10 Questions with ... Rachel Platten
June 22, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Rachel Platten began studying classical piano at the age of five, and later sang with her high school's singing group. During this time, she also learned to play guitar. She later graduated from Trinity College with a degree in International Relations.
She recently released her major label debut "Fight Song" via Columbia Records in May of 2015. The track is currently approaching Top 5 on the Hot AC chart, and also Top 20 at Pop ... and it is still climbing.
Her music has been heard on Good Morning America, the ABC Family TV shows "Jane By Design," "Pretty Little Liars," various commercials and in the film "The Good Guys."
Rachel recently completed a tour with Andy Grammer and will be touring this summer with Colbie Calliat and Christina Perri.
Rachel is currently VH1's "You Oughta Know" artist for the month of June.
1) "Fight Song" is now approaching Top 5 at Hot AC and is also rocketing up the Top 40 chart. You've hit #1 on the iTunes charts, and you're the VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist for June. Please tell us what it feels like to see your song connect so well with the audience and the thrill of seeing "Fight Song" become a hit?
It's absolutely amazing ... it was often painfully slow and hard, but lately (and I'm borrowing this phrase from my good friend Andy Grammer), I feel like I'm wearing a jet pack! Everything is happening so fast and so naturally! It's been so amazing!
2) Where did get the inspiration for this song?
I was going through a very hard time of self doubt and I needed the reminder that I wasn't going to give up on myself, no matter what. "Fight song" was a declaration I made, that I would keep going, and keep trying to make this career happen. Because I still did, against all odds, believe in myself.
3) Can you remember the moment that you decided to be a singer? Was your family supportive of this career?
Yes :) I was 19, living in Trinidad and had just played my first concert with a band (as a backing singer in front of 80,000 people!). It felt like lightning struck me and I knew I was in exactly the right place at the right time and that from then on I would devote my life to music.
4) If you weren't a performer today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Maybe I'd be a therapist ... I sincerely love helping people, listening and connecting and helping people discover insight into their lives and remember to have hope and feel love. I also love bringing people together, so maybe it would be something to do with community organizing or international relations.
5) Who would be your dream duet partner?
Mark Ronson - I've been wanting to work with him since I first heard "Back In Black" and "Lily Aliens" first album - and his last two solo albums are just incredibly inspired.
6) You seem quite fashion savvy. Where do you get your fashion cues from? How would you describe your personal style?
Oh man, thank you! I don't know about that ... I have so much help and so many far more fashionably savvy friends who clue me in :) but I describe it my style as tour bus chic. Leather jacket, deconstructed pieces, vintage *T-shirts, motorcycle boots, and pretty little simple dresses are my go-to's - anything that can travel well and not be too precious cause I'm quite tough on my stuff and I travel so much!
7) What's been the most surprising thing you've learned about the music industry?
That hard work truly does matter and pay off. That there are no rules you can't break. That talent though important, really doesn't get you there - what matters is how hard and how smart you work.
8) What can fans expect from your forthcoming album and how will the music be similar or different to what we have already heard from you?
Fans can expect the same raw honest emotions and anthemic drums and big choruses! And more of my story, painted and woven throughout my lyrics. I can not wait to show you guys what I have next :))))
9) Do you have pre-performance rituals?
Yes, if it's a very important show, I like to do this little pre-game meditation I listen to www.onyogaglo.com by David Harshada Wagner. I love all of his guided meditations, but this one is perfect for visualizing exactly how you want the show to go, every move, every note. Then, I try to just giggle and relax and have fun so I remember not to take any of it tooooo seriously. It's just music after all! :)
10) What musicians have consistently inspired you and your music?
Robyn, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, Arcade Fire, Beethoven, Regina Spektor, Eva Cassidy, Tori Amos, Paul Simon.
*Special thanks to Leah Adams who conducted this interview.