Singer tackles child abuse

Monique Rhodes. Photo by Robert Catto.
Monique Rhodes. Photo by Robert Catto.
In 2009, Monique Rhodes decided the issue of child abuse in her homeland of New Zealand was too big for her to ignore.

She set about creating a project that she hoped would make a difference.

Over a number of months, Rhodes brought together some of the biggest names in New Zealand music, including Opshop, Nathan King, Shona Laing and Hollie Smith.

The aim was to create an album for Christmas that would be unlike any other Christmas album available.

Rhodes is pleased so many recording artists brought original Christmas songs to the project and Merry Christmas Baby was released in September.

Proceeds of the album will go to the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society.

Monique features on the album with her song Forever Strong.

Via email, she let us know when she was last in town.

"I was in Dunedin playing with Shona Laing.

We played a sold-out tour throughout the country and had a wonderful time in Dunedin.

Due to demand we put on a second gig."

Rhodes is touring the Merry Christmas Baby album this summer, and is pleased some of the funds raised from sales of the album will to to Plunket.

"The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society has 650 clinical staff and over 8000 volunteers working in more than 500 branches around the country," she says.

The organisation sees more than 90% of New Zealand's newborn babies each year.

Rhodes says people should expect some chat to go with the songs at her show.

"I like to tell the stories of my songs as well, so it's very intimate."

Based in the south of France, she will return there to work on a new album after the tour.

See her

Monique Rhodes plays at Isis on Friday December 4.

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