Lola Rhodes
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Lola Rhodes

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Lonna Marie: A Fresh Take On The Female Solo Artist"

Los Angeles – The independent woman has been picking up a guitar to spill her emotions for decades and Lonna Marie is making her predecessors proud. Her ballads have a simplicity that could easily be imagined being plucked alongside a campfire. They are a simple and lovely homage to love and life’s teachings.

The raven-haired crooner was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, but now she has found herself hustling for her dreams in the California version of her hometown. Marie began her career singing and songwriting in the streets of New York in 2012, releasing her very first EP before touring her way across the country to work with acclaimed producer Will Golden. The trek was without a doubt worth it considering Golden has helped mold sounds for similar sounds like Michelle Branch and Meiko. Marie’s sophomore EP, The Worst Has Just Begun, showcases an organic talent and a producer’s understanding of an artist’s strongest attributes.

Her second compilation is a special mix of country and folk that are joyful and jangly despite lyrics like, “Afraid of what you hide deep inside those broken eyes.” It is that clever juxtaposition of simple melodies with high tones and somber words, that make Lonna Marie one to watch.

Best New Bands sat down with the songstress to discuss the music industry, her growth as an artist, and what is to come:

Ariela Kozin: What do you want to convey with your music?

Lonna Marie: I always want to be truthful and open when I’m writing a song. If it doesn’t feel genuine, it doesn’t see the light of day. I also want to make people who listen to my music feel okay with themselves and their emotions, no matter what those emotions might be. Feeling something is everything.

AK: Can you describe your music?

LM: My lyrics are chaotic, heartfelt and emotional; while the melodies are more light hearted and beautiful. I want people to really enjoy the journey the melody takes them on and not realize that it’s a sad or emotional song.

AK: You’ve talked about working on expanding your sound. Can you elaborate?

LM: I’ve been writing songs in my bedroom a lot longer than I’ve been out and about in the recording world so I really wanted to find the right people to hand my music over to. I recorded an EP before leaving NYC two years ago and it was a really great experience and I learned a lot. I’m always going to be striving to find the right sound for each song. It’s not so much looking for “my sound,” but making sure someone can take each individual song and give it the life it deserves and is asking for. I’ve been able to find that here in LA and it’s opened my eyes so much to this entire process. It’s very inspiring.

AK: Which artists are currently giving you inspiration? Is there any career you would like to emulate?

LM:I am in love with Jessie Ware right now. I’ve always been a fan of Jason Mraz, too, since he first came on the scene. He really inspired me as an artist and writer. I really appreciate his career and that of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles. I feel like these artists always (or seemed to) take their careers into their own hands and made it work for them. No costumes, no flash, just raw talent and honest music.

AK: You said you were filming a music video? Can you explain a little bit about that project?

LM: Yes! This will be my second music video experience and I love that I’m working with my close friend, Valerie Noell, who is a photographer here in LA. She sees things and can envision the simplest of situations and turn them into cinematic heaven for the eyes. We’re working on the video for “Drifting” off my sophomore EP, The Worst Has Just Begun, which was released this October. (The video) will be released early 2015 so keep an eye out!

AK: What do you think separates your sound from other artists?

LM: I’ve kind of coined the term “loverly folk” along the years because my “sound” doesn’t exactly fit into a certain genre. Pop melodies and vocals with folk describing the more diverse and elaborate lyrical content. I let the music take the wheel and it’s definitely given me a sound of my own that feels genuine.

AK: It’s a big decision to pursue music for a living. Do you have a memory of when you decided to pursue it?

LM: Oh gosh, yes, it’s a huge decision. There isn’t a day that goes by that my brain doesn’t double check with my heart, “You sure about this?” This is my life, though. A lot of artists say that because it’s true. There are a lot of other things I want to accomplish as well, but spreading and creating music will always be at the forefront. It’s an extension of me. Without it, I’d have a lot less to say.

______ is pleased to present a series of articles about worthy artists that came to us via our Artist Discovery program with ReverbNation, the website that provides over three million music industry professionals with powerful easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online. Look for additional artist profiles in the weeks and months ahead. -

"Lonna Marie – ‘The Worst Has Just Begun’"

All three songs share the ups and downs of relationships in Lonna’s life, and she sings them in such a sweet demeanor; you can feel that the cathartisism of writing her feelings out has worked and what’s left in her voice is a subtle confidence, but we hear it. “Drifting” tells the story of a relationship being pulled apart, seemingly by forces out of their control. “We’re drifting like planets with no access to the sun” she sings. - LadyIndie

""Show Him the Music""

9/24/2010 Email this article • Print this article
Show him the music
Buckeye resident uses online contest to offer Nashville experience

Rich Ott
assistant editor

Allan Lopes still remembers the day his brother, Al Lopez, called him with the good news.
"Guess what, Allan? We're flying out to Nashville."

