Faren Rachels is bucking the fluffy summertime trends in her music video for "Had To Be There," a song meant to remind listeners of the importance of showing up for their loved ones.
Written by Rachels, Greg Bates and Jeff Garrison and produced by Rocky Block and Austin Goodloe, "Had To Be There" explores what happens when kids are left to fend for themselves when parents are there during life moments.
The video takes a different turn, however. Directed by Chase Denton and produced by Frank Paris, the touching clip shows what families look like when moms and dads step up for moments typically handled by the opposite sex. A mom enthusiastically plays soccer with her son, and a dad takes his daughters to dance class.
"I really wanted to highlight parents in non-traditional gender roles stepping up and being both mom and dad because that's what my mom always did for me and my brother," Rachels said.
The singer/songwriter upped her emotional attachment to the video even more, when she asked families she had previously nannied for to star in the clip with her.
"I love the kids who are in it so much, and I don't get to see them very often these days," she said. "So spending all day with them was my favorite part of shooting."
Rachels hopes viewers will be more than entertained when they watch the music video – she hopes it makes a difference in their hearts. She said she felt a "whirlwind of emotion" when she watched the clip.
"I hope parents will be reminded of the importance of simply showing up," she said. "I hope anyone who still struggles with growing up without a mom or dad will know they aren't alone if and when it still stings."
While Rachels' name may be new to some, the singer has spent the last decade in Music City logging invaluable experience. She's played shows with Luke Combs, Brantley Gilbert, Willie Nelson, and Dwight Yoakam and said she learned to love country music from her grandparents.
"They used to take me to concerts," she said. "Now I get to tour with some of the artists that they introduced me to."
Rachels has written songs recorded by Lainey Wilson, Ashland Craft, Chrissy Metz, and more. She just hopes her work makes a difference.
"I wanna make music for grown-ass women; real… raw," she said. "I wanna make music about things people are actually going through and not drinking beer 24-7."