Before Rachel Reinert’s show at The Basement East in Nashville, she sat down with us to discuss embarking on her solo career, her upcoming new music, and what it’s like to be a woman in the modern music industry.
Having spent the majority of her early 20’s touring in a band, country singer Rachel Reinert is stepping out into the spotlight on her own. With three records, an American Music Award and an Academy of Country Music Award under her belt alongside Mike and Tom Gossin in the band Gloriana, Rachel stepped away in 2016 to discover herself as a solo artist. After a few years of struggling to get writing sessions, record, and make it on her own, she released her debut solo single, “Cool” in the summer of 2018. Her second and latest single, “Dark Star” was released last fall, capturing her internal battle with going solo and the fear of failure.
Recently engaged and fresh off signing a record deal just before her 30th birthday, she acknowledges the several tumultuous years leading up to this moment. “All of these things that I’ve wanted to happen are finally happening and I’ve had to just pause and realize how grateful I am for all of it,” she says, smiling as she reflects on how far she’s come. “I took a lot of things for granted in the past and I think that was probably to blame for my youth and not having much self awareness or perspective, but now that I’m finally starting to get the ball rolling again and being able to get out here and perform, I’m so thankful to have every opportunity I’ve had.”
Rachel grew up with two brothers and later became part of a band alongside two brothers. When she reflects on how that has influenced her identity, and how it’s changed now that she’s a solo artist and woman growing comfortable in her skin. “It’s definitely made me more self-aware,” she shares, “Being surrounded by guys all of the time, you sort of develop that ‘one of the guys’ mentality. Having stepped away from all of that in this new phase, I’ve unintentionally found myself surrounded by a lot of really awesome women.”
Rachel proudly shares that one of the women she’s collaborated heavily on her new album with will be up on stage supporting her tonight as her background vocalist. “We’ve written majority of this album together and I think having her perspective is so key for me because sometimes, I think I have been a little too in that guy world and now that I’ve pulled myself away from that, it’s been good to be surrounded by good female energy.”
Describing her solo sound as “California Country,” Rachel shares that through the writing and recording process for her upcoming album, she’s enjoyed the creative freedom. “When you’re in a band, everything is a compromise, sort of like a marriage, and getting myself away from that and allowing myself to explore has been crucial for me,” she explains. “I’m finally getting to break some old habits and push some boundaries for myself, when before, I was so afraid that I wasn’t country enough, or sweet enough, or this enough or that enough. Breaking those chains has allowed me to touch on a lot of subject matter that I might not have before. I’ve learned how to be so vulnerable and open rather than nervous or tedious. I’m not afraid to put ideas out there anymore,” she adds.
“I just want people to have a sense of who I am through my music. I am who I am and I’m finally starting to feel comfortable with that. I’m more in touch with my spirituality now more than ever, and a lot of these songs are reflective of my own personal experiences and my own stories. Everything that I’m singing now is true, so I just want people to feel that energy and feel me through these songs,” Rachel concludes. On stage that night, she sings a song with the lyrics ‘Everything I am / I put it in your hands,‘ exuding the energy of a woman who is trusting her path and making the music she identifies with.
After the applause roars through the Basement East at the end of Rachel’s set, it’s evident that there are no dark stars in Rachel’s Reinert’s future.