Getting to Know: Rachel Platten

Rachel Platten has had quite the musical journey over the past couple years with the release (and huge success) of her single, “Fight Song,” the release of her third studio album, “Wildfire” and touring across the country, singing her stories. To say she’s had an incredible year would probably be an understatement. With inspirational songs and a powerful voice, Platten is empowering many and providing anthems for them to not only jam out to in their car, but giving them a chance to live out.

I was lucky enough to get a few questions via email through her PR team. Get to know Platten.

Rachel Platten

Shelby Parker: What was the moment that you realized you wanted to be a full-time recording artist?

Rachel Platten: I was on an internship in Trinidad, and some of my friends asked me if I would play keys and sing back up with their band in front of 80,000 people.  In that moment I truly knew music was my calling, it ignited a little spark in me that let me know that stage is where I was supposed to be.

SP: How would you say your time in New York City; playing gigs and going through a series of setbacks has gotten you to where you are now?

RP: My days in NYC were a blast! NYC (and the village in particular) were kind of like my music education. I learned so much from being in that scene and playing those small clubs from 1am – 4am….our motto was that the party was always on stage, if anyone else in the bar wanted to join, hell yeah, but our love of playing was never diminished by the crowd’s energy or lack of.

SP: How did “Fight Song” come about? Did you see it having the impact it did, or turning into an anthem like it has now?

RP: I wrote Fight Song a couple of years ago, when I was a particular low point in my music career and I needed to find my “fight.”  I needed to remind myself not to give up on my dreams and to believe in myself.  I wrote Fight Song because I needed it! 

There was a tiny little piece of me that knew the world need to hear the song, but I could not imagine in my wildest the stories and the strength it has brought to people across the world.

SP: Are there any standout moments/stories that you’ve had with fans because of that song?

RP: There have been tens of thousands of stories that I’ve now had the great privilege of hearing, but I love telling this particular one not only because it moved me so much, but I was approached very early on in the release of Fight Song by this woman’s family, and it ignited a spark and hope that this song would help others to also find strength from the song as I had. Christine Luckenbaugh heard fight song a month or so after she found out her brain tumors (which had been in remission for 13 years) had returned and would be fatal. Her niece reached out to me to share an email that Christine had sent to 150 of her friends and family; where she had not only notified her family about her tumors return, but also shed included a link to fight song and expressed how positive and strong she felt, and how the lyrics truly represented how she felt. I was incredibly touched and my producer Jon Levine and I wanted to do more than just write back. We ended up flying to Christine’s hometown in VA and inviting all 150 of those friends to learn fight song – and we surprised her with the most beautiful version of it I’ve had the pleasure of performing. It’s something in my life I’m most proud of and a video of it is actually on YouTube now called “fight song for Christine” if you want to check it out.

SP: What has been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career so far?

RP: It is really hard for me to pick just one. But, departing on my first headlining tour in my very own tour bus was incredible.  I had been waiting, dreaming, pushing for that moment for so many years. To get to that point was been so special and monumental to me. There were definite tears, and a very confused bus driver haha.

SP: What did it mean to you to release your first album, “Wildfire?”

RP: It took me hundreds of songs and several years to release “Wildfire”, so to finally have it out in the world for everyone to hear was amazing, but also terrifying.  These songs were my babies and words from my journal for everyone to judge. The fact the album has gone gold blows my mind, I am so proud of it!

SP: Who are some of the artists of today that you admire or would love to collaborate with?

RP: Sia. She is an incredible bad a** performer, artist and songwriter!!

SP: What advice do you have for other 20-somethings who are still trying to find their purpose or path in life?

RP: Keep pushing! Learn from mentors or others around you, don’t be scared to ask questions or for advice and don’t give up!

What can fans expect of your show in Bakersfield at the Kern County Fair?

They should expect a SHOW. I have the funnest band, dance moves, some surprises. It’s a pretty good time 😉

Bonus questions: What is one food item you HAVE to get when you’re at the fair?

RP: Sooo.. I have played a ton of fairs this year and only tried one thing, at one fair… A corn dog.  It was pretty great! Ah I don’t eat sugar, I know.. I am so boring!

Are you currently binge-watching anything on Netflix? If so, what?

RP: I’ve been on the road for most of the last year, so I haven’t had a lot of time to watch TV, but I recently had an off day and binged watched the entire season of Stranger Things.. Oops.. so good.

Rachel Platten will be performing at the Kern County Fair’s Budweiser Pavillion tomorrow at 8 p.m.

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