I am back at last from my torturous exam period (YEEEESHHH!!) and here I am again, writing about random things in front of my laptop. Since I haven’t blogged for a while because of exams, I thought it would be a good idea to start off a new blogging season with one of my favorite singers! I still can’t believe I got to actually interview her. She’s sweet, she’s incredibly talented, she’s smart, and she’s absolutely lovable-she’s singer-songwriter Rachel Platten!
Her single “1000 ships” was a top 30 hit on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, and her music has been on major TV shows like Pretty Little Liars(See Question #2 in the interview below)-I was watching the show one night when this scene with Ali came on the screen and Ali looked beautiful as always, except I couldn’t concentrate on Ali or the scene itself because the background music was just so perfect and suited the scene so well. It was the song ‘Begin Again’ . (Listen to it here!) And of course, I just HAD to send Rachel an email to ask if I could interview her to introduce you guys to her music, and she was kind enough to agree!
#1. You probably get asked this a lot, but we’re still curious. Why did you start singing and when did you decide to become a singer? Were people supportive of your career choice at first?
I have loved singing since I was quite little…my sister and mom and I used to sing and harmonize to old Motown and soul songs my mom played for us all the time; in the kitchen, car, almost anywhere. My poor father 😉
Despite the constant singing in our house, when I officially announced to the world that I was going to try to do it professionally, it scared my family. I don’t come from a family of particularly artistic people so I think just the fact that it was so different from our norm them.
#2. What was it like to have your song Begin Again on Pretty Little Liars? (I was watching PLL in my room one day when I heard Begin Again. I loved it so much that I paused PLL to look you up! And I became a huge fan, haha.)
Oh man, thank you that rocks. The placement was so awesome. I’ve had music used on tv shows and movies before but nothing that impacted like this. What a powerful moment!!! I got so many tweets and fb messages about it and my manager wrote me to tell me it was going a little viral, but I was singing vocals for my new songs when it aired and didn’t get to actually watch the episode until a couple days later. Ha…
(Pretty Little Liars!)
#3. Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
People ask this and I never know what to say because when inspiration actually comes I’m just excited about it that I forget to analyze where exactly it’s coming from. However, not to get too heady on you but I think that a la Elizabeth Gilberts TED talk and Tom Waits words on songwriting, often ideas (fully formed at times) already exist in the sky or ether or whatever, and my job is merely to be an open enough channel to receive them.
Other times though, no matter how open or clear I am I still need to work to get the right lyrics and at these times, I get inspiration from other artists, books I’ve read, life and all it’s ups and downs.
#4. What type of scenario did you have in mind when writing Fight Song? What kind of people were you trying to reach out to?
I was trying to reach me to be quite honest. I needed the song when I wrote it. I was in a hard place and my publisher was pushing me to tell my story, to be honest about what I was going through. So finally, I did. Fight song was a battle in and of itself to write, the chorus came so easily (like one of those scenarios i described above, it felt like it was already written and I was lucky enough to grab it), but then forming the rest of the song was almost impossible. I wrote 4 different verses for it, nothing felt quite right till finally, a year later, it clicked when my producer Jon Levine suggested making the bridge the first verse.
— Rachel Platten (@RachelPlatten) September 17, 2014
#5. I know you’re a musician, but your fashion is just too amazing to ignore. What do you usually have in mind when you pick an outfit?
Wow that is really nice and do you mind if I quote you? 😉 I use a website called weheartit.com to consolidate and collect my fashion inspiration… You can look on there at my collection called “style inspiration” if you want to keep up with me 😉
I love deconstructed items, torn black leather pants, bomber jackets, worn motorcycle boots, old rock t-shirts but always with a feminine element, sometimes just a bright pink lipstick or a sparkly bracelet can do the trick.
I’m most comfortable when I’m in clothes that I can run around or dance or MOVE in 🙂
(I’ll definitely check the collection out! And it would be an honor if you quoted me!)
#6. Is fashion important in the music industry?
Absolutely. We look at icons in music and emulate not only their sound but also their image. It’s essential to craft your brand inside out, and fashion is an important way to tell your story to the world.
#7. What’s an insecurity that you have?
Oh man I have tons. Let’s see….my body image is one. I’m so hard on myself and when I was in my teens and early twenties I never felt quite thin or curvy or tall or short or enough. As I’ve grown up I’ve started to love myself a little more but I still have to watch it or that mean voice in my head can really get loud.
#8. Are you planning on exploring other genres?
I think on this upcoming record my fans will surprised and hopefully psyched to hear the different influences. I have a gospel choir on two songs, electric guitar on a lot, live horns, drums, and yet tons of programming. Im super excited because I explored quite a lot of genres on these new songs while maintaining my sound, not easy to do, but oh man we did it.
#9. What are some stereotypes you’ve experienced(as a musician, woman, etc)?
Great question. I’ve been told that because of the inspirational nature of some of the music I write, that I’m “cheesy” as a person, or too “girly and emotional” which sucks and hurts.
Aaand that’s all for today guys! I hope you enjoyed the interview. I know right, you can’t help fangirling over Rachel now can you! : D
Rachel is such an amazing, inspirational person and a wonderful singer-songwriter. Thank you Rachel for answering my questions wholeheartedly and honestly! I wish you the best for the future!
To comment or like this post, click the title of this post then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the page. Tell me what you think of the interview and who I should interview next! : )