Rachel Ashley Platten studied classical piano from the age of 5 and dreamt about music as a career but never really thought it could happen in real life. "I grew up playing classical piano and I knew I could sing but I had no model to follow creatively," she said. "The idea of growing up to be an artist seemed impossible."
As a teenager, Rachel gravitated towards, and began to become affected by what on the face of it are two completely different genres; hip-hop and female singer-songwriters. "My CD collection was Tori Amos and Patti Griffin but then A Tribe Called Quest and Nas," she recalled. The link between the two was confessional and vulnerable songwriting.
She graduated with a degree in international relations in 2003, but the electricity Platten felt on stage meant that the 22-year-old knew she had to pursue music full-time. Rachel immediately moved to New York City where she took up residence in the very apartment building on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village where Bob Dylan once lived.
Platten spent the next ten years putting in the hard yards accepting any and every gig seeking her big break. She told The Idolator
this involved: "Playing 1 a.m. until 4 a.m. in New York City with friends on Bleaker St. Playing cover gigs, traveling the country in my mom's SUV. Putting out independent things and getting fired from a lot of jobs. Eating a lot of cereal, no milk. Yeah, I mean I was trying this whole time, you know, I've been trying."
After a decade of hard work, success still seemed a long way away. During this time, a conversation with her soon to be manager, Ben Singer, helped re-ignite Platten's passion and gave her the focus she needed. "Ben helped me realize that I had to start my own fire and my songs would be the sparks," she said.
After two years of writing, Platten hit gold with "Fight Song
." The empowerment anthem was just the message people wanted to hear. It gained early exposure thanks to its placement in the Christmas 2014 themed episode of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars
and gradually moved up the charts, eventually becoming a Top 10 hit.
Platten is Jewish through her father Paul's side: her grandparents Sumner Platten and Celia Grushka, who spoke Yiddish, and her mother's mother, Bobbi Abrams.
Rachel first met her husband Kevin Lazan in New York City. He was a lawyer at the time. "We just clicked instantly," she told Southern New England Weddings magazine. "Kevin is kind and brilliant, he loves music and is an incredible movie-quoter, something I rate very highly."
The pair got married in a Jewish ceremony in 2012.
Rachel Platten is determined to look after her voice: "We have Jack Daniel's on our rider, but we end up never actually drinking it," she told Billboard magazine. "You have to be in amazing shape to tour like this, so you can't party too much. Instead it's usually Throat Coat tea, green smoothies and hot water with lemon."
Platten deals with the stresses that come with success by practicing yoga. She said: "I'm a yogi. I'll do yoga in green rooms and outside the tour bus. When I'm in my hotel room, I'll pump up the heat and turn it into a hot yoga class."