COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The soul stirring, beat driven and lyrically charged new musical "iLLa" has come to Atlanta.
Set against the challenges of the 2008 U.S. financial crisis, "iLLa" follows the struggles of a young man in pursuit of stardom and social change.
Writer and creator Ronve O'Daniel is a Pebblebrook High School graduate. He says his time in the Cobb County school helped influence the story behind the music.
Being able to be in ballet class but also in the back writing my little raps and trying to figure out how to bring those two worlds together. At the time I didn't know how to do it," said O'Daniel.
As for developing the show? Well, that's been rewarding yet challenging.
O'Daniel said,"The end of 2013 I started conceptualizing it and since then we've edited, cut, spliced, ripped apart, torn apart, rewritten to the point I can't remember how many rewrites we've had."
You may recognize singer and actress D. Woods. She's a member of the pop group "Danity Kane" and says her role as Morgan hits close to home.
Woods said, "I relate to a lot of the music and messages. It's great to be a part of a project that you can really sink your teeth in."
For O'Daniel the cherry on top of it all is putting Pebblebrook students in the middle of the process.
"There are a lot of kids, like myself, who I have talked to that say this is the kind of show that they've always wanted to do. I just want them to enjoy themselves and get the most out of it."
With his goals set high O'Daniel hopes his work can inspire a new generation of community activists through the power of music. O'Daniel said, "The dream is broadway baby!"
For more information on"Illa A Hip Hop Musical," click here.