STAR on the Rise: Rhoda Isabella takes leap of faith
Gospel singer Rhoda Isabella is no stranger to the stage. She spent 10 years performing as a background vocalist for gospel singer Jermaine Edwards and eventually formed a trio with the group iWorship under Edwards' label. The group scored the hit single 'Keeping Me Alive' with Rondell Positive in 2015, but eventually dissolved last year.
Rhoda Isabella took the leap of faith on May 11, 2018 and decided to pursue a solo career. This, she said, took some adjusting.
"You basically don't have anybody to fill for you. You have to think on your feet, and you can't be laid-back," Isabella told THE STAR. "I realised the ball is now in my court and it requires more focus and me sticking to my goals if I want to achieve excellence."
On the same day she launched her solo career, the 28-year-old started an island tour, titled R.I.M. (Rhoda Isabella Ministry) Alive. Her first stop was in Spanish Town, St Catherine, where she spent her formative years. She also took her ministry to Mandeville, Manchester, last month. She also released her debut single Still Breathing on that day.
"It's one of those songs that isn't just a gospel song. It crosses over because it's overall an inspirational song," she said. "The message of hope is relatable to people, so the feedback has been amazing. I'm letting you know you're not dead, you're still alive, so don't give up."
The track is produced by Dwain Campbell of Barbwiya Music, with whom she is also collaborating for her debut album, Kingdom Rhode, scheduled for release in February.
"Still Breathing is going to be on it, and my other two songs, The Church Medley and Lest I Forget, which is a Grace Thrillers cover," she said. "Even though I am a gospel artiste, most of the songs on the album will have an inspirational base. There are a lot of people hurting, and I hope my music will heal the world. I want my music to be of the standard that reggae music has. I definitely don't want it to be a cliche gospel album."
Rhoda Isabella, born Rhoda Addiman, was raised in a musical household and participated in talent competitions hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and All Together Sing while attending Merl Grove High School. She hopes to collaborate with international acts in the future, and is currently working on taking her tour to the United States and Canada.