The life-changing healing power of Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’

New York City-based, Boston-born singer-songwriter Rachel Platten is in the midst of a national tour that started in February and will be wrapping up in early April. She has been on the road with Andy Grammer and Alex & Sierra. In years past, this striking talent has shared the stage with such noteworthy artists as The Strokes, Lady Gaga, Matt Nathanson, The Fray, Gavin DeGraw, Regina Spektor, and more. Her music can be heard in episodes of “One Tree Hill,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Finding Carter,” and the phenomenally successful “Pretty Little Liars.” Although she’s had the highest-charting, independently released adult pop radio single in the last 10 years with her song, “1,000 Ships,” it is her latest release, “Fight Song,” that is connecting and resonating so powerfully with America that she is finally experiencing her breakthrough moment.

AXS caught up with Rachel via phone while she was traveling to the old fourth ward near downtown Atlanta for a show at the multi-staged venue called The Masquerade.

“I wish it had been that easy,” she responded when AXS asked about the artist’s seemingly effortless rise to prominence after releasing “1,000 Ships” back in 2011. “That single did make a little blip, and that was cool, but after that, things quickly dissolved. I lost my manager, I lost my label, I lost a lot of my support, and I was kind of left just trying to survey what was going on in my career and wondering if I was even going to try to continue.”

Then Platten met the man who would eventually become her new manager, Ben Singer of SMG Entertainment. Singer literally changed the course of Rachel’s life during a conversation. “He told me to forget about trying to warm myself by other people’s fires and to go build my own,” the artist explained. “He told me I could do that by concentrating on my songwriting, which, ironically, was the one thing I hadn’t really delved into too much. Even though I had songs that were reaching people, I had never really learned how to tell my own story. So that’s what I did for two years, I just wrote and wrote and wrote, and it wasn’t until recently that I finally started experiencing the fruit of all of that labor.”

“Fight Song” is the aforementioned single that marked a new direction for Rachel. “I’d never written a song that felt so clearly honest and told my story with both vulnerability and power. I’m really proud of it and I hope I can match that with the rest of the material that I’ve been writing for my next album.”

“Fight Song” is an anthemic single that produces an electric chill that races up your spine and raises goosebumps along your arms with every single listen. Its truly empowering message urges listeners to never stop believing and to always stand strong, no matter what.

“It’s a really exciting song to play live because people actually cheer in the middle of it,” Platten informed. “Even the people who have never heard it before, they just get so excited and cheer after the first time I sing, ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.’

Though certain aspects of honesty and vulnerability might be new in Rachel’s writing, she’s always had a crackle of energy that reveals itself as the upbeat strength and positivity that fortify her songs. The artist acknowledged that is just who she is, from the moment she wakes up, she is eager to get her day started. But she revealed that sometimes it is “harder to channel a positive view when everyone is feeling alone or feeling pain or feeling like they want to be somewhere else. It takes work to say, ‘I’m not going to listen to that shadow, I’m not going to listen to that part of me that keeps taking my energy and dragging me down. It takes work to stand up to that, and I do a lot of work on myself! I really try to offer that strength to others through my music because I think we’re often missing that in this world.”

But it doesn’t end there. Rachel isn’t content to just put “Fight Song” out there and let it sit. In a recent message to her fans, the artist announced that because of the song’s power, she was going to start a special campaign. “After reading your letters, emails, and direct messages about ‘Fight Song,’ I was touched and I believe there is power in sharing the personal battles that we are fighting to overcome. If you feel moved to, please post a video or picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook sharing what you have overcome or are working on overcoming and how ‘Fight Song’ has inspired you.”

If you do a search for “#MyFightSong” or even just take a quick peek at Rachel’s Facebook wall, you will likely be moved to tears by all the incredible stories of strength and triumph that fans have posted there. “I have shed so many happy tears reading those messages!” Platten expressed. “How did I get so lucky that a song I wrote is helping people? That’s just mind-blowing to me!”

“I just read a really intense message last night after the show,” she continued. “I am always impressed to see how brave we truly are! ‘Fight Song’ is about feeling rejected and feeling like I didn’t have any options. I needed this song in order to believe in myself again. But just from hearing what I went through, people are being moved to share their own personal experiences,” she paused, collecting herself. “That’s just so incredible. And I think that’s what life is about, it’s about understanding and accepting that we all have these stories, and when you share them openly, it can help you to heal.”

In closing, Rachel offered, “The most amazing part of this whole experience is seeing those stories flood in. Feel free to participate. Feel free to share your story and tag it #MyFightSong. It doesn’t even have to be for this campaign. If there’s anything painful that you’ve been holding inside, just share it, open up to your friends, because there’s this incredible release that happens when you do. I found that release through ‘Fight Song,’ but I encourage everyone to find their own way to open up and share.”

Rachel Platten will soon be wrapping up her current tour. Afterwards, she will get back to work on finishing her Columbia Records’ debut, which is set to be released a little later this year. To keep up with this impressive artist’s career, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. [Photo: Gabriel Jeffrey.]

Remaining tour dates:

March 18 – Portland, Maine – Port City Music Hall
March 19 – Boston, Mass. – House of Blues
March 20 – New York, N.Y. – Webster Hall
March 21 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Theatre of the Living Arts
March 22 – Ridgefield, Conn. – Ridgefield Playhouse
March 25 – Cincinnati, Ohio – 20th Century Theatre
March 26 – Pontiac, Mich. – Crofoot
March 27 – Chicago, Ill. – House of Blues
March 28 – St. Louis, Mo. – Old Rock House
March 29 – Minneapolis, Minn. – Varsity Theatre
March 31 – Englewood, Colo. – Gothic Theatre
April 1 – Salt Lake City, Utah – The Complex
April 3 – Los Angeles, Calif. – House of Blues