Rhonda Merrick is a New Orleans Singer/Songwriter currently residing in England. She often performs live radio sessions and is the co-host of a live music show with partner Ritchie Swann on Channel Radio, Kent. She performs regularly in Greater London and is launching a 12 month long album in November 2013. Know her better….
1. How did you get your initial start in music?
I studied Performance Voice at San Diego State University for 4 1/2 years with Mary McKenzie as my weekly voice coach. I had to compete for a spot in the program as it’s paid for by the State.
I drifted away from music to get a ‘real’ job which ended in disaster. Ended up in England. 46. Divorced. 2 school-aged children over here. The youngest is Autistic and I’d been his carer after he was failed in school and written off as unteachable. After an intense 2 years, his educational needs were on-track and he was thriving. I was at loose ends, so I started a goal to write and share a song a day for an entire year in 2011. I did that. The following year, I met composer and multi-instrumentalist Ritchie Swann when he volunteered to play the mainstage at Brentwood festival as bassist. This was despite the fact his main instrument is keyboards and his second is guitar and he NEVER works for free. He wanted to meet me. We set up house together in July 2013.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
I hope to be successful enough to live comfortably as a fulltime musician and to provide for my children, especially my youngest…to have the money and freedom to look at all our options when he’s ready to enter secondary school.
3. How long have you been writing your own music?
Years and years
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
Musical influences would be Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Mahalia Jackson.
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
We have an EP out now, it’s been released in the run-up to our debut album ’27 Club’ which was created to accompany my debut feature film by the same name. This is a good video of us.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I live in Kent about 40 minutes outside the center of London. The White Horse Hampstead has hired me to play my own songs once a month beginning 1 November. We’ll release an album a month for a year.
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
Coco DeParis is a London singer I quite like as well as Loose Change.
8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.
Google my name: Rhonda Merrick or check out RhondasSongs.com