If you designed your own walking food tour of Nashville, which restaurants/food sellers would be on your list of places to visit?
I’ve travelled all over the world and nothing beats Nashville’s culture and food scene. We’d start with breakfast at The Garden Brunch Café in Germantown and get a stack of their Banana Foster Pancakes and their Sake Bloody Mary. It is a cute small house, with a wonderful staff and is always slammed for Brunch.
Since Nashville is known for their awesome outdoor patios, we’d head to one to catch some Vitamin D. Bartaco’s patio it is to get a marg for a refresher. It’s not on the menu, but I always order a watermelon jalapeno marg, and it’s the perfect amount of spicy sweet! We couldn’t leave without getting their skillet corn and cucumber salad.
At some point, we’d venture to Midtown to get Roiter’s cornbread. It’s made with yellow cake mix and tastes like dessert, which we know is my favorite. By now we’ve probably had our calorie intake for the day but…we must continue!
Dinner will be full of appetizers at the Midtown gastropub Tavern. The must haves for me are nachos, buffalo cauliflower and sweet potato chips. After dinner cocktails will be at speakeasy style bar Old Glory for their Citrus Cowboy, and if we have a late night craving a pit stop for a Cook Out quesadilla. That may be another guilty pleasure, oops!
What food or ingredient can you always find in your home refrigerator?
Pickles. I am obsessed with dill pickles and I’m lucky if a jar lasts me a week.
Where do you get your recipes? Any favorite cookbooks?
All my recipes come from my mama! She is a sweet southern belle, who does some damage in the kitchen. Everything is made with lots of butter, Duke’s Mayonnaise, cheese and evaporated milk. Her South Carolina staples are homemade banana puddin, coconut pie, macaroni and cheese casserole, and broccoli salad.
If you had to pick one type of cuisine, what would you say is your favorite?
Dessert! Skip the main course and let’s go straight to the sweets. I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world and could eat ice cream and cheesecake for every single meal. I am that person who is about to pop because they are so full and still orders the dessert.
What is your guilty pleasure food?
A McDonalds vanilla soft serve cone. Best dollar I’ve ever spent!
What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten?
I’d have to say pig knuckles, yes that’s an actual thing that is sold in a jar. My grandfather fed me some pretty crazy things as a kid, so we will blame him for that one.
What’s your go-to drink when out with friends?
Skinny margarita with jalapenos
If you could be on a reality cooking show, what would it be?
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. A job that involves travelling, hearing the history of the food and culture and taking bites every step of the way sounds like a dream. My favorite restaurants are the hole in the wall places that have so much personality, and that show spotlights all of them. Watch out Guy Fieri I’m coming for ya!
If you could sit down and have a meal/drink with one person, who would it be and what would you have?
I’ve never been one to be super “star stuck” by celebrities or public figures. Yes, there are people in the spotlight that I admire, but it’s the people closest to me that I cherish my time with. The person that I would want to share a meal with would be my mother. She is my biggest inspiration, role model and superstar in my eyes. I am about eight hours away from her and don’t see her often, so every moment I get with her is so special. I strive to be half the woman she is. We would have to find the best meat and three in the country, because she is all about good southern cooking. Nothing fancy just a big glass of sweet tea and some collard greens!
Now for the music stuff! What first drew you to music?
My father and the rush of performing. He has been a touring musician and a producer my entire life. He never pushed me into performing or singing, but I knew it was what I was born to do. I would sit on a Bose speaker while he’d perform for 1,000s and I’d sing every word along with him. I would also go up with the band and sing a few songs, and that’s when I fell in love with the rush of performing. It’s the greatest feeling to look on people’s faces when you sing their favorite song or a lyric that touches their hearts. The adrenaline high and the way music can touch lives is what drew me to the craft at an early age, and that is why I am chasing the artist dream today.
Your new EP will be coming out soon, what makes this EP so special to you?
So when most young professionals make their first “big girl” purchase, it’s usually a car, a cool new tech trend, or a killer pair of Louboutins. Mine was my EP. This project means so much to me, because I have worked so hard to make my ideas into music. I work two jobs, saved money and then on nights and weekends I wrote music and planned marketing strategies. I set a goal about eight months ago to find the right team of writers and a producer to make my dream of music a reality.
This EP is full of long hours, deep and empowering lyrics, and the perfect retro throwback sound of Motown and Soul music I grew up on. I had the privilege to team up with Kirsti Manna, Ashley Rose, Bill DiLuigi, and Tim McDonald to co-write these tunes and then my producer Bill Warner planned fabulous execution that will bring a wonderful sensation to your ears! This project is so special because it is my heart and my hard work that was accomplished with a tribe of people I admire.
