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The Rhyme & Reason podcast makes a
difference to young people’s lives

The podcast featuring a range of influential music stars and personalities was produced by Musicians Making a Difference with grant funding.

22 November, 2018.

The Rhyme & Reason podcast series featuring a range of influential identities, including pop singer E^ST, Insta-star Alli Simpson, hip hop artists Bliss N Eso, and Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan, has been launched for young Australians who might be struggling. 

The series of 16 episodes has been produced by Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) with a grant of $48,560 from the Charitable Foundation. The podcast aims to promote stories from influential people that delve into themes of grief and loss, mental illness, substance abuse and self-identity.

Host of the podcasts, and MMAD Creative Facilitator, Will Small said the interviews show young people that even successful people struggle at times but there are always options to overcome personal issues.

"We have an incredible range of artists that we’ve interviewed for Rhyme & Reason, including people like Bliss and Esso, Pez, Dustin Tebbutt, Mirror, Alli Simpson and a bunch of other great people," he said. 

Rohan and Will from Musicians Making a Difference.
Rohan and Will from Musicians Making a Difference.
Musicians Making a Difference Rhyme & Reason podcast.

WILL SMALL. MMAD CREATIVE FACILITATOR

We've got an incredible range of artists that we've interviewed for rhyme & Reason.

Some of the highlights include people like Bliss n Esso, Pez, Dustin Tebbutt Mirror.

The great thing is, as Dustin Tebbutt said in his interview, you know they're all just normal people, with scars, addictions, stories to tell, things they've had to overcome, things they're still working through.

So it's a really unique opportunity to hear artists who have big platforms speak really vulnerably about the true stories in their lives.

LIBBY INGELS, PODSQUAD MEMBER

I think MMAD is a really amazing organisation that's backed by a great group of people that really come together to support young people like myself that have experienced adversity or are just looking for a sense of community, whether it be in the arts or people that appreciate music.

And yeah the podcast has been a really cool opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself, I guess. And just to be alongside for the journey has been really great.

WILL

Yeah, so one thing we often see is young peole get told 'hey, don't drink alcohol' come to a seminar or a program where we tell you what not to do or what to do.

And often it's not that effective when we try to tell people really directly what we want them to do or not do.

Part of the brilliance of this project is that those messages come through when you hear an artist like Esso, from Bliss n Esso, talk about his journey with alcoholism and addiction you're going to get a pretty clear message about alcohol but rather than being, sort of, preached at you it's coming through a story.

And it's coming through a story of someone young people really look up to.

This project was funded by the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.There's no way we would have been able to get this project off the ground.

"The great thing is, as Dustin Tebbutt said in his interview, they are all just normal people, with scars, addictions, and stories to tell, things they’ve had to overcome, and things they’re still working through. So it’s a really unique opportunity to get to hear artists who have a big platform speak really vulnerably about the true stories in their lives."

Will said it was usually difficult to engage young people to give them advice on mental health and issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, but the podcasts cut through to them.

"The brilliance of this project is these messages come through as a story and the person telling the story is someone that young people really look up to," he said.

Libby Ingels, a member of the 'Podsquad' that helped produce Rhyme & Reason, said she had been surprised by how open the star interviewees were in sharing their stories.

"The stuff they talk about is very personal," she said, "so you sort of expect them to hold back a bit but everyone was very willing to share their story and it was so incredible to hear things like the Bliss n Esso podcast and Esso’s experience – you’d never guess that he’d had to overcome the things he has."

Libby said that working with the MMAD crew on the podcasts had been a great experience.

"I think MMAD is a really amazing organisation backed by a great group of people that really come together to support young people like myself who have seen adversity or are just looking for a sense of community," she said. "The podcast has been a really great opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself, and just to be alongside for the journey has been really great."

Charitable Foundation Chair Phil Neat said MMAD’s work had significant, positive outcomes for young people and that they foundation was a proud supporter.

"The Rhyme & Reason podcast series was granted just under $50,000 and that brings the total for four MMAD projects we’ve funded to almost $190,000," he said. "We really feel that these podcasts add great value to MMAD’s prior projects by taking their work outside of their physical location here in Gosford to give young people all over the world the opportunity to be inspired by these interviews."

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