Back Pocket Talk is BBC’s new feature that will include our thoughts, favorite songs and a Q&A with a female artist or someone working within country music.
We were able to catch up with Faren Rachels last Thursday while she was getting over a cold and had an abundance of industry and “back pocket” questions. I encourage you to check out her music and also read it through to get to know her a little more.
INTRODUCTION | FROM MEGAN
I will be the first to admit that a few years ago I didn’t gain an appreciation for a female artist until I had seen her live. Unfortunately I was oblivious at the start of the set and then would find myself enthralled with hearing their lyrics. Then I would feel inspired by the music that naturally hit my ears during the show and the “appreciation” would begin. This delayed recognition could be because it was hard to be exposed with the lack of attention females received from radio… or I was just college student not understanding my love for country music and female empowerment quite yet…
Regardless, largely because of the ever advancing updates in social media, music fans have been able to get to know artists on a different level and can experience them beyond youtube, Spotify, Apple Music & radio. With effort *and really slow days at work*, I was able to “follow” various artists that I felt like I could and would be friends with if we had ever met. Then after finding them to be SUPER likable and relatable, I continued to follow the Nashville artists that I saw as incredibly talented.
Faren Rachels is a perfect example of a Nashville artist that peaked my interests as a country music fan. My discovery of her on instagram likely happened because of her tight-knit group of singers & songwriters that my friends and I actively follow including (Luke Combs, Muscadine Bloodline, Trea Landon, etc.) Naturally with her blazing personality, big hair, braid loving & bandana wearing habits it was easy to become a fan of Faren but then when it got to hearing her sing and the release of her EP… I had to let EVERY #bandanababe know she is a girl to keep an eye on.
As you will be able to tell with our Q & A with her, she is a Georgia girl that you would want to catch happy hour with and she is DEFINITELY someone you will want to experience live when she’s coming through your town.
FAREN RACHELS | BIO
Georgia native Faren Rachels grew up in the small town of Sparta where she was raised on country music. Growing up in the 90’s it is obvious as to why she has an appreciation for female artists like Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Faith Hill and Lee Ann Womack. The strength these women expressed resonated with Faren and she continues to embody this vitality through her own career. From singing in church, to cover gigs with her college band, Faren has always perused her true passion: music. She moved to music city in 2012 to follow her dreams and has never looked back.
OKAY NOW THE BEST PART OF THE POST!!!!
BACK POCKET TALK WITH FAREN RACHELS
- BBC S: Sarah
- BBC M: Megan
- F: Faren Rachels
BBC S: What is it like to be a female country singer in such a male dominated industry?
F: You know it is just like anything else in life, it’s harder for us. I get asked this question a lot, “what is like to be a female in Nashville” and it’s hard but that is how it is with everything. I am just kind of used to it.
BBC M: You have a good point on it being like anything else in life, before you moved to Nashville you had a 9-5 job, what were you doing before?
F: I was actually working in an insurance office in Atlanta, GA before I moved to Nashville. I was always getting bitched out over the phone about problems that I had no control over. I finally said I can’t live like this. I can’t work with the public! So that was one of the reasons I moved. Then I drove for uber and I have had a bunch of different jobs.
But I mean I love being a female right now in country music because things are finally starting to take a little turn. There is all the conversation about the lack of women on country radio, it was not like that when I moved here a few years ago. It was just the way it was and nobody was talking about it.
Things are definitely changing and there is a lot of work to be done obviously but at least people are starting to talk about it and its exciting to have so much awareness to “where the hell are the girls?”
BBC M: The Brantley Gilbert Kick it in the Ship cruise just got announced, I’m really curious on the back-end how that conversation started. As well as what you anticipate for that October Trip.
F: I have no idea how that started. I don’t even know how the hell half the shit starts. To be honest my manager said “Hey you are going to go on the Brantley Gilbert Cruise!” I’m like what Okay!
I have a booking agent now, which they are amazing, they probably had something to do with it. I know Luke Combs is on it, and I was out on the road with him in the fall, he’s at Make Wake River House which is the company I am with. Josh Phillips is in our office, so he is on the cruise as well. We are all making it a family affair. I am SO EXCITED. I love cruises, I know people love them or hate them and I just love them!
I have heard so many great things from Luke about Brantley, because they were out on tour with them last year and about how great they treated them and how much they learned. So I just can’t wait! I am so excited!
