Rachel Crow Dishes on ‘Dime’ and Bringing Music and Acting Together
Rachel Crow first turned heads back in 2011 when she auditioned for the debut season of X Factor in the U.S. While she had a strong run, the then-13-year-old singer from Colorado ended the competition in the Top 5. Rachel may not have taken the first place, but that didn't stop her from achieving her dreams: She worked on her music as well as acting and landed roles in Rio 2, Big Time Rush and The Office. In 2012, she also dropped her self-titled EP, and then released her bold single, "Mean Girls."
Now at the age of 19, she has her eyes set for big things with the release of her new song, "Dime," as well as her new Netflix film, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train. We had the chance to chat with the young singer and actress and discussed what her next moves are in the music and movie worlds.
Let's start with "Dime." What's the song about and what inspired it?
Yeah! So, "Dime" is just kind of a fun, feel-good summer song, and it was mostly just about telling everyone who hates on you goodbye. I think there's a lot of negativity in the world right now, and I wanted it to be a positive message to these people that are feeling down. I just kind of wanted them to be able to dance and have a great time.
Honestly, when you go through something like when you lose a friend or when you break up with somebody or somebody's just not treating you right, just tell them that you're a dime and you know who you are and that you're this awesome, empowered, cool person. And nobody's going to take that away.
You've grown up a lot since your days on X Factor. After your time on the show, what was it like navigating the industry? You were so young when that happened, so how was dealing with people's expectations of you and your career?
Good question. It was difficult. It was a little hard because as a 13-year-old, you're not really developed yet fully. You're still learning so much, and you're still growing. And [I was] kind of thrown into this world which, in a lot of ways, it's a very adult world. It's changed a lot with social media. Instagram wasn't even a thing when I was 13. So, coming into this world and being almost thrown in because of X Factor and everything, it was a little bit difficult but I'm very thankful for the experience. It taught me so much.
Today, it's helped me with my writing and how to treat people and just little aspects of my personality. You do have to grow up fairly quickly, and so it was very interesting to kind of have an early lesson in life and use that but, yes, it helped me.
Aside from music, you also act. You've been acting for some time now and also have a big role in Deidra & Laney Rob a Train. Has acting just been a part of your life along with the music?
Yeah, I think so, before I was officially going to be a singer, I think I wanted to be an actress because growing up I never thought that I could sing. I was just like "Oh, I like to do this." Ya know, I said, "I'll sing in a few shows here and there in my hometown or do this but I'm not good."
So, when I figured out like, "Oh my God, I could actually pursue this," that definitely took over. But before that it was very much acting that I wanted to be apart of. So actually getting to do that today [is] so cool because I get to be in so many different projects with incredible actresses and actors and learn from all of them and learn a lot about myself in the process too.
Since Deidra & Laney Rob a Train premiered at Sundance, it's been getting great reviews. It's going to be on Netflix. How does it feel to go from acting in smaller roles and then this?
It was interesting. It was weird because when I was younger, I just starred in a lot of kids shows and fun things. So [it] was definitely a change of tone, but such an incredible one. That's my favorite project [that] I've done so far. The people that I got to work with were just phenomenal. They taught me so much, and also I learned, really, how to be an actress. Singing for me is different because I've always done it so it's something that's like a part of me. But acting is something I really had to study and learn about and work on. So, actually being able to pursue that and be in a film that has gone to Sundance and is on Netflix...
It was a really cool opportunity for me to show people that I was very serious about acting in this particular film, just because this film is very important for this time, in my opinion, because it's a very diverse film. There were so many types of people in this film but we didn't highlight that, and we didn't capitalize on it, we just kind of said, "Hey, this is life and this is what life looks like in the real world" and we're just casting these people specifically because of their talent and I thought that was so awesome and I was so happy to be a part of that.
You have music. You have acting. Would you ever put those two together? They keep doing these reboots of Disney movies. Would you be up for doing something like that?
Oh yeah, that would be so much fun, I'm so down.
If you could pick a musical to be made into a motion picture, where you could do both, which one would you go into?
Even though they already made a movie and it wasn't that long ago... in the future, I would love to be in Dream Girls, that would be so much fun. It's a dream, I'll just put it out there and then it'll happen.
Going back to your music and "Dime," was this meant to be a standalone single? What's next for you on the music side?
I'm definitely going to be releasing an EP. I'm not sure of the timeline. But I do know that I have music coming out at the end of the summer, which I am super pumped about because not all of my songs are really like "Dime." "Dime" is definitely the most upbeat, fun, loving, light, happy songs. It's definitely the most, if all, of those things. The rest of the stuff is really cool but what I've been writing about is my journey over the last few years and just in general, just things that have happened to me. And I think writing from personal experience is something that a lot of artists do and so I really have done that.
The music that's coming out will definitely be a little bit darker, edgier, and I'm excited for people to hear that because not a lot of people see that side of me and they kind of see this really bubbly person but a lot of real things go on in the lives of people and I want them to experience that through my songs so, that's kind of what those things sound like more.
You mentioned new music is coming out by the end of the summer. Will we get to hear you perform live? Are you doing any touring?
It's not official yet, but I sure hope so because I really, really want to. If not a tour, I will definitely be playing live shows because I love performing and that's one of the things that was also cool about X Factor. It gave me this really great set of skills when it comes to live performing because one, I can learn any song really fast, or I can learn a whole production very fast and It's like my favorite part so, hopefully lots of live shows.
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