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Interview with Storyteller Michelle A. Jones

Michelle A. Jones “Two Dogs & a Rat” (children’s music)

Growing up in a family of creatives, Michelle A. Jones was destined to showcase her talents. After retiring from teaching, she started to weave strings of poetry into lyrical compositions that would become the foundation of her journey into the music industry. Ten years later, she has dedicated her time to perfecting her craft in storytelling and creating music inspired by the realities of the world. She tackles each new project with a fresh and open-minded perspective while adding hints of humor and free-spiritedness that is refreshing compared to the mainstream. Let Michelle A. Jones’s captivating storytelling sweep you away in her new single, “Two Dogs & a Rat.”

Music is often inspired by real life. For Michelle A. Jones, it is the center of her inspiration and muse. In “Two Dogs & a Rat,” the songwriter takes listeners on a comical retelling of her experience lending a helping hand. The bouncy, folk-rock ballad opens with warm vocals that paint the main character’s story of finding a homeless man in a parking lot with two dogs sitting in a cart. As a gesture of kindness, he offers the man a ride; midway through, the homeless man mentions he also has a pet rat. The funny encounter sparks a friendship that lasts a few months and shows that you can make light of any situation. See the story in vibrant animation in the music video for “Two Dogs & a Rat.”

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When and where did your musical journey begin? What ignited your passion for creating music, and what pushed you to want to pursue it professionally now?

About ten years ago was when I just started writing some notes down about current events at that time. I always have a notebook with me to write down things to do. I only write lyrics, so I talked to my late brother Jim, who was a great singer songwriter and musician! I wrote another song and I showed it to him and he put music, to my lyrics. I use to write poems in college. So my brother encouraged me to write more songs, so I did! I was really excited when I wrote a song! We collaborated on some when he had the time. If not I would find someone else. He encouraged me to work with other artists. He always wanted to see my lyrics. I am pursing it more because I want to reach a larger audience to enjoy my songs!

Who were your greatest musical role models? How does your music compare and stand out from those artists’ work?

My brother Jim O’Rourke singer songwriter and rock musician because he gave it his all and had a great passion for music. Since I am not a musician my influences are more people who I admire but also look at the way they create their songs. The Beatles, The luminaires, Bruno Mars, The Pretenders, Coldplay, and many more! I pretty much embrace most genres.

What was your inspiration for “Two Dogs & a Rat”? What made you want to tell this story to the world at large?

It’s a human interest story. When I thought back on it, I knew I had to write a song to this story of a young homeless man, and his two dogs and pet rat! So I saw some humor in the whole situation but at the same time I was trying to help someone. It’s based on a true story and in some ways was absurd!

How did the animated music video come to be? How does the video help to bring the “Two Dogs & a Rat” storyline to life?

I wanted to have a video of some type for this song, so I had planned to have a video from the start. A couple of attempts didn’t work out so I got an animator to make the simple 2D lyric video. It gives a visual to the story and so people can view the characters in the story and the lyrics that they can sing along to and make it more memorable to the viewers.

What was your initial reaction seeing and hearing the “Two Dogs & a Rat” music video when it was fully completed?

I was pleased and it was basically what I wanted in a simple animation, so was excited when it was completed.

What can fans expect from you next? Are there any other releases and bigger projects on the horizon?

I have another written song that is almost completed and will collaborate with another artist when I am finished with the lyrics.

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