BBC M: Well I will let you know, speaking from experience, I went on the FGL Cruise in 2014 and it was the best experience I have ever had as a fan.
It honestly set the tone for everything that we are doing now with Blue Bandana Country. It’s a really fun time and it’s the best vacation I have ever gone on and I travel quite a bit. I am a huge advocate of the Sixthman Cruises and any fan should go!
BBC S: So I have a really random question speaking of cruises, you are always SO tan. Are you that natural or do you a good self-tanner recommendation? I need some help girl.
F: Sun Tan City baby! I do spray tans all through the year.
BBC S: Oh that’s makes perfect sense. When I saw on your instastory with shorts and sandals outside because you painted your toes, I couldn’t believe how tan you were still! What is the deal, I need to be tan.
F: True story. THAT was the reason I was in shorts and sandals! I painted my toenails and I got a spray tan that day and I almost froze getting a spray tan. I had to tell myself, you can do this. I had to go straight to my car, then suntan city, then straight back home.
Then my office called and said I had to swing by there for something, So I went by there and he said hey listen about this and it was 19 degrees and I’m in shorts and people are looking at me like.
The tan in the summer is natural but any other time of year it is spray.
BBC M: If you are stranded on deserted island, which might happen on the cruise, too many margaritas, and there was a record player, what album do you wish would be with you?
F: This question kills me. It is so hard because it can depend on the day and my mood. On a deserted island I would have to say… Trisha Yearwood Greatest Hits.
BBC S: I love it! I would have to say Wrong side of Memphis is probably one of my favorite songs of all time.
F: That’s what my tattoo on my arm is from. I have the lyrics from that song!
BBC M: Writers Round, Four Artists. Who would you want to be there? Your pick, new, old, dead, alive?
F: Man y’all are making this so tough! Well obviously Trisha Yearwood, she’s my favorite. Let’s see… probably, Travis Meadows. I got to get off of the T’s. I take these questions way too seriously. Ashley McBryde. *which us bandana babes love too* And last but not least because you said dead or alive, I would say Merle Haggard.
BBC S: Getting back to you and your self-titled EP that you released in November, which song would you say is the most near and dear to your heart?
F: This is actually not that hard. I love the whole EP and different songs for different reasons but I was going to say this as I have been playing live lately “If Im being Honest” is definitely the most personal song I have ever written and I wrote it just for me. I call it my therapy song. I was in a really bitchy mood the morning that I wrote it and I was actually complaining to my cowriters about being a women in this town. Trying to look perfect and all of the things that we have to deal with all the time. The pressure to be a size 0 and act lady like. All the things that guys do not have to worry about .
So that song just poured out and is still one of the easiest songs I have ever written. It was me venting about life that day and when I played it for my manager and she loved it. Which is was surprised because I didn’t mean to write it for the record. People have been loving it when we play it out loud. A lot of girls have been telling me that the song is exactly how they feel and it means the world to me. It means I am not the only that is crazy.
BBC S: That is my favorite song off of the EP and it really hit home for me. So thank you for writing it.
BBC M: Going into things that are important to you, what is the most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given you?
F: For my 18th birthday my grandparents brought me to Nashville. We did the whole touristy thing for the whole weekend. We checked in to the hotel and they laid out like a thousand brochure of everything in the world to do. They said “you pick it and we do as much as we can in a weekend.” So we toured the Ryman and went to the Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame. That was the first time I was really able to come here and see what Music City was all about and that will probably go down as the best gift I was ever given.
BBC M: You are really close to your grandparents aren’t you?
F: Yeah, my grandpa isn’t with us anymore but my mimi is still kickin! She is one of my favorite people. They both recognized really early on my love for country music and really pushed me to sing as much as I could. They are good people.
BBC S: So duets, think of Carrie Underwood Miranda Lambert “Something Bad – who would be a powerhouse female that you would want to collaborate with?
BBC M: Lets say new and old – because we know you love Trisha so we are taking her out.
F: Let’s see – I honestly would LOVE to do a duet with Pink. I have loved everything she has ever done and her live show is just nuts so that would be really cool. She is outspoken about what she stands for which is badass.
BBC M: Who would you compare yourself to in the entertainment industry, any genre?
F: It’s hard to compare myself to anyone but I look up to a lot of people.
