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Rachel McIntyre Smith

Nessa Parrish
Rachel McIntyre Smith speaks with Richard Winham for Live In The Library.

One writer called her “Loretta Lynn for the Tik Tok generation.” Rachael McIntyre Smith’s insightful, pull-no-punches portraits of life in a small town in Tennessee a la Loretta made her almost literally an overnight star on Tik Tok after she posted part of the title song from her newly released EP, Glory Daze.

Rachel grew up in Oliver Springs, a community of just over 3000 people just outside Knoxville. Rachel began intensive piano training at 9 years old. She won the Tennessee State Piano Competition twice and earned the Paderewski Medal for Guild for 10 years of superior ratings in a row. She taught herself ukulele and guitar and also served as clarinet section leader in her school band. Although she always dreamed of being a singer, her bashfulness kept her from singing in public until she was a junior in high school. She made her debut singing “Please Mister Postman” in the high school theater arts production of “Ducktails & Bobby Socks.”

Rachel’s success on Tik Tok is a testament to her skills as a marketer. From the moment she started school here at UTC, she made up her mind to develop all of the skills demanded of a singer and songwriter. She could sing and play the guitar and she’d honed her skills as a writer, but she knew she’d also need the skills to market herself in the dauntingly competitive music business.

In the Fall of 2020, Rachel began working with producer Dran Michael recording the songs that she has just released on her debut EP, Glory Daze. After the title track, “Glory Daze,” went viral on TikTok, Rachel saw her audience double in a matter of days.

“The EP,” enthused one writer in the Boot, “is a gauzy take on pop-country, part Musgraves, part Phoebe Bridgers, all sincere storytelling and heartstring-pulling. McIntyre Smith brings Zillenial humor to the fore with the swampy "Miss Highfalutin," and turns the introspection high on ‘Glory Daze.’” Rachel calls it “comfort twang.”

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