The brothers - who have different last names because Allan changed his for the stage - were signed by Plaid Star Records and recorded a five-song EP, White Picket Fence, all because of a contest.

"We got to fly out there and have the experience of a lifetime," Lopes said from northern California during a telephone interview. "We got to record in the same place where Hank Williams Jr. played. Three years later, and I can remember it like it was yesterday."

About four years ago, Lopes took one of Lopez's original songs - "Singing With You" - and entered the Country Colgate Showdown in northern California.

"Everybody loved his song," Lopes recalled. "I won hands down.

"He is a great songwriter," Lopes said of his older brother. "All of his songs are catchy and got a hook. They are unique and got their own sound; it's not your regular honky-tonk music."

"I'd show him new music and he'd be like, 'Man, I love this song,'" Lopez said. "The next thing I know, he's doing concerts with them."

Even though Lopes ended up losing in the state finals of the country showdown, he was contacted by "these guys from Nashville."

Lopes, 33, then told his brother about the Nashville professionals, and unbeknownst to him, Lopez contacted them, which led to that unforgettable phone call.

"He's the reason all of this happened," said Lopez, a Buckeye resident. "He wasn't embarrassed to get out there [and perform]. I'd never be in music if it wasn't for my brother."

Lopez, 34, made contacts and friendships in the music industry during the Nashville trip, which spurred him to start an annual contest where the winner gets the same experience he and his brother received.

"I made some contacts over the last few years that are amazing," Lopez said. "Since I made the contacts, I thought it would be easy to give someone else the same opportunity."

And so the contest, Show Me the Music, was born.

Show me the music
The contest is now in its second year, and this year's deadline to submit a song is Sept. 30. Songs can be submitted at

"We're looking at the melody, song structure, originality and the lyrics," Lopez said. "The production doesn't matter because it's going to change at the [Omni Sound] studio in Nashville."

Musician Lonna Spitaleri, whose stage name is Lonna Marie, can attest to that. She was the contest's 2009 winner.

"When I got my phone call and he was like, 'Hey Lonna, it's Al from Show Me the Music Contest. By the way, you won,' I thought it was a prank call or something," the 23-year-old said from New York. "I really couldn't believe I won with my poor excuse for a recording. The song itself ["Nothing Little About Her"] I was very proud of, but the quality of my submission was laughable."

Lopez recalled the poor technical quality of her entry, although he felt it had great potential compared to many of the other finalists, he said. About 400 entries were submitted, which he narrowed down to about 30 finalists.

This year judging of the entries will be done by Lopez and various music industry professionals in Los Angeles and Nashville.

Entries cost $30 for the first song and $20 for each additional one.

"I use a large portion of the entry fee to enlarge the prize package," Lopez said. "Plus, when you have a format where you know someone is going to listen to you, it's worth the money."

Lopez plans on giving feedback to every submission, he said.

The prize package this year includes airfare to and from Nashville, two nights and three days of accommodations, one day in the Omni Sound Studio where the winning song will be produced and recorded using professional musicians and a year-long marketing campaign where an independent music company will push the winning song at various conventions throughout the world.

A motivational experience
"My biggest goal is to get somebody discovered," Lopez said. "But I'm trying to focus on the whole experience; an experience to motivate them."

"The experience in Nashville really motivated me to keep this passion alive and to do everything I possibly could to get my music out into the public," Spitaleri said.

Just before leaving for the Nashville trip, Spitaleri began a project dubbed Underground Artists Live in New York.

"But it wasn't until returning that I really focused on the project and figured out what I want this to mean for new artists," she said. "Coming back to New York, I realized there are so many venues and so many artists who want the same thing as I do. I wanted to create a place where new artists can come in and showcase themselves in the right atmosphere - where peo - West Valley View


Oh No EP - 2012, Nightlight Studios in NYC
Better Day - 2013, Roger Greenawalt in NYC
The worst has just begun EP - 2014, Will Golden in Los Angeles



Singer-songwriter Lola Rhodes [Formerly known as Lonna Marie] is a "fresh take on the female solo artist" described by Her catchy melodies trick you into thinking you're listening to the good times, to when love is in full bloom. Once you listen to her words you realize that love is hard to find, hard to keep and hard to accept. Her open-ended sophomore EP "The worst has just begun", produced by Will Golden (Matt Nathanson, Meiko), was released October 21st, 2014; a three song journey into a relationship that has a lot of work ahead of it. Can love win? You be the judge. Lonna Marie has performed all over the country and locally at venues like The Listening Room (Nashville), The Studio at Webster Hall (NYC), Whisky a go go (LA), House of Blues (Houston, Dallas, LA), The Hotel Cafe (LA) among others. 

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