Interview || Faren Rachels

Happy Monday! 
I am so excited to introduce y'all to a very special lady today on Southern Samplings. I LOVE country music and I love introducing people to new artists. I've been very fortunate to connect with some incredibly talented people over the past year and Faren Rachels is one of those people. I first heard of Faren through a song writer I was following named Cole Taylor. I started following along and getting to know her and I was able to hear some of her music earlier in July. Y'all--you know the struggle of finding talented, country FEMALE artists that as girls we can relate to but that is exactly who Faren is. Her songs have been part of my go to female artist playlist since she was sweet enough to share them with me. Faren has an EP that is coming out tonight at midnight on I-Tunes. Although we all know how I-Tunes releases new music early so if you're up late enough tonight, you'll be able to download it then. 
Faren was so kind to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me. I strongly suggest you download this EP tonight. After getting to know a little more about her, I am sure you will feel the same way!

1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me! I know that you are from Georgia, but can you give us a little more background information? When did you first know music was what you wanted to pursue as a career? What made you decide that you wanted to move in Nashville, and when did you move?

"Thank YOU for taking the time to include me in your blog! I am from a little town in Georgia called Sparta. I graduated from high school with twelve people and had to drive 30 minutes to get to the closest Walmart, haha! I grew up singing  in church, at local events, and on my "at-home" karaoke machine. :)  
I have wanted to be a country music artist for as long as I can remember but my mom REALLY wanted me to be the first person in my family to get a college degree and pursue a “real job,"  ha! So, I went to the University of Georgia where I continued to sing but mainly focused on school. I moved to Atlanta and got that “real job” for a a little while, but I was pretty miserable. 
My husband and his family were the ones who encouraged me to make the move to Nashville. My father in law loves music and played in bands his whole life but never got to do it professionally. One day in May of 2012, he told me I did not want to get to be his age and look back and regret not going after what I have really always wanted. After that conversation, my husband and I prayed about it and made the move (without either of us having real jobs up here, ha!). It was pretty scary, but eventually everything fell into place!"

2. Who were your musical inspirations growing up? 
"Mostly the awesome women of 90’s country music! Trisha Yearwood, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Shania Twain and Patty Loveless. I could go on and on."

3.  If you could record a duet or collaboration with any artist, who would you choose and why?
 "Any of the women I grew up listening to would be a huge honor, but if I had to pick just one, I would probably say Trisha Yearwood. Her voice is simply perfection to me. (However, I’d probably wet my pants when she walked into the room)."

4. What was the first song you ever wrote? 
"It was called “My Last Name,” and it was pretty awful… next question, ha."

5. What is your favorite song that you have ever written? 
"My favorite song I have ever written is called “We Got It Made." It is basically the story of our move to Nashville. We lived in a really crappy attic that had been converted into an apartment and we did not have a lot of money (well, we still do not, ha!). But I was finally in Nashville getting to pursue my dream.  I married the sweetest, most supportive man I know so I decided to write a song about how blessed I was— not with monetary things, but with the things that matter. To this day, it is one of my favorites because every single lyric was so real at the time. It did not make my EP, but it is on my Reverbnation page if you want to check it out."

6. I am so excited that you are releasing this EP because country music is heavily populated with male artists and it's nice to hear a woman's side of the stories. Do you think that there is a certain female "country" stereotype and if so, do you agree that it is fair that women are portrayed that way by the male artists? 
"I guess there is no denying that there is a certain female “country” stereotype right now if you listen to the radio but it does not really bother me. Maybe I just do not take life seriously enough to be offended by songs on the radio. I guess my opinion is if you do not like what you hear, do not listen :) What does bother me is the lack of new female country artists out there, though. I have heard so many talented girls in this town. It is crazy that there are so few of us actually getting heard. I am going to bust my tail to change that, though!"
7. Your EP comes out tonight at midnight. How many songs will be on the track list? Did you write all of the songs on it? 
"There are six songs on the EP and I wrote on all of them with some crazy talented friends of mine- Thomas Archer, Jordan Rager, Cole Taylor and Chancie Neal.  I am extremely proud of how all the songs turned out."
8. Which ones mean the most to you, and why?
"Gosh, it is really hard to say which ones mean the most--I love “Holding Down Sunshine,” because I have wanted to write a song like that for so long. You rarely get to hear the girls version of a party song and we like to party too, ya know! :) I love “Get On With It” just as much, though, because I know way too many girls who put up with way too much bull crap from losers! Honestly I could really talk about each song--they all mean something to me in a different way." 

 9. As a singer/songwriter, what part of the process of writing and then recording the songs is your favorite? 
 "I think the most exciting part of the songwriting process is when you get into the studio to record it and get to hear the song come to life. Todd Lombardo, who produced my EP, is one of the most talented people I have ever met. I was not blessed with the mind of a producer, so he blows me away with what he can bring to a song."

 10. If you were driving across the country and you could only bring one album, which one would you choose? 
"This is probably the hardest question I’ve ever been asked! There are so many albums I have been obsessed with that its hard to choose just one. Off the top of my head, one album that I know I could never get tired of is The Dixie Chicks’ first album. So good."

So, as y'all can tell, Faren Rachels is a superstar in the making. Each one of the songs on the EP are songs that come from a real place. I am so excited to be able to pay for some music from Faren now! It makes me so happy to see a female country artist singing such fun and meaningful songs. Make sure that you follow her on her social media sites below. And, of course, check out her website. Most importantly, BUY her EP when it is out tonight!! Thank you, again, Faren! This is only the beginning!! 
ITunes (This one may not work until Tuesday! :) )

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