Producing music started out as a pandemic project for Rhodessa.

It started out with scribbling down lyrics in her notebook, a practice she started as early as eighth grade. Now, she’s one of the biggest breakout stars in the country. Her single “Kisame” instantly went viral on TikTok, with over 2 million videos made to the song and 41 million streams on Spotify.

Before “Kisame,” the indie pop artist started out by making covers and uploading them onto her YouTube channel when she was 10 years old.

It was during the pandemic that she learned how to produce her own songs. “Nag-start ako sa YouTube” (I started out with YouTube)”, she shares in an exclusive interview with Billboard Philippines. However, most of what she learned was through playing around with Garageband. During the first wave of the pandemic, her schoolmate invited her to be the featured artist on a song – it was through that collaboration that she got a stronger grasp on the ins and outs of producing.

Rhodessa in article 1

Viva Records

When Rhodessa first started gaining traction, she couldn’t – and still can’t – believe that this was happening to her. “Mahirap nung una…hindi ko pa rin akalain na andito na ako. Everyday gumigising ako, makikita ko yung name ko sa charts kasama ng mga iniidolize ko dati” (It was difficult at the start…I still can’t believe that I’m here. Everyday, when I wake up, I see my name on the charts together with the people I used to idolize before).

What’s even more surreal is that the song is actually a fan tribute to Mina and Chaeyoung, members of the K-pop girl group TWICE. Written after reading a MiChaeng (the ship name for the two) fan fiction on Twitter, she also used an edited picture of the two members as the cover of the single itself.

The K-Pop references didn’t stop there. In fact, her latest single, “Mina(mahal ko)” [literally translated as Mina(my love)], is also a tribute to her favorite member of TWICE.

Regardless of the song’s origins, it’s evident that the song struck a chord with listeners online. It serves as the backdrop for hopeful videos about surviving through tragic events in their lives or dedications to their loved ones. It’s an attribute of the signature sound that Rhodessa is currently forming: something “ma-drama” (dramatic), but with her unique touch. She knows that a composition is her sound when she gets goosebumps after listening to it. It’s this instinct that has made her into a prolific, but intentional, songwriter.

Medyo nahanap ko na yung sound ko” (I think I’ve more or less found my sound), she says to end. “I’m thankful for the opportunities [I’ve gotten].”

Rhodessa in article 2

Viva Records

She shares that there are a lot of songs in the works right now, which will hopefully culminate into an album sometime soon.

Rhodessa’s journey in the music industry is more than just a one-hit wonder, in fact, she’s barely just begun. Armed with her honest and sincere songwriting, we can’t wait for what she’ll accomplish next.