You might not know Rachel Platten by name, but odds are you’ve spent some moments in a car ride, or on a late night dance floor, or in the shower, belting out the chorus to her multiplatinum hit. “This is my fight song/ Take back my life song/ Prove I’m alright song.” Ringing any bells?
The story behind 34-year-old Platten’s contagious, catchy, and epically anthemic “Fight Song” is just about as uplifting as the song itself. “It was about two and half years ago and I was writing for this album and I didn’t really have much going on,” Platten told HelloGiggles. “I didn’t have a manager at the time, I didn’t have a label, it felt pretty hopeless. Honestly my heart was really breaking. It hurt that this dream I had wasn’t working,” she said recalling the 15 years she’d spent trying to make it in music. “My publisher called me up and said, ‘Look, you’ve written all these songs trying to write a hit, but you’re not telling your story, you’re not sharing the rejection you’ve gone through, or how frustrating it’s been to get close and have it not work. Can you please write about that?’”
Platten was reluctant to write about a topic that still stung so much, but she set to work. “It came out that day,” she said. “The chorus came out like it had already been written. It just felt like it was waiting for me to turn on a faucet and allow it to exist.” The result was “Fight Song” the pop song call-to-arms. The autobiographical motivation-booster, and promise not to give up on a dream: “I might have only one match/ But I can make an explosion.”
The song’s message of overcoming adversity has started an online movement, #MyFightSong, with fans sharing their experiences of perseverance, and her sound has been compared to Katy Perry and Sara Bareillis. On the first of this year, Platten released her third studio album, Wildfire, which went quickly to number 5 on the Billboard charts. Not bad for an artist who just a few years back was working hard to make her rent. All of her success is made even sweeter by the fact that the song that put her on the musical map is one in which she vowed not to give up without a fight.
Platten shared her favorite fight songs with HelloGiggles, so if you’re feeling like you need that jolt of musical moxie, here are Platten’s go-tos. Who better to curate our pump up playlist than the queen of fight songs herself?
Destiny’s Child — “Survivor”
“I don’t think it gets more strong, badass women than Destiny’s Child, right? I mean, when all three of them were together there was such energy. And Beyoncé is just everything. She’s about owning who you are. Owning what you want. Owning that femininity and that strength. And this song has all of that. It makes me feel really good.”
Kendrick Lamar — “i”
“I love the lines he’s using, it’s like an affirmation: “I love myself.” I think that’s an important statement that we’re often afraid to say to ourselves because it can sound cheesy. But I practice affirmations all the time, and this song is an affirmation, the whole song. I think Kendrick is incredibly talented, and these words especially really touched me.”
Eminem — “Lose Yourself”
“This is really my song. It’s silly, like, how different could Eminem and I be? But something about that beat, I just imagine myself going into a club [to perform] before “Fight Song” was a hit, and no one believed in me, so I had to believe in myself.”
Montell Jordan — “This Is How We Do It”
“I had to put this on here because it’s my all-time favorite jam. It’s so good. It’s like the other side of the ‘fight song,’ the party side of it.”
Michael Jackson — “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
“Because, Michael right? I love this song. And the message is good: “Don’t stop ’til you get enough!” What else is there to say.”
Tom Petty — “I Won’t Back Down”
“I love Tom Petty and in college I fell in love with this album and used to listen to it all the time and feel melancholy but also great. This song was important for me, because I’m a really big people please, and it’s hard for me to stand up for myself, so this message was important. “I wont back down” is also how I feel about my career in a really big way. I won’t back down. And I wouldn’t back down until I got here.”
Here are all of Rachel’s fave fight songs for your listening pleasure.
(Image via Sony Music)