Growing up in Boston, Rachel Platten recalls harmonizing with her family to finely crafted pop songs – from Sam Cooke to The Beatles – that dominated her parents’ vinyl collection. As a teenager, Rachel gravitated towards, and began to become affected by, hip-hop and female singer-songwriters. “My CD collection was Tori Amos and Patti Griffin but then A Tribe Called Quest and Nas.” The commonality between the two seemingly different genres: confessional and vulnerable songwriting.
As a kid, Rachel dreamt about music as a career but never really thought it could happen in real life. “I grew up playing classical piano and I knew I could sing but I had no model to follow creatively. The idea of growing up to be an artist seemed impossible.” However, the electricity she felt on stage while studying abroad in college, performing in front of 80,000 at the International Soca Monarch Finals in Trinidad, inspired Rachel to start chasing what she once thought was an impossible dream.
After finishing college, Rachel immediately set out for New York City where she took up residence in the very apartment building on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village where Bob Dylan once lived. Naturally, she found a band on Craigslist and started performing in clubs around the city. Those years consisted of paying dues through a mix of temping during the day and getting fired a lot, gigging until 4am, and lugging an 80-pound keyboard to her fifth floor walk-up night after night. Despite the struggle and the setbacks, Rachel loved being on stage, even if at times nobody was listening.
“I felt crazy sometimes that I still believed in myself when there were no signs that I should.” During this time, a conversation with her soon to be manager, Ben Singer, helped reignite her passion. “Ben helped me realize that I had to start my own fire and my songs would be the sparks.”
Rachel would find her first big spark with “Fight Song,” which took two years for the singer/songwriter to complete. She turned inward by telling her own story through the song. Turns out it was just the message people needed. “The reactions were honest, and intense. People have been sending me the most beautiful stories of how they refuse to give up,” she recalls. “Fight Song” is without a doubt the life-changing inspirational song of 2015, topping iTunes and radio charts, and selling more than 2 million downloads in the U.S. alone.
The fire that “Fight Song” ignited has connected not only with music fans but also Columbia Records. Now planning her major label debut in early 2016, Rachel is touring the world, performing on countless television shows and being played on radio stations coast to coast. Rachel just recently premiered the beautifully uplifting music video for her newest single “Stand By You,” another emotionally empowering anthem from the songstress. But ask Rachel what she wants people to take away from her music and she says, “I’m in love with the idea of connecting people. Bringing people together is to me, the most important thing we can do in this life. I feel like that’s my mission with my music. I think that’s why I’m getting this chance right now.”
We could not be any more excited to have Rachel stop by Atlanta on her nation-wide tour! She will be playing at The Loft (at Center Stage) on Wednesday, March 2nd. Since The Loft is such an intimate venue, tickets are going to go fast! Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of show (if there are any left).