Making country music cool

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Being compared to one of the world’s most popular singer-songwriters, Taylor Swift, would put a certain pressure on any young talent.

But up and coming country music star, Rachael Fahim, is taking it in her stride.

“It feels kind of awesome because Taylor Swift is such a pivotal person in country music all over the world, so to be referred to as Australia’s answer or Australia’s version, I really like it,” she said.

“I want to be the person in Australia that makes country music cool, I want people to listen to it and understand that it’s not all how it used to be.”

Starting singing lessons at age eight, Fahim said singing country wasn’t always on her radar, but now she couldn’t imagine a life without it.

“When I first started music, I had never really considered doing country, it was always like ‘no I don’t want to do that, who sings country?’” she laughed.

“But I was doing a few talent quests and a few of the people said ‘you have a very country voice, why don’t you try singing these songs’ and it was like LeAnn Rimes and Dusty Springfield, a lot of the older artists.

“Once I started listening to them I was thinking these women just have amazing voices, their songs are so powerful so once I kind of fell into it, it was ‘well, this just feels right’, I just want to keep doing it and I haven’t really looked back.”

Recently releasing her single, ‘What I Don’t Know’, Fahim became Australia’s most streamed female country pop artist in 2018, with over 50,000 streams within the first 48 hours.

But Fahim said that her successes were the result of a lot of hard work and not overnight success.

“I’m very fortunate that I was able to win Toyota Star Maker last year as it gave me a bit of a boost,” she said.

“I’m 22 and I’m doing what I love so I am very lucky, but I do work hard at it so it’s a mix of both.”

Kicking more goals than most people her age, Fahim is currently touring Australia with The McClymonts, and she isn’t planning on slowing down on ticking off her dreams.

“I’m hoping to release another EP or an album soon, but it’s all in the works at the moment,” she hinted.

“I just want to song write and I want to go to Nashville and just meet people, because cracking the American market starts there and it’s a big dream of mine.”

Rachael Fahim will be opening for The McClymonts at Evan Theatre at Penrith Panthers on Saturday, September 22 at 7pm. Tickets are $42.55. To book or for more information, call 1300 PANTHERS or visit www.penrith.panthers.com.au.

Lauren Suttie

Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.

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