Frost himself couldn't see it for the longest time.


I have copies of all the original materials I sent to Scott, but we've also agreed to keep the originals in the same electronic folders as the final versions of our collaborations, that way should any of this music break through, the purists can dig up the original songs that were the inspiration and guidebook for the commercial releases. I've always loved the Ray Charles' version of You Don't Know Me, but I read that Eddy Arnold told the story to a friend who happened to be a songwriter and she put the story into song for him to record. I went on to add that song to a Spotify playlist called Feel Better - Holiday Grudge Songs.


I wrote a song called Holding Onto Grudges, but it's probably not what you would immediately think it's about. The song is uplifting and real. I put it on the playlist with songs like Let's Give Them Something To Talk About and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer because grudges come in all shapes and sizes. It's good to acknowledge them before letting them pass through and fade away. Have a listen to my playlist while you're out and about walking off your grudges... sadness... hurt or anger and you just might feel a lot better by the time you get back home because holding onto grudges really is no way to live your life.




I get knocked down... but I get up again!


Love and kind thoughts from England,

Rhonda




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Finally Arriving is coming out on September 28th. It's a feel-good song by Rhonda Merrick. We all need that sometimes. Subculture Soundsystem does a lot of electronic music for clubs and dance venues. It's a pretty cool fusion of singer/songwriter meets electronic dance grooves. Hope you like it. This song is fun, upbeat and overflowing with good vibes.




Finally Arriving Lyrics

Oh why, do I feel this way?

Oh why, do I feel this way?

It's like trying to hold sunshine in my hand.

Like holding more happiness than I can stand.

It's like finally arriving in the promise land.

Finally arriving.


The song will get your toes tappling and your head will start nodding to the beat... it just makes you feel better for a little while. For more uplifting, hard-hitting, make you feel good or make you think sort of music, be sure to follow Rhonda's Spotify page. She's working with her team of producers to create 52, YES, 52 songs in a single year. It's going to be an interesting journey.


Project Undeniable

To celebrate her upcoming birthday, the singer /songwriter is producing some of her songs own songs, partnering with Clive Austin of Subculture Soundsystems as well as indie producer Pete Askew of Soundcraft Audio. The New Orleans singer/songwriter describes this as 'A deeply creative time in my life' as she sets her sights on have 52 original songs recorded to broadcast quality from October 24th 2020 through October 24th 2021.


#dance #newmusic #uplifting #feelgoodtunes




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