Jules Rendell has been honing her craft as a singer, composer, vocal arranger and music entrepreneur with vocal group Get Gospel.
Now with her debut solo offering, she explores themes of self-worth, perfectionism and fear. Jules has fused her soulful roots with electronic soundscapes, hints of funk and pop hooks.
With this deeper ethos behind the album Jules shares her story with ABLE2UK:
‘People always consider me a happy person - the life and soul of the party. Some of my friends even nicknamed me ‘The Joy’, and I’d always be the person to encourage someone else in their tough time. At some point in 2011 I had a big breakthrough with my mental health… or more specifically, the way I thought about things that gave me a really positive outlook on life.
2017 turns up and somehow that positive outlook and joy went into hiding. I just got married, moved house, been busy and successful in my career in 2016, but as soon as January came, all that busyness left and depression arrived - my self-worth took a bashing. Perfectionism reared its ugly head in a big way: nothing I did was good enough - especially writing music. Shame that I was due to write a new album then… being honest, if it hadn’t have been a crowd-funded project, i would have given up my career as a songwriter a thousand times in those 6 months.
Being a creative person is such a vulnerable place to be. In a recent study by Help Musician UK, they found 70% of musicians have experienced depression, panic attacks and high levels of anxiety. A big part of it is to do with their art being intertwined with their identity - ‘I am what I create’. For me, I was scared i wouldn’t be able to match my previous work, scared I had nothing to say, scared I had no talent. Who am I if not a singer-songwriter? Maybe I’m not worth anything at all.
I managed to squeeze it all out into an album. I realised my imagination and my self-talk held either life or death for me. I could either imagine it all going right, or it all going wrong. I could talk to myself like my own best friend, or my own worst enemy. That’s why it’s called IMAGINE. The songs are me talking to myself - telling myself to Let Go of fear, to step out of worry, to remember all the kind things people have said to me along the way. I treated myself as the person who needed to be encouraged, and hopefully someone else will be encouraged by listening to it too.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t now got it all sorted. Having written these songs, I sometimes feel a fraud because I still feel like giving up some days. We creatives have to find a way to level out the ups and downs. So I’ve compiled my top tips for staying on the up, inspired by the album:
1.) Surround yourself with encouraging friends who can remind you who you are (and why you’re doing what you’re doing)
2.) Don’t let perfectionism hold you back - it’s the enemy of creativity
3.) Watch what you say about yourself - be your own best friend
4.) Rest! Doing too much can often lead to losing perspective
5.) Imagine good outcomes, not bad ones
6.) Try not to worry - it achieves nothing
7.) Remind yourself all the good things people have said to you
Depression is a battlefield of the mind. But with right tools it’s totally win-able! I’m hoping this album will help people win some of their battles!
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