Rachel Wammack is introducing herself to the music world with her debut single, "Damage." The Muscle Shoals, Ala., native may be a newcomer to country radio but she's far from green when it comes to musical talent. In fact, Wammack grew up surrounded by music.

The singer's childhood home was often filled with the music of various soul and country artists. She began playing piano at the age of six and took five years of lessons, as required by her mother. While she didn't enjoy practicing, she admits that learning piano was the best thing for her because it marked the beginning of her love for music and songwriting. By the time she was 11, she could listen to her favorite songs and play them by ear on piano.

"In middle school, I started writing my own songs," she tells Taste of Country. " [They were] simple but I was learning how to create a chord progression and do a melody. And you know, there's a chorus, there's a verse, there's a verse two, so that was really cool."

She eventually joined a band, and while she had a fascination with mallet instruments she later learned how to play the snare drum and continued being in bands throughout high school.

By the time she was a senior, she was performing at a restaurant in the local Marriott hotel and was introduced to a VP from Sony Music who happened to be waiting for a table and listening to her performance. Impressed by what he heard, he introduced himself and asked about her original songs.

The music executive took an interest in Wammack's talent, and over the next several years served as a mentor. While he urged her to move to Nashville, she knew she wanted a college degree first.

As a student at the University of North Alabama, Wammack continued to write her own songs and, fittingly, chose to major in English."I just loved putting a story together, and figuring out how to impact people with words," she gushes. "I put out two albums in college and loved it. I would play at the school for different events, or at cafes, restaurants. If you didn't have music, I was going to be your music."

Following graduation, Wammack played for the Sony A&R team during CMA Fest and the entire team urged her to relocate to Music City. This time, she heeded that advice and found a job bartending in the evenings at the Courtyard Marriott in Green Hills while she set up co-writes during the day.

"I moved and got my publishing deal nine months later, which is so crazy. I'm very, very thankful for that," she adds. "And then I got my deal with Sony a year later and here I am. Just put out my EP, just put out my first single to country radio."

Things came full circle when Wammack released her debut single, "Damage," earlier this year. She penned the song with Tom Douglas and David Hodges, and it was inspired by the lovelorn stories she heard from her patrons while working all those years at various Marriott establishments. When she brought the idea for the song to her co-writers, they more than agreed with the topic and helped her craft her debut single, which is at country radio now.

Listen to Wammack's "Damage" below.

<strong>Listen to Rachel Wammack's Interview With ToC Nights,</strong>

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