I look up to Miranda Lambert a lot and I get compared to her a lot. I take it as a compliment for sure. Our music isn’t exatly the same but it is undeniable that I grew up listening to her. I remember reading an interview on her when she first signed her record deal. When she walked in the room she told the whole room if you want me to wear short skirts and dance around in tight dresses, that this isn’t going to work. That was the first thing she said to the record company. So I respect how she has stuck to her guns and put out music that matters. This last record definitely is the least commercial thing she has done but it is who she is. So I really look up to her as far as the country genre.
There are so many others. I guess I could compare myself to any other artist that sticks around this town for years and years waiting on dreams to come true.
BBC M: Hey, well it looks like their starting too with that sold out Luke Combs tour last year and the BG Cruise announcement this month. Stick around a little longer.
BBC S: I think I might know what you will say… but what is the most off-the-wall song you have ever written?
F: Well I know what you are thinking I am going to say. If you are reading this and have seen some of the posts lately I know you are going to assume “uber driver” FORTUNATELY that is not the most random song I have ever written.
We actually wrote a song actually called “Take My Bra Off” which I haven’t thought about it too much lately but now that I have we are going to have to pull it back out. Little titles like that, that are like normal everyday randomness are always my favorite.
BBC S: So going off of Uber drivers and taking peoples bras off, I read that you really like Margaritas. We are visiting Nashville in April, WHERE do we have to go to get the BEST Margarita?
F: My favorite Margarita place in Nashville is called Rose Pepper. It’s in East Nashville. It is the most solid real margarita. It isn’t sweet sugar mix, it’s delicious and perfect. It will get you feeling pretttty great. You will want to get there early and anticipate a wait.
BBC M: Jumanji is out in theatres. If you could be in any board game which one would it be?
F: If it had to be the best representative of my life it would be beer pong. Does that count?
BBC M: Yep! Absolutely but what are you? The cup, beer, table, ping-pong ball?
F: I guess I would be the ping-pong ball. That is more like me. All over the place.
BBC S: Last year was a big year; with your EP, sold out luke combs tour, & a lot of media attention, what do you anticipate 2018 to look like?
F: A lot more shows, which is so exciting. That is my favorite part and what I love the most out of all of this. Like we’ve talk about with the cruise, booking dates left and right and also already talking about recording more music. So I’m super excited about that and hope to have more music out for everyone this year.
BBC M: This being Back Pocket Talk, do you have any songs you pull out of your back pocket in a really crowded bar or venue, especially during a sold out show, that you decide to change the set list to catch everyone’s attention?
F: Well I mean unfortunately Uber Drive is one of those. When we wrote that song I did not ever intend on playing it for anyone. We wrote it as a joke and were all still hung over from the night before!
BBC M: Who did you write it with?
F: Nicolette Hayford and Aaron Goodvin. Good friends of mine and we were just screwing around that day and laughing at each other with that fact that we put uber in a song. Then when I played it for manager she said that’s fricken hilarious and said to put it out. I told her “I’m not putting that out, people will think im a complete idiot.” And she said “no they won’t they will relate” Alright…
BBC M: Have you sent it to uber yet?
F: I’m working on it. You’ll see… I’m working on it.
BBC M: Last but not least, how and when do you rock a bandana?
F: Oh my gosh. I have one on right now! I rock them all the time!
I wear them during my workouts every day and honestly I don’t wash my hair everyday soooo they are great disguise through the day. At home, on the road, meetings, always.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us & we can’t wait to grab a margarita with you in Nashville in April!
TO OUR BBC FOLLOWING
Follow Faren… trust me she is an artist that is about to have a HUGE 2018. You need to jump on her wild bandana braid bandwagon because she is a voice that you will want to get stuck in your head.
LISTEN TO FAREN RACHELS
Apple Music & Spotify Below
BLUE BANDANA COUNTRY | SONG SELECTION
My top pick off Faren’s self-titled EP is “If I’m Being Honest”. This song hits home for me because it vocalizes the pressures that all people and especially women, feel in society today. The song is genuine and personal, you can feel the power behind it for Faren and I think that vulnerability is what makes the song the powerhouse that it is.
It isn’t typical of me to pick a song that is likely written about an adorable couple staying in… but I adore “Nowhere Tonight.” Despite what most people would think, I LOVE being a homebody. Nothing sounds better to me than drinking with a friend or loved one on a front porch. I also tend to like songs that can be belted out like an anthem and I have a feeling this year… I am going to have a lot of “Nowhere Tonight” nights. Also for all you dancers, this is fun one you can two-step to.
Thank you for tuning into our first Back Pocket Talk!
Peace, Love & Cali Kisses