It's a busy time in the life and career of 17-year-old singer Rachel Farley. The Georgia native is watching as her debut single, "Ain't Easy," continues to gain attention, currently at No. 43 on the Country Airplay chart.
"Things have been absolutely amazing," Farley tells Billboard. "We're doing a lot of radio shows -- we just finished one leg, and met some amazing people." She also made her debut on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on March 15 – just six years after she first visited the WSM Radio show to see her hero, Martina McBride.
Her music definitely has a certain fire to it, with many critics calling her comparing her style to female performers such as Gretchen Wilson, or even a female version of Jason Aldean, whom she opened for on his "My Kinda Party" tour last year. "We definitely have an energy to it," she says. "We try to lay it out there every night, and put a lot into it."
The fact that she has garnered some very favorable reviews with her music and stage shows is not lost on her. "It means a lot to me," she says. "I'm gonna do this whether I'm successful or whether I'm broke for the rest of my life. For somebody to appreciate it, get it, and enjoy it, that's what it's about."
A key component of Farley's music is her writing. "That is very important to me. I feel like my songwriting fuels my show, and my show fuels my writing," she says. Farley had a hand in writing each of the sixteen cuts on her forthcoming debut disc, including five as sole writer.
"When I write by myself, most of the time it's pure inspiration. Something hits me, and I've got to get it out. On the other hand, I love co-writing," she says, allowing it's all about the creative spark. "I can't stand getting in a room where you're just trying to write the next hit. When your focus is just on what can make you the most money, you lose the art in it. I want to write something that I love as an artist or a creator. If it's a fun or a serious song, I just want to be creative."
The 17-year old feels very fortunate to be right where she is, from a career level. "I'm very blessed with my team. I've got a great manager, Michael Knox, who is also my producer. I met him when I was twelve. He took me under his wing, and now he's managing me. He's just fantastic. My label, RED Bow Records – a brand new label under Broken Bow, has taken me on as their first artist. They are so passionate about music, and believe in all their artists. It's such a great environment, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it."
She says that being the flagship artist on a new label isn't quite as intimidating as you might think. "They all want me to be successful because that makes the label successful, and I want them to be successful because that makes me successful. It's such a team effort, and so exciting."