Oliver Springs, Tennessee native Rachel McIntyre Smith has been forging her own unique career path since the release of her debut single “High School Reunion” last year. With her latest release “Blue Hawaii,” she has absolutely been turning heads with her incredibly witty lyrics and vintage vibe. We recently had the chance to catch up with Rachel and talk with her about “Blue Hawaii,” where her vintage inspiration comes from, why writing the songs she performs is so important to her, working with producer Dran Michael, what