#CMchat Exclusive Interview: Faren Rachels

Singer/songwriter Faren Rachels grew up in Sparta, Georgia – population 1,281. Rachels owned and drove her own drag racing car. After graduating in a class of 12, she went to the University of Georgia, where she put together her own band. From there she settled in Nashville five years ago.

When did you start singing? 

“Honestly, probably when I started to talk! My parents bought me a small karaoke machine when I was really young & I spent most of my free time singing along to Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill in my childhood bedroom. When I was in middle school I joined my church choir and started singing at local talent shows and other churches. Throughout college, I played cover gigs at a lot of small bars. I can’t really remember a time in my life where I wasn’t singing.” 

Is your family musical? 

“Nobody in my immediate family is musical at all, but my dad’s side of the family had several musicians in it. My mom’s mama played the guitar & piano, but my poor mama can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” 

How did your grandparents influence your love of country music?

“My grandpa was my biggest fan. He and my Meme took me to concerts growing up & that’s where my dream of performing really started. They also recorded the CMA and ACM awards every year on VHS so I could re-watch them over and over.” 

Read that your grandparents took you on a trip to Nashville for your 18th birthday and it was then that you decided you’d make Nashville your home. What was the deciding factor?

“We toured the Ryman, went to the Opry, etc… being surrounded by so much country music history that weekend made me realize Nashville was the only place I’d really ever feel normal. I knew I wanted to live here because everyone eats, sleeps, and breathes music like I do.” 

Which artists do you admire? 

“Trisha Yearwood is my number one. She grew up close to my hometown and hearing her on the radio made me believe I could do it too. I’m a big fan of the 90’s country female artists- Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack, Reba.” 

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in five words: 

“Country as hell, honest, real”

What are the stories behind your songs, “Free Drinks,” “If It Ain’t Fixed,” and the other songs on your upcoming EP?

“I wrote ‘Free Drinks‘ for any girl who keeps going back to the guy she knows isn’t good for her… we’ve all had that relationship at one point or another, where its fun in the moment but we end up regretting it later.

“’If It Ain’t Fixed‘ is the only song on the EP I didn’t write myself. Some great friends of mine wrote it and from the first time I heard it, I wanted to record it. It reminded me of how I felt when I was dating/having trust issues with guys, because of my relationship with my dad.

“’Nowhere Tonight‘ is a pretty true story about a couple who would rather make some drinks and listen to their own playlist at home on a Friday night, rather than go out with all their friends.

“’If I’m Being Honest is the most personal song I’ve ever written. I had the idea because I was really frustrated with all the pressures us women have to look perfect, act perfect and pretend like we feel perfect all the time. Its basically admitting I have issues & everything isn’t always as perfect as it seems.

“’Smoking Was Cool‘ is about feeling like I was born in the wrong generation sometimes. It’s pretty much a tribute to the good ole days when life moved a little slower.” 

 If you could record with any country music star, who would it be?

Trisha Yearwood

You have recently opened for Dwight Yoakam and Luke Combs, if you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Jon Pardi” 

Read you never had vocal lessons or professional training – would you consider your time on the college bar circuit as a sort of training ground?  

“I actually just started taking some vocal lessons recently. Many of my artist friends have told me how much it helps them performing live, night after night. But yes, playing college bars is definitely the best training as far as performing goes… if you can keep the attention of some rowdy college kids, you can hold any crowd!” 

Where would you most like to perform?

“The Ryman”

Ten years from now you will be…. 

“Probably complaining about getting old, but still making music!”  

What five artists/songs would I see on your recently played lists?

“’A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega‘ by Ashley McBryde, ‘Ain’t A Road Too Long‘ by Brent Cobb, ‘Shine On Rainy Day‘ by Lee Ann Womack, ‘Honky Tonk Highway‘ by Luke Combs, ‘Sideways‘ by Travis Meadows

What are your favorite songs to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke? 

 “Anything by Shania Twain or the Dixie Chicks

 If you were driving cross-country and could only bring one CD, what would it be? 

 “It’s so hard to only pick one!!! Maybe Dierks Bentley’s first record or Trisha’s greatest hits”

 When you are not touring, what do you like to do for fun?

 “Hang out with friends, spend time on the lake during the summer & drink margaritas!” 

 If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?

 “Writing songs” 

 A movie of your life is being filmed – who are the leads? 

 “God I hope Amy Schumer, cause my life is pretty laughable and she could nail it”

 What are the five things you can’t live without?

“My contacts, dry shampoo, coffee, my phone, and headphones”

What are your mottos or the advice you live by?

“The bigger the hair, the closer to God” 

If you were granted one wish, what would you ask for?

 “That food wouldn’t have calories”

 What is the best way for fans to follow you?

“Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat!”

Author: Donna Block

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