Who is Rachel Platten? Rachel Platten is a singer and songwriter who brought the enduring anthem "Fight Song" into the world. However, she didn't always plan on being a singer, focusing on a degree in Political Science in her school years. It wasn't until she performed as a backup singer in Trinidad that she realized what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
She recorded her first album, Trust in Me, with a group of friends in college and released it in 2003. Many years later she released her second album, Be Here, and scored a hit with "1000 Ships", a song you may have heard but never realized was sung by Platten. Wildflower, her third album, is where Platten really hit it big with her single "Fight Song".
Platten released her fourth album, Waves, in 2017. Waves is a sassy and self-assured album where Platten observes love and romance in all its ups and downs. It also features "Broken Glass", the main single from the album meant to motivate and uplift. In 2018 released "You Belong", a stand-alone single written while pregnant with her daughter, whom she gave birth to in early 2019. She most recently released her latest single "Soldiers" in 2020.
That ends the autobiography, continue on for the videography.
Album #2 - "Be Here" (2011)
Rachel Platten released her first album in 2003, but it came with no music videos. That means her video journey begins with the Be Here from 2011. Be Here proved to be pretty eclectic in style, and included songs like the R&B influenced “Don’t Care What Time It Is”, the dazzling pop track “53 Steps” and soulfully motivational “Take These Things Away”. The most well-known tracks from the album are “Nothing Ever Happens” and “1,000 ships”, which you will find below.
Rachel Platten - "Nothing Ever Happens"
Directors: Oliver Irving / Duffy Higgins - Dates: February 4, 2011 (Director's Cut) / March 10, 2011 (Standard Version)
“Make a little space and get out of your own way”
The music video for "Nothing Ever Happens" doesn't feature the studio track. In actuality, it is a live recording shot in a Brooklyn studio back in 2009.
Backed by a boom box and a mini wind ensemble, Platten sings about a woman who is afraid of taking chances; though by the end of the song she eventually throws caution to the wind and steps into a new experience.
Rachel Platten - "1,000 Ships"
Date: March 11, 2011
“'Cause I have sailed a 1,000 ships to you, But my messages don't seem to make it through”
The music video for "1,000 Ships" shows Platten and her music partners seemingly recording what might be the most upbeat torch song in recent memory.
The video is just Platten, her drummer Craig Meyer, and a studio whiz bringing it all together. Since there are so few people in the video Platten has to take on several extra roles, including the primary piano player, part-time drummer, hand clapper, studio dancer, camera operator (possibly), and snowy cityscape surveyor.
Album #3 - "Wildfire" (2016)
“Fight Song”, the major single from Wildfire, had existed for some time before the album was released on New Years Day in 2016, so it’s not surprising that many of the songs featured on the album share the single’s grit and determination. There are also quite a few fun songs, like "Hey Hey Hallelujah" featuring Andy Grammar and more sensitive ballads like album closer "Superman". The main singles for this album, though, happen to be "Fight Song", "Stand by You" and "Better Place".
Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"
Director: James Lees - Date: May 19, 2015
“And I don't really care if nobody else believes, 'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me”
The story behind "Fight Song" reveals Rachel's struggles with believing herself as a music artist. In a 2015 interview on Artist Direct, Rachel spoke about "going through a really tough time" because she felt she had been "trying to do this as a career for a long time." One day a manager had some words of encouragement: “'You haven’t told your story yet. You’re doing all of these things that you think people want to hear, but you’re not telling your story.'”
That lead Rachel to writing the chorus for the song soon afterward. The rest of the song took about a year to come together, with Rachel writing the lyrics on "trains, beaches, and cars". It's no wonder, then, that the music video features Rachel appearing in all sorts of different places. It's like a recap of the journey that she had to make to bring this inspirational song to the masses.
Rachel Platten - "Stand By You"
Director: Hannah Lux Davis - Date: November 6, 2015
“Love, you're not alone, 'cause I'm gonna stand by you”
Schoolmates, families, young couples, older couples, graduating friends and various people having fun. The video for "Stand By You" observes the many close relationships people form that are destined to last a lifetime. Mixed in with these moments are shots of Platten, often seen singing in a flowing white dress.
The video is lavish and fashionable, standard for a Hannah Lux Davis directed music video, but the main message is front and center: Some of the strongest bonds in the world are the ones among family, friends and loved ones.
Rachel Platten - "Better Place"
Director: Matt Stawski - Date: May 9, 2016
“I'll tell the world, I'll sing a song, It's a better place since you came along”
An orange haze permeates the entire set. Random people are led past ladders, wires, and other random equipment until they're told to sit down in a part of an eerie-looking warehouse. Is it the beginning of a scary film?
