Rachel Platten opened up about her breakthrough hit ‘Fight Song,’ the inspirational anthem that has launched her musical career to new heights, and reflected upon her decade of struggle in obscurity.
The 34-year-old Rachel Platten is far from obscurity these days, having penned one of the biggest hits of the year. ‘Fight Song,’ which reached No. 6 on the Billboard 100 has been adopted formally and informally as an anthem of hope, perseverance and survival. It’s been heard in such television shows as ‘Supergirl,’ ‘Revenge’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ It has yet another life as cancer survivors and others have adopted its life-affirming message. The song is also the lead single of her major-label debut album, ‘Wildfire, due out on January 1st.
In an interview with Robin Roberts’ ABC News’ special ‘The Year: 2015′ she opened up about the song and why she wrote it. She said, “Ten months ago I was on a house concert tour in a van playing to like twenty or thirty people a night. I wrote the song when I was going through such a hard time and I needed to remember to believe in myself.” She added, “So the fact that it’s reached anyone other than me is really incredible.”
She went on to say, “When I wrote ‘Fight Song,’ I was in a particular low point. I needed to remind myself to not give up, that I still believed in myself and that I still had fight left.”
She went on to say that she didn’t write the song “for the world to hear to be honest.” She explained that she wrote it because she “needed it.” She went on to say, “I needed that reminder and I needed hope. And maybe there was this tiny place in my heart that I believed this could still happen. And the fact that it did is crazy.”
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun she spoke of the circumstances that led to her getting signed to a major label, Columbia, shortly after ‘Fight Song’ was played on the radio. It was the Baltimore radio station, Mix 106.5, that first played the song. Platten had a friend who knew the station’s program director who in turn played the song a few times on the air.
She said, “There was no reason for them to play the song.” She went on to say, “But because of that, labels reached out. … It was very much because of that station and because of Baltimore that this song got out to the world.”
But before that, Rachel Platten had the ten years or so of the obscurity of playing small venues in New York City, and two independently released albums that did not catch on; ‘Trust in Me’ of 2003 followed by ‘Be Here’ of 2011.
Asked how her music has changed since those days of struggle, she told the newspaper, “I think the biggest difference is in the writing and the quality of writing, and how I’ve learned to simplify my concepts and make them more universal. They’re similar feelings, but there’s also a strength that I’ve learned from being resilient and from almost falling so many times, and almost failing and then having to pick myself up. I learned that I truly am a fighter, and that I cannot give up.”
The second single from the album, ‘Stand By You,’ is also climbing the charts and proving popular as yet another life-affirming anthem, as as well as a wedding song.
Below you can see Rachel Platten’s interview with ABC News below and see the music videos of the songs that have catapulted her to stardom!