Tell us about the girl power anthem of “Girl Boss”
I believe my anthem “Girl Boss,” will be the next “Single Ladies,” watch out Queen B ;). When I wrote this song with Kirsti Manna and Ashley Rose, I wanted it to be sassy, edgy and an anthem that would empower all women. I am surrounded by so many powerful women daily that inspire me to be the best version of myself. It’s not men that push me to work hard and be a strong independent woman, it’s all the #girlboss women that are my roles models. All women need the confidence to know that they can achieve any dream. I want this song to be an instant inspiration and confidence booster. Ladies, put on the #girlboss sawg that I call self-love and rock it, because a lotta independence never hurt the brand.
Do you see yourself as a mentor to the younger female artists?
One of my goals as an artist is to be a role model. I love teaching others and seeing their growth and success from my guidance. A few years ago, I was a part of the Miss American Organization, and had the opportunity to compete for Miss South Carolina. The organization taught me how to be a mentor. I had younger girls that I mentored during the program, and I taught them vocal lessons, stage presence, self-love and more. They admired me for my gift of music, and I showed them how the power of music can touch and change people’s lives.
My goal with this project is to inspire others, especially younger generations. I want them to see my determination, strong vision and execution and take it as a learning moment. I’ve had mentors teach me that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, and I want to be an example of that for younger generations.
Who are you dying to work with in the future?
I am a huge fan of the producer Busbee. I love his ability to work across all genres from rock, pop, and country to create a standout project. Every piece of music he has touched form Christina Aguilera to Maren Morris is a stand out and a “game-changer.” I love very obscure sounds and always think the weirder the better! He is an innovator when it comes to music.
What other hobbies do you enjoy when you need to unwind on the road?
I’m a fitness addict. My “me time” every day is working out at Pure Barre. My workout is my set time everyday where I can let my mind escape. I am also a Pure Barre instructor in the Gulch, so I can get my favorite workout in even when I’m travelling!
What would eight-year old Rachel say to you now about your life and career?
Never stop dreaming. You are so smart, creative and will achieve everything you set your mind to. You’ll move to Nashville one day and not know many people, but it will be the best decision of your life. You’ll meet lifelong friends, the love of your life, have wonderful opportunities, surprise yourself with your strength and even chase after your dream to be an artist. You will accomplish so many things in a short two-year span, and that is because you are a dreamer. You will never take no for an answer.
ABOUT RACHEL TRIPP:
When Rachel Tripp was 3 years old she ran up on stage and stole the microphone at her daycare Christmas program belting “Amazing Grace.” Since that moment, she and everyone around her knew she was born with the itch to perform. Her young debut was followed by many performances with her father’s band around the southeast Beach Music circuit. She grew acusstomed to performing for large outdoor festivals and belt motown tunes from Gladyis Knight to Stevie Wonder. Her love for Motown with throwback melodies and instrumentation helped form her “New Soul” sound. Rachel’s classically trained voice has powereful control with soulful swing, that is paired with dynamic stage prescene.
Over the past 23 years, she has gained the tenacity and passion to hone her craft. She’s performed across the nation and world from Norte Dome in France to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Those performances led to attending the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities and receiving the William Guess Young Entertainer Award twice. Continuing her training she auditioned for the National Foundation of Advancement in the Arts, YoungArts Program for Popular Voice. She was 1 of 5 selected out of 3,000 applicants. Some voice alumni of the program include Josh Groban and Chris Young. Youngarts created many opportunities for her, including being selected as a participant in the Kennedy Center/Renee Fleming American Voices Master Classes and Symposia studying with Alison Krauss, Sara Barellis, Tim Fold and other renowned artists.
While balancing a music career and being a full-time student at the University of South Carolina, she jumped at every opportunity to share her gift of music and perform. Her next opportunity came in 2013 when she auditioned for the X-Factor and was selected as a second round contestant in Hollywood. Her journey ended after Hollywood, but she was left more determined to find the next challenge. The next summer she decided to be involved in the Miss America Scholarship Organization. Being a first time pageant girl and a bit clueless, she won her first pageant by surprise and was crowned Miss Hilton Head Island. The Miss America Organization opened many doors with community service, performing and being a thought leader in her home state of South Carolina. She finished in Top 15 out of 55 contestant at the Miss South Carolina Pageant and stole the show with her powerful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.” Her performance on the Miss South Carolina stage, ignited a fire that pushed her to move to Nashville the follwing year, after college graduation, to chase her dream of music. Two years later, she still lives in Nashville performing, songwriting and working on a new self-titled EP.