No...turns out to be the video for "Better Place". The premise of the video involves a "social experiment" where loved ones sit and look at each other while listening to the lyrics of the song. The invitees included couples, family members, and at least one dog owner and her dog.
Meanwhile, Rachel watched all the various happenings from a hidden location...before making a surprise entrance.
Single - "Siempre Estaré Ahí" (2016)
"Siempre Estaré Ahí" is a collaborative single from Rachel Platten and Diego Torres, taking Platten's 2015 single, "Stand By You", and turning it into a Spanish-language track.
Rachel Platten ft. Diego Torres - "Siempre Estaré Ahí"
Date: October 14, 2016
"Sólo por amor, Yo siempre estaré ahí"
The video has some similarities to the one for "1,000 Ships". This also takes place in a recording studio, though this video has a lot more people in it. Diego Torres opens up the song, followed by Platten and her set of verses. It's during the chorus that they sing in unison.
The video is oddly appropriate for the song they are singing. For one thing, they are literally standing by each other for much of the video. And since I have a feeling Platten doesn't know a lot of Spanish, she seems to look to Torres for a bit of confidence while singing.
Album #4 - "Waves" (2017)
Waves is the fourth album from Rachel Platten. The album arrived with an army of producers and is thus more dynamic and musically ambitious than her previous albums, leaning more on hip-hop, dance-pop, and sounds of the current moment. You can hear it in songs like the bold and upfront "Perfect For You" and the sleek, expensive-sounding "Collide". There are also moments of gratitude and clarity found in ballads "Hands" and "Grace". The biggest song on this album, though, is the inspiring single "Broken Glass".
Rachel Platten - "Broken Glass"
Director: Allie Avital - Date: August 18, 2017
“So what? Still got knives in my back. So what? So I'm tied to the tracks. I'm gonna dance on broken glass. And here I go, here I go!"
"Broken Glass" was written in response to the 2016 presidential election. Feeling despondent about Hilary Clinton's loss, she decided to write a song to encourage young women.
The video takes place in Chinatown, Los Angeles, and begins with Rachel riding her bike around the neighborhood. She is soon joined by other women on bicycles, some of whom are artistic bicyclists. And true to the spirit of the song's theme of fearlessness, the artistic bicyclists begin doing tricks, headstands, and other things that I can't do on a bike.
Single - "You Belong" (2018)
This is single is written for Rachel Platten's daughter, who was still in the womb during the writing and creation of this song. Platten ponders all of the things they will experience together, including the lessons her daughter will learn from her and she will learn from her daughter. In 2019, Platten gave birth to her child, Violet Skye Lazan. The singer would go on to release a book, also called "You Belong", in 2020.
Rachel Platten - "You Belong"
Director: Michael Mazur - Date: October 19, 2018
"And nothing you ever do will be so wrong, You belong, you belong"
The video for "You Belong" shows Rachel Platten in various stages of her pregnancy while singing about her future child. Cell-phone vids and day-in-the-life footage of Platten shows the many ups of pregnancy, like visits to the ultrasound and gathering items for the baby, as well as some of the downs (nausea, anyone?).
Joining Platten on her journey is her husband, Kevin, her dog, Dino, and her soon-to-be-born child.
Begin Again (Official Lyric Video)
Date: July 10, 2014
"Begin Again" is a song that was featured on the 100th episode of Pretty Little Liars. The song lyrics exude a need to start over while a slideshow of Platten pics carries on in the background.
Stand By You (Official Lyric Video)
Date: October 1, 2015
This extremely colorful video displays its lyrics over nature scenes that exist within a diverse group of shapes. The images are stunning, revealing dry deserts, snowy fields, autumnal woods, and other locations that appear onscreen for a moment before quickly vanishing.
Rachel Platten - Better Place (Official Lyric Video)
Date: April 21, 2016
The gauzy lyric video appears to take place in a barn or near-empty house on a warm, summer day. Words twist and disperse into something resembling dust, which could be fantastical or spooky depending on how you view that sort of thing, but ultimately you get a feeling that is as warm as the sunlight that is all over the video.
Siempre Estaré Ahí (Official Lyric Video) ft. Diego Torres
Date: October 5, 2016
The lyric video for "Siempre Estaré Ahí" is essentially the same as the one for "Stand By You", though this time with Spanish lyrics replacing the English lyrics from the original track. The sentiment is still the same as Rachel and featured guest Diego Torres sing about bonding through hardship and prosperity.
Soldiers (Official Lyric Video)
Date: October 27, 2020
"Soldiers" is Platten's ode to endurance and resilience. The video leads the viewer through various winding roads as the song lyrics appear onscreen. The roads are illuminated by bokeh and other lighting effects, giving the video a sense of dreaminess.
That ends the videography for Rachel Platten. Thanks for reading!