Rachel Farley Interview: ‘Midnight Road’ Singer on Making the First Move, Her Feisty Dog
Rachel Farley is kind of a bad a– on stage. In her studded black leather jacket and blue jeans, the singer — who toured with country bad boy Brantley Gilbert before she could legally vote — is a commanding presence. Sure, she’s only 18, but she’s known more life and death than some twice her age, right? ‘Ain’t Easy’ began with a story about her grandfather running moonshine. Her new single ‘Midnight Road’ hardly backs off the throttle.
So what is this Georgia native like offstage? Was she a troublemaker in school? Is she a prankster? Is she the sort of woman who will only wear a dress if someone forces her into one, like at her funeral?
Not so much. Thankfully Farley is a much more well-rounded singer-songwriter, and her music proves it. ‘Midnight Road’ is her new single, and it’s just been released to radio. The love song has teeth, but it’s also emotionally complete. Of course, if you’re still afraid of her, scroll to the bottom to see a picture of her new dog, Reptar.
ToC: Have you ever called a radio station anonymously requesting your own song?
Rachel Farley: That I have not done. But that sounds fun.
Tell the story about the moment or the guy that inspired ‘Midnight Road.’
One of the most exciting things in new relationships to me, I think, is riding around in the car with that person and getting to know them, and that excitement of not really knowing if it’s gonna go somewhere yet or not. Are we gonna have our first kiss tonight? What kind of night is this? So the song is about that and that excitement and that uncertainty and almost awkwardness of that night.
At the same time … she’s kind of taking charge and saying, “I dare you to make the next move.”
Are you the type that’s willing to make the first move?
I have before, yeah. I have made the first move before [laughs]. I’m not shy. I just think when the time is right, the time is right and you gotta go for it and see what happens.
Does your age limit the types of songs you can record and release as singles?
I don’t think so. Because I feel like when I write songs to one person, even if you’re in your 30s, you may go, “Oh my God, I relate to this” — and it means something to you. But someone who is 12 years old still can relate to the same song.
I don’t put limitations on myself personally, on what I can and can’t sing about. Because I write about my life. There have been moments, especially when I was younger, where some of the songs I would be writing people would say, “Oh you need to write something more age appropriate.” I’m like, “I wrote the song! Just because in your head it goes somewhere different doesn’t mean that’s what I’m singing.” It’s open to interpretation.
We were poking around your Twitter and Instagram accounts and saw a picture of your fearsome dog.
[laughs] He’s ferocious.
You don’t seem like a Yorkie kind of girl. We would have thought you’d own a Boxer or something.
I love dogs, I like all kinds of dogs, but this dog kind of fell in my lap. We were on Facebook and one of my friends had posted that she was selling her dog because she didn’t have time for him. My mom was on Facebook and she’s like, “Rachel, you need this dog!” I was like, “Mom, I can’t. I’m on the road …”
So my mom got the dog and the day that she brought it home I’d gone over to her house to pick something up and I saw the dog and was like, “Oh my God! He’s adorable. He’s mine.” It was kind of love at first sight. He comes on the road with me, I take him everywhere.
Do you have a special dog purse?
I do NOT have a dog purse. I will not go that far.
Do you enjoy dressing up?
Oh yeah. I’m a hodgepodge of all kinds of things. I’ll hang out all day in sweatpants and a tank top, but at the same time, I love getting dressed up. I love getting all dolled up and being pretty for awhile.
On your Facebook page, you were letting fans fire away one night and you answered questions for about two hours. Can we do the same thing and rapid-fire a few at you?
OK, shoot. Let’s do it.
Did you ever get suspended in school?
I did not. No, I was a very good student. Actually I was kind of a goody-goody in school. I was the teacher’s pet.
Did you ever have a crush on a teacher?
No, I never had a crush on a teacher. I had some really awesome ones, but it never went that far.
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I was 12.
Who made the first move?
He did, for sure. I was like a limp fish, I was so shocked I had no idea what to do or what was going on.
Was it just a peck or a french kiss?
It wasn’t a french kiss, no. It was somewhere in between. It was a really good kiss, I just didn’t participate.
Any pop culture trend or television show you don’t understand?
Most of them [laughs]. I am so uncool. I don’t really watch anything that’s cool.
What article of clothing or accessory can you not pull off?
Scarves. Unless it’s like for cold weather, I can’t do the really cute scarf thing. It doesn’t work for me.
First person you’d thank if you won a CMA award?
My mother. My mom is a trooper, she is an amazing person.