After the 2018 CMA Awards Rachel Wammack woke up in the early hours of the morning to drive nine hours to Michigan for her very first tour date. The up-and-coming country star was hand-selected as one of the opening acts for the 2018 CMT on Tour: Here Tonight by headliner Brett Young. Wammack is elated to work with Young as they travel the U.S., not only for his talent, but the fundamental components of who he is as a person that matches those at her own core.
“He told a friend of mine that he wanted to swipe me up before anyone else did, and I think that is the biggest honor that I could ever have,” she said. “I almost cried because no one knows who I am and I’m just really thankful that he wants to be a part of what I’m doing and he wants me to be a part of his story. I think he’s genuine and authentic and kind, and that’s something that I want on my brand. I’m thankful to be a part of that for my first tour.”
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The Grand Ole @Opry gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m so humbled and honored to have performed where so many Country music legends have stood before me. Nashville is where my dreams are coming true, and sharing my story and music on that stage is a moment I’ll never forget.
Though she’s only been in Nashville for two years, Wammack managed to earn a record deal with Sony Music Nashville one year in. She has since established a compelling presence with “Damage,” a heartbreaking ballad inspired by the bruised souls she met while working as bartender when she first moved to town. It stands as one of the strongest moments on her debut EP, alongside the empowering “My Boyfriend Doesn’t Speak For Me Anymore.”
“There’s been a lot of older women who have said ‘I wish I had heard that song when I was younger,’ and a lot of younger girls that have said ‘I broke up with my boyfriend after hearing that song,'” she laughs.
The song captures the feeling of a woman liberated from a relationship where she felt powerless, lost in her own skin. In the event of the breakup, she confidently finds her voice again and offers words of support for women in the same vulnerable position. The message serves as an important one, especially in the current landscape of country music where the presence of female voices on country radio is sorely lacking, a fact many of the women of country have banded together to raise awareness of–Wammack among them.
“I think it’s really important for us as women to be really empathetic. I think that is a strong suit that was given to women. I think that we’re able to be empathetic for people that sometimes don’t have a voice, and that’s what a lot of my EP has been about,” explains Wammack, who was just named a member of the 2019 class of CMT’s Next Women of Country. “I think women are just remembering how powerful we are, remembering that we need community and that we need each other, and that’s something that the world needs, so I’m thankful.”
Wammack continues on the road with CMT on Tour through Dec. 16 when the trek wraps up in Kansas City, Mo.