What a year it has been, am I right? It may have been the best year yet for some, the worst for others, or a little bit in between for most of us. For Gun Barrel City, TX native Rachel LaRen, it has been a groundbreaking year which has led to this day of the premiere of her very first single, Jesus and Me.
As humans we try to find the good in all the bad and that is exactly what Rachel did. After seeing Nashville turn into a ghost town at the beginning of quarantine, Rachel decided to go home to Texas for three months. It’s a different kind of feeling when you’re almost being forced to return home, rather than voluntarily for leisure. The song Jesus and Me was inspired by this quarantine. Rachel said, “I felt like there was so much going on at the time and so much hatred came from it that I said to myself it would be a better place if people would just keep it between Jesus and me!” And that ladies and gentlemen is where the name stuck. Rachel ran with the name back to Nashville and got to work with her fellow cowriters Ashley Ryan and Sam Blasko.
I first heard Jesus and Me, where? You guessed it, on Tik Tok. We sat there and laughed for a minute about how we all first thought we were too old to get Tik Tok—we are not old by any means. Rachel said “You know when it first came out, I was like nope…no way I am getting that app. Artists don’t need that app…Then BOOM, friends videos were going viral, songwriters were getting record deals all because of this app, so I finally downloaded it.” It’s incredible how that one decision made such a huge impact on her life. How the algorithm worked that her video came across my page. “These songs would’ve never reached this many people without Tik Tok, it’s like you’re getting the entire worlds opinion on it,” Rachel described. It all works out… I stopped mid-scroll as soon as I heard Rachels voice. The smooth melody subtly grabs your attention. Then the song immediately sucked me in, I felt related to.
Not going to church cause I didn’t make it in time,
but little do they know I pray every night.
There’s a bible that sits by my bed,
may not always do what it says, but I do my best.
So let people see what they see,
cause that’s between Jesus and me…
Music City Nashville is a tough place and you never know when you’ll catch your break. Rachel was sitting at her office job in Oklahoma and said to herself, “I’m 20 years old with a 401K, what am I doing with my life? This is not what I want to do.” She made the move to Nashville and has been here for a little over two years now. Rachel described it as “It’s scary in this town to do something different, but that’s me.” Something I enjoyed so much from interviewing Rachel is that she asked my opinion of her song, she wanted to know my thought process so that she could understand from a different perspective. I think that is an amazing quality to have as a songwriter, Rachel is striving to learn and grow. I told Rachel that I loved it because it felt personal, the lyrics are real. Which is a quality you have sometimes have to dig for around here. I had never seen this girl before and when I heard her song I felt like I knew a part of her, or myself. It was a connecting moment.
Jesus and Me is just the beginning for Rachel LaRen. We can expect another song, Common Man, to drop very soon. Then an EP will be in the works for Rachel LaRen. Hit the link below to give Rachel’s debut single, Jesus and Me, a listen or ten. You heard it here first, on Raised Rowdy. It will be available on all streaming platforms Friday, April 2nd. Make sure to follow on Instagram and TikTok for Rachel’s new music updates.
Raised Rowdy Contributor Heather Shadrick