Exclusive: Rachel Platten On Why She Wrote "Broken Glass" & Never Giving Up The Fight

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Barlow & Stephen Schofield.
This year, I’ve personally witnessed so many beautiful examples of people coming together. The electric energy of the Women’s March, with posters drawn in crayon by little girls, and hands held tightly by people of different generations, races, religions and backgrounds. International Women’s Day, with the red clothing that stood out against New York’s grey pavement like a raging fire, was equally inspiring. We are more powerful when we are on each other’s side, and that sense of coming together as a united force was the original inspiration behind my new song, “Broken Glass.”
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What I’ve learned in life is this: Even in the hardest of times, there is light. “Broken Glass” is my rallying cry of release, healing, excitement, hope, and joy. It’s a celebration of the power of women — of our unity, strength, and fierceness, and of just how freaking awesome we are. We are badass on our own, but we’re unstoppable when we come together.
Many of us, especially women, are taught that there’s a limit to how high we can go, and that this ceiling is unbreakable. We climb and get close but then have setbacks, and lose hope. I thought of my own struggles as I wrote “Broken Glass,” and my stubborn determination to make it in the music industry. I was repeatedly told that I would never succeed and should just give up, that I was past my prime. But I was relentless in my pursuit of this passion, despite the reality of my challenges.
I don’t always know where this burning drive comes from, but what I do know is that I hail from a line of amazing, unwavering women. My mom put herself through college after her father passed away, and then returned to graduate school to become a social worker when my sister and I were in high school. And my grandmother spent 20 years working as a journalist during a time when women were still encouraged to stay at home with their kids. They were determined and fearless, breaking through gender barriers and shattering the glass ceilings experienced as women of their generations. This is the energy, power, and legacy that carries me, and what I want to amplify with my words and voice.
Feeling suffocated by limitations, and striving to overcome them, is not just a struggle we face alone. We feel this collectively, too, and it’s bigger than any single one of us. So is our ability to connect, unite, work together, cheer each other on, and ultimately, break through. That’s what makes us so powerful and unshakable, and damn right I’m celebrating that in this song.
“Broken Glass” is for all the people who are facing adversity and willing themselves to see the other side of it. It’s for the women who will not be silenced, who are changing the landscape of our country and world without fear. It’s for the young girls out there, dancing without a care in the world and embracing their truest, most authentic selves.
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We don’t just shatter ceilings. We dance on the broken glass. Here we go.
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