Rachel Farley excited to play Fair

Published 12:31 pm Monday, July 29, 2013

COURTLAND—Playing county fairs is nothing new for Rachel Farley, even though she is only 18.

You see, Farley started this whole music thing when she was 11, and playing gigs, including fairs, was not far behind.

Rachel Farley will open for Florida Georgia Line at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 16.

Rachel Farley will open for Florida Georgia Line at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 16.

“Six months after I started playing guitar, I played my first gig and it was horrible,” Farley said with a laugh about her first performance at a coffee shop in Atlanta. “But I did it. I’ve done it ever since then.”

She said there was never a moment when she didn’t know that this was what she would be doing, music was just all she ever knew that she wanted to do.

“I’d always sang and performed anywhere I could,” Farley said. “At school, at church and in musicals.

“It is the only thing I can do. There was never a big, ‘Oh my God,’ revelation. It is just for me. Music is who I am.”

From that early age, it has been a natural progression. She started off touring with Brantley Gilbert when she was 13, then a few years later Farley started touring with multi-platinum recording artist Jason Aldean and chart topper Luke Bryan.

“I put my head down and worked hard,” Farley said. “I looked up and saw that some cool stuff was happening.”

With that success came some awards, such as CMT’s Next Women of Country, and she was lauded as a Billboard “Bubbling Under” Artist. Her debut single, “Ain’t Easy,” hit Top 40 charts for country this year, as well.

“I don’t play music to get awards. I play music because that is what I love doing,” Farley said. “But it is nice to be recognized, and it is also totally unexpected.”

She writes, or co-writes, all of her own music.

“I am a song writer as much as I am an artist,” Farley said. “It goes hand and hand.”

As much as she enjoys writing her own music, she also enjoys collaborating with other artists when penning songs.

“You can kind of learn and take creative ideas from other people’s when co-writing,” Farley said. “It is a very different experience, and I enjoy both of them.”

Playing in fairs is good fun, she said.

“I’ve played some fairs — that’s what we do in country music,” Farley said. “They are always exciting. A lot of people show up to hear the music, and you end up with some fun crowds.”

For her, the difference between a big show and fair isn’t that much, except for one thing.

“In a fair situation, there are a lot of other things going on, while in an amphitheater, all there is to do is the music,” she said. “At a fair, you’ve got to get people’s attention away from the Ferris wheel, ‘Hey, come see me play.’”

But the show itself isn’t any different.

“You get to talk to the fans, and meet new ones, just like anywhere else,” Farley said. “It doesn’t matter if there are 600, 6,000, or 60,000 people, the job is exactly the same.

“We are going to have fun, it is going to be a blast, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’ll be a lot of fun, so why not come see us? We’re going to play a lot of new material.”