In a town full of attractive Country stars, it takes a lot for a young female singer to stand out and catch the attention of Nashville’s music industry crowd. Eighteen -year-old Rachel Holder is up to the challenge. “I’ve already learned that it takes more than a few good songs to make it in Nashville,” says Holder. “These days, I don’t think that there’s any one formula for success; I know you have to have faith in yourself, passion for the music and a serious will to succeed. And great songs!” she emphasizes.
Rachel Holder embodies youthful energy and a spirit that is refreshing and new. Her voice is powerful and strong and will win you over whether she is singing an original tune or a cover song. We recently met in the studio for a chat before she did a radio show to talk about her new holiday song titled “Christmas Eve” and her bright future and journey this far.
Bev: Rachel, you are not a newcomer to the music business by any means. Share some of your experiences that have gotten you to this point.
Rachel: I began performing when I was younger in contests, competitions and school talent shows. I got my first real job at age thirteen at Pigeon Forge and I performed about 200 shows that first season. The second season, I did two shows a day for about 300 shows a year! I guess you’re probably wondering how did I do school with all that? I was home schooled. But the first year I worked there I was in 7th grade and I would go to school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; then I would perform at Pigeon Forge and come back Sunday and then go to school on Monday; it was pretty crazy.
Bev: All of the determination and your desire truly shows.
RACHEL: I love the music business and that’s how I grew up. God has given me a talent and it’s amazing.
Bev: Coming from that kind of a background, where you really had to learn discipline, what’s the one thing that you gained the most from that experience really early on? What’s the one thing you think you’ve carried forward from that?
RACHEL: My experiences made me grow up early. I learned about the real life and real life experiences that others do not have to face so quickly, that has given me a step up I think.
Bev: Have you had an opportunity to perform with any other artists?
RACHEL: I have! I performed with Vince Gill and sang a duet with him. I opened up for James Otto and some other artists, Crossing Dixon to name a few.
Bev: Most artists have a vision of what they think the industry and business side of the music is about; what has surprised you the most?
RACHEL: Everything is surprising! Everything in the music industry is surprising. There’s nothing that’s dull about it, I can tell you that!
Bev: Has there been anything that’s scared you or what do you worry about?
RACHEL: I think we all get the doubts in our heads. What if this song doesn’t do good? I think we worry about that the most. And all the waiting around, then you start worrying is it ever gonna happen? So I think that’s what scared me the most.
Bev: Let’s talk about your Christmas song "Christmas Eve" out on radio. Did you write the song?
RACHEL: No, I didn’t. Curtis Frasca and Maria Christiansen. I fell in love with it and we got in the studio and recorded it. These past three weeks have been so crazy and we’ve worked so hard, but I think the outcome has been amazing.
Bev: Was it hard for you to do a holiday song and get into the holiday season before it was really in full swing?
RACHEL: You have to get yourself in Christmas mode. That’s the fun. We shot the video on October 1st and we did most of the recording in September and October; we really had to gear up for the season little bit early.
Bev: With so much already achieved, what are your goals for the future? Do you prefer to be a solo artist? Do you have any other aspirations on where you want your career to take you?
RACHEL: My goal is to keep putting out my music, keep getting more fans and just soon having a platform where I am recognized as a respected female country artist.
Bev: Do you have an “I know I’ve made it when” picture in mind? Have you had yours or is there something that you are reaching for?
RACHEL: We all have that “Pinch yourself” kind of moment, and I think it changes as you evolve.
Bev: What has the reaction been to listeners who have heard you sing “Christmas Eve”?
RACHEL: Oh they love it! When I perform it they love it and when they see the music video and they hear the song they’re like “Oh my gosh, Rachel, I can’t believe that’s you!” So it’s amazing to hear the feedback.
Bev: Rachel, it was wonderful sharing this time with you and I know we will see each other again. Your future is bright and I wish you a very happy holiday season and hope all your wishes come true this year and for many years to come.
RACHEL: Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you again as well and appreciate you taking the time to interview me and support my music.