Sitting at a campground way outside Nashville, singer-songwriter Michael Farren turned on his iPhone to record a raw and acoustic version of a new song “Checking In,” a song that simply and intimately suggests to listeners to do one of two things: call your dad or take that call from your dad.
Little did he know that what he was about to record would go viral within a few days, garnering over 350,000 views on TikTok, with almost 30,000 likes along with thousands of shares and comments.
Farren had only performed “Checking In” once for people just a few days earlier at the famous Listening Room in Nashville. In fact, he had only written the song just a few days prior with fellow songwriters Kenneth Hart and Garrett Jacobs. But Farren knew they had chased and found a song that could “shake heart strings,” and the response to the maiden performance at the Listening Room only confirmed this.
“It wrecked the room,” Farren told Breitbart News. “Grown men sitting there crying at a public place.”
So, he decided to record a version acoustically sitting outside his camper with no studio, no frills, and with the wind blowing the iPhone mic periodically… just an honest singer singing an honest song in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it was so in the middle of nowhere that in order to upload the recording to Instagram and TikTok, Farren had to drive a bunch of miles to the dollar store right next to an Amish hitching post, simply to get Wi-Fi. And when it was uploaded, well, the song did the rest. “Checking In” began “wrecking” the internet.
Breitbart News got a chance to sit down with Farren, who’s been nominated for a Grammy and has won multiple Dove awards. He has penned hundreds of songs across multiple genres, including Lauren Daigle’s now platinum single “Trust in You,” Reba McEntire’s Grammy-winning album title track “Sing It Now,” and most recently, several songs for Grammy award-winning artist Zach Williams, including one co-written by and featuring country artist Walker Hayes of “Fancy Like” fame. (“Jesus’ Fault”–the song co-written with Hayes–already has over a million views on YouTube.) Farren also wrote the global worship anthem “Let it Rain,” which appeared on Michael W. Smith’s RIAA certified double platinum album “Worship.” But it’s “Checking In” that’s currently striking a chord with so many along with the hashtag #CallYourDad.
“It’s really more about motivating people to take the phone call and make the phone call,” Farren said. “This is the most disconnected, busiest culture that has ever existed… You only get so many days, you only get so many minutes, you only get so many walks.”
“The beautiful thing about this song with the three writers involved [is] all of us all still have our dads,” he added. “And all of us have different dynamics with our dads, and no parent is perfect. It’s not about being perfect parents or perfect kids. It’s about choosing to love well and connect with those that matter.”
Apparently that message is resonating. According to analytics, thousands of people are commenting on it, and 70 percent of those comments are being left by men.
Farren characterized it this way: “The majority of the comments say something to the effect of ‘Didn’t see that coming. I’m on the side of the road crying,’ ‘Thanks for making a grown man cry,’ ‘Why the hell you do that to me? I’m pulling onto a job site.’”
But Farren also saw a lot of remorse in the comment section: ”There are a lot of tragic comments like ‘I haven’t spoken to my son in ten years, I wish he’d call,’ and a lot of sons saying, ‘I wish I’d taken that last phone call.’”
One thing is for certain, hundreds of thousand have now seen and heard Michael Farren, and it’s safe to assume that many of those rushed to the phone to call their dads.
Farren is currently exploring how to get the song out to a wider audience.
Read the full story here.
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