3.5million total You Tube views
37,455 You Tube subscribers
The video for her debut single ‘Dumb’ has to date received over 1,000,000 views
Tich has 81,496 Twitter followers
She has had her music tweeted by: Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction & Nathan Sykes and Jay McGuinness of The Wanted.
Tich has supported Justin Bieber, Olly Murs, Little Mix, JLS, Pixie Lott and James Arthur. She’s also written with Joe Jonas on her song ‘Breath In, Breath Out’.
When her new single ‘Obsession’ debuted on radio it trended Number 1 in the UK and worldwide.
This summer she’ll be playing gigs and festivals including Isle of Wight and Radio Aire’s Party In The Park. First headline tour this October is sold out.
Press support from The Sun, Daily Mirror, TOTP, Fabulous, Bliss, Mizz, OK and Now. Online sessions with Sugarscape, Dropout UK.
TV performances on BBC Breakfast and Friday Download, also featuring on Sunday Brunch and being interviewed on The Wright Stuff.
Tich’s new single ‘Obsession’ is released August 18th.
Most pop stars choose their monikers as a way of creating alter-egos, of hiding who they are behind fancy characters and distancing their audiences in the process. For 19-year-old Rachel Furner, aka Tich, aka emotional pop music's next big star, the opposite is true. “The funny thing is my real name has always been Tich. I've been called it since I was 8, basically, because I was really short. I just got called it at first to take the mickey, but then I just flipped it and made it something positive. All the teachers started calling me it and I started to see the funny side of Tich, even though it was spelt wrong,” she laughs. While she performed under her birth name at first, something just didn't feel right. “I wasn't pretending with Rachel Furner but it was much more serious. I like to be young and I love young people and I love teenage girls' minds because they're so emotional.” Since the name change she's garnered attention from some of pop's biggest names, including X Factor winner James Arthur (he became a huge fan after seeing her live), The Wanted and One Direction, who both tweeted her praise after she covered their respective singles in her own front room, DIY-style, and posted them on YouTube. Her forthcoming debut album – co-written by the young lady herself – plays out like a diary, taking in all aspects of the emotional life a teenager goes through, shown via the playful, fizzing pop of first single, Dumb and the emotional Breathe In Breathe Out, co-written with Nick Jonas.
Having started learning the piano at the age of 6 and finishing her first full song at the tender age of 11 (influenced by emo-rockers System Of A Down, no less), music is something that Tich couldn't live without. “I'm really steady as a person but I would be one of those people who without music would be walking around the streets crying,” she giggles. Having started out covering other people's songs at home, it was a pep talk from her dad that made her realise she had to connect with others using her own experiences. “I used to sing other people's songs in my room and he always said 'if you're really serious about this, you can't sing other people's songs, it won't work. You have to write the song',” she remembers. “It sounds really simple but I was like 'wow'. I was only eleven. But that's when I took a song I knew and re-wrote it and from that point I found it really helped me with how I felt emotionally.” In fact, without really realising it, she's always connected with the songwriting aspects of pop music, dissecting Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys songs and becoming mildly obsessed with their songwriter, Max Martin. “His style of writing really interested me and captured me. I used to study the booklets and research him all the time. I think his style of writing is something I'm in awe of.”
Once there were enough self-penned songs to perform, Tich was out on the road, aged 13, travelling with her parents to various open-mic nights, usually in dingy pubs, often to no one. It was, she says, a brilliant experience. “I had some eventful gigs, you know like forgetting halfway through how to play a song and just a lot of big lessons I learned early on.” Being a teenager also meant she was born internet-savvy, and so soon uploaded a bunch of demos to her Myspace page. From there she was contacted by the manager of a band she'd seen support Mika. Again, knowing how the internet works, she was unsure about it all at first. “He was like 'can I speak to your mum?' and I was like 'er, no',” she laughs. “I just got told not to trust anyone you talk to online so I was like 'go away'. It was through me seeing Mika and he proved he was linked to him in some way. From there, I met with him and we started to work together and he put me in touch with other songwriters because at the time I'd only written by myself, which I love doing, but I write a certain song on my own so being with other people draws me out of my comfort zone.”
