She’s a fighter! Rachel Platten has the biggest song of the year with “Fight Song.” We can’t get enough of this girl power anthem which we premiered right here on We Heart It. Rachel loves We Heart It and uses her own collections for ideas. The singer’s career has skyrocketed since “Fight Song” and after taking the stage with Taylor Swift and performing at the Teen Choice Awards, she has no plans on slowing down. While on the road—and currently on crutches from jumping off the stage—Rachel spoke to us about how “Fight Song” changed her life and how you can be inspired too! — An interview by Sowmya Krishnamurthy
“Fight Song” is such a powerful song. We loved it from the first time we heard it. What inspired you to write it?
I was kind of at the end of my rope. I was going through such a hard time, doubting myself. I had this decision to make: Do I keep going [as a singer] or do I quit? “Fight Song” is this decision, this separation that I was gonna keep fighting and believing in myself.
Before you debuted your “Fight Song” lyric video with We Heart It last summer, you hearted several lyric images onto your canvas. The lyrics have been very powerful on We Heart It. Many images have over 20,000 hearts. Why do you think Hearters gravitate to this song?
I don’t know if I have the answer other than it came from such a real place in me. I just needed that reminder and maybe it’s not just me. Maybe it’s universal. Maybe we all need to be reminded of our own strength and we need to believe in ourselves and not give up. We’re all hurting. We’re all fighting these great battles and we keep a lot of them private. I think “Fight Song” lets people open up and declare, “Actually I am facing the same thing I want to overcome but guess what? I’m going to keep fighting for it and keep going.”
Last year, you told Hearters to “Find something you love, work hard at it, harder than you ever thought you could, but not for anyone else other than you.” What advice do you have for us now on achieving your dreams?
That’s good advice! [Laughs]. Oh my gosh. [Now], the same thing but with even more hope. It works! Hard work pays off. That work–yes it feels lonely and yes it can feel like it’s only you out there–but I truly believe that you will be rewarded for all of the energy and effort you put in, especially if what you’re doing is coming from your heart.
A lot of fans are now learning about your earlier music like “1,000 Ships,” “Nothing Ever Happens” and “Begin Again” and new ones like “Lone Ranger” or “Congratulations.” Besides “Fight Song,” do you have a personal favorite?
“Congratulations.” I just love that song. I wrote it when I was in a really big fight with someone close to me and I’m pretty bad in fights. I’ll either get passive aggressive or I’ll back off and get intimidated. This song is about that feeling of “I can’t give anymore. You win.”
You’re very confident and self-assured now. Were you always like this? If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 15-year- old self?
I wasn’t always so confident. Not even close. I remember being so insecure and so unsure of myself when I was a teenager. I just never felt that I was smart enough or pretty enough or talented enough. I look back on that now, I wish I could hug that person and tell her to ease up on herself. Sometimes I’m still hard on myself now and maybe 40-year-old me will look back and want to hug me like, “Give yourself a break! You’re doing a really good job.”
What’s been the most unexpected thing you’ve learned over the past year?
How much strength I have. I had a trip in London (my first international trip promoting my music) and a 5-day intense stretch. I was worried my voice wouldn’t hold up and my energy level wouldn’t hold up because I was coming off a tour and flew right back onto a show. I remember being afraid of that. The end of the week came and my voice was in perfect shape and my body was feeling great. I was so proud of how much energy I had. I think what’s changed is what I think I’m capable of and how much confidence I have.
We love your “ART STYLE INSPIRATION” Collection on your Canvas. Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
I made several collections a year ago before all of this was going on. I’ve gotten to watch myself online on We Heart It. It’s interesting to see what I hearted a year ago. I’ve always been into encouraging myself and empowering myself with images. It’s how I kept going in this career. I think I pick things that make my soul feel good whether it’s nature or fashion I’m drawn to that makes me feel like a badass. I have a whole style inspiration page on We Heart It that I use for my photoshoots for my album. A lot of those images are motorcycle boots and distressed t-shirts and leather jackets. Women kind of in this rock and roll but also feminine vibe.”
How would you describe your collections?
A lot of my stuff is feminine and encouraging and edgy.
You’re friends with Taylor Swift and performed “Fight Song” with her for a crowd of over fifty thousand people. That’s pretty amazing. What was that like?
It was incredible. Taylor is an amazing, amazing woman. She’s so kind. She’s generous and giving and inspirational. Getting to play with her was honestly amazing. It was amazing.
What do you Heart most about Taylor Swift?
She’s kept so true to her core beliefs. She wants her fans to feel empowered and it doesn’t matter how big she’s gotten. She gives her fans that message every night.
What’s next for you?
The album’s coming in the fall. We’re putting the finishing touches on it now. I’m really excited for everyone to hear these songs. I’m so proud of them. I have a new single coming out in September.