Small town raised, Faren Rachels, moved to Nashville in 2012 with a massive dream to match her powerful voice. Since then, she’s been writing songs and performing all around Nashville and other southern towns honing her sound and building relationships in the industry. Faren was named one of Rolling Stone’s “Artists You Need to Know” for October and her star is undeniably on the rise in the country music world. Recently, I had the pleasure of taking a little bit of time out of Faren’s busy schedule while she’s on tour with Luke Combs and Josh Phillips. She gave me some insight into her life as a musician, her recent EP release, and shared some of her inspirations and musical heroes.
Tell us a little bit about your upbringing, where are you from and what led you down the path to pursue country music as a career?
I grew up in a small town in Georgia called Sparta… when I say “small” I mean “2 stop lights & graduated high school with a class of 12 folks small.” I’ve been obsessed with country music for as long as I can remember. My grandparents started taking me to concerts when I was really young & I’ve been hooked ever since. I sang in local talent contests, my church choir & eventually put a band together out of college. I finally made the move to Nashville about 5 years ago & started writing my own songs.
Faren, you just released your self-titled Debut EP on November 10th. What would you say were the most challenging and most fun parts of that experience?
The most challenging part was definitely picking the songs. I’ve been writing for several years now so there were so many songs that I loved, but I really wanted to make sure that the 5 I put on this EP all showed a different side of me & helped people get to know me. The most fun part of making a record is being in the studio & watching those amazing musicians bring your songs to life.
What is your favorite track off your new EP and why?
It’s really hard to pick a favorite, because I love all 5 songs for different reasons. “If I’m Being Honest” is probably the most personal song I’ve ever written though, so it’s a really special one to me. It’s basically me admitting that I slap on a happy face a lot of times when I’m really struggling on the inside. I think a lot of women will be able to relate.
So you are currently out on the Don’t Tempt Me With a Good Time tour with Luke Combs and Josh Phillips, what is your favorite part about the tour so far?
Meeting so many new fans has been the coolest part for sure. When I’m in a state I’ve never even played in & someone knows the words to my songs that really means a lot to me.
Have you played any of your bucket list venues yet? If so, which ones? Where are you excited to play next?
The Stone Pony in New Jersey was really cool… a lot of my musical heroes have played on that same stage & you can just feel the history in there. I think I’m most
looking forward to The Tabernacle in Atlanta though. I’m from Georgia so it’s always been a bucket list venue for me.
Throw out your top 3 country music influences? Why do you respect/love those artists so much?
It’s really hard to narrow it down to 3… but I’d probably say Trisha Yearwood, Reba & Miranda Lambert. I love that all 3 of them write or cut songs for all of us “girls next door”… their songs & delivery are so relatable. I really respect their live shows too. Those ladies can hold their own!
Who are the people you write with the most and how did you meet them?
I’ve met most of my co-writers from playing writers rounds or having mutual friends in common since moving to Nashville. I’ve probably written with a group of Georgia boys (Thomas Archer, Cole Taylor, Travis Denning, Jordan Rager, Ray Fulcher, Drew Parker, etc) the most. We all moved to town around the same time & kind of came up together. I wrote 3 of the 5 songs on my EP with Aaron Goodvin & Bart Butler, so they are obviously two of my favorites. Now I write a good bit with two of my good girlfriends, Lainey Wilson & Nicolette Hayford, too. They just get me & we laugh A LOT.
If you could write with one person you have not written with yet, who would it be?
Dean Dillon… although I’d probably shit my pants from being nervous.
When you’re not playing shows on the road what do your off days look like?
I’m usually in Nashville writing when I’m not out playing shows… on my off days I love to watch football, hang with friends & drink whiskey 🙂
Finally, If you were setting up a Faren Rachels Music Festival who are 5 artists you would have at the show and why?
Damn this is the hardest question! I love so many artists out right now… I’d want to have Luke Combs on it to re-pay the favor of him taking me out on his tour, haha (also because his live show is so GREAT). I’d want Ashley McBryde on it for sure. She’s got my favorite female vocal of anyone right now & her songs are just good for the soul. I’d want Jon Pardi, cause give me all the FIDDLE & STEEL. I’d love to have Brent Cobb… he’s been one of my favorites for years… And hell, why not shoot for the stars… I’d probably ask King George to headline 🙂
Rowdies give Faren a follow on her social media accounts to keep up with what’s coming up next for this powerhouse. Her YouTube Channel specifically has a ton of fantastic covers to check out!