This creative awakening coincided with a move from Northampton to London, which most 16-year-olds might find quite daunting, but then Tich isn't like most people. “Basically, my parents always think it's really funny because on the one hand I'm really independent but I could never for example get the bus to town in Northampton,” she says, cringing slightly. “For some reason I found it so hard. And yet I could travel around and go to places and play. So I moved to London and there were some things that freaked me out like getting the tube or if someone said I had to be at a meeting at 11am I'd leave the house at 6am.” Once in London she was able to gig relentlessly, which lead to a publishing deal and an early record deal with Mercury. While that didn't really work out - “I walked from them, it was just the wrong home” - the setback only made her stronger and more determined. “Essentially it's me who's driving it. I'm the only person that can be 100% on top of things.” It also led to the identity epiphany and the name change: “I was sat at home and I had no label and no manager and I just thought, 'okay, who are you? What went wrong? Why did it go wrong and who do you want to be?' I decided I wanted to be myself and I wanted to make sure that if I'm myself and it doesn't work then that's fine, I don't have to pretend to be someone else.”
Last year saw the release of the EP Candlelight, which charted in the Top 30 of the iTunes album chart, after which Tich then signed a new major label deal and immediately started to work on her album,. One of the EP’s songs, Breathe In Breathe Out, which will also appear on the album, was co-written with a certain Nick Jonas, who, after a short writing session in LA, flew to London specifically to write with her again. Other tracks on the album have been co-written with Nick Atkinson and Mushtaq (Amy Winehouse, Mis-Teeq), who came out of partial retirement to work with her. “Mushtaq was my hero. He's great,” she enthuses. “We met about eight months ago and literally we were just going to do one session. He's the most interesting person. We've got such a great connection and also a guy called Nick Atkinson, who used to be in Rooster, the lead singer (and wrote Gabrielle Aplin’s album with her). We've basically written half the album together.”
With the EP and a string of support slots, including with the likes of Little Mix, Stooshe and Olly Murs, who asked her back to support him on his forthcoming arena tour, Tich has cultivated quite the online following (they call themselves the 'Tich Fam'). It's important for Tich to chat with her fans on a one-to-one level, with loads of impromptu Skype chats and Twitter hangouts happening weekly, a connection she feels passionately about. “It's so important to me as a person. I'm not an arrogant person, I'm a people person. I love my family and I love my friends and I will tell them that seven or eight times a day. I don't want to be like 'I'm too good to talk to these people' who are openly saying how much my music helps them. I think it's right for me to do it and I want to. I'm not better than anyone else,” she says. “The fact is, because I write about it they know they can trust me and that I understand.” In fact, ask her what she wants to be doing in five years’ time and her first answer is, “I'd love to be a role model for girls. I'd love them to just have therapy through my albums.”
If forthcoming single Dumb – all pounding pianos, big bright beats and Tich's expressive voice, which can flit between sweet and sour in an instant – is anything to go by then there's a lot to learn from Tich, not least that sometimes it's best to trust your instincts when it comes to boys who tell you they love you and you then dump them. “I was walking around the garden at my parent's house going 'what have I done?' So the next day I went in the studio and said “whoops, I have been so dumb” so that went into the chorus,” she remembers with a smile. “It was always going to be the single. We all knew. We have a lot of deeper songs and it's really fun. I never want to take life too seriously and it's a situation that everyone has been in before. It's just fun.” The deeper moments come on the fragile Breathe In Breathe Out, with its featherlight pianos and trip-hop-esque production, and the ominous, string-laden Seeing Red, which is about constantly falling for people that are unattainable.
Tich isn't like other pop stars. She isn't afraid to pour her emotions into her songs and show the world how she's feeling. There's no pretence, no sense of irony, no sense of distancing herself from her audience. “The one thing I feel really strongly about is being that relatable figure for teenagers. It's such a horrible time and I think it's completely underrated.” With Tich on their side, they'll be absolutely fine.
Songwriting is my therapy. It is the only thing that can calm me during my emotional storms. The minor chords draw my negativity away from my mind and into the music, and the major chords can lift my spirits in a way that any amount of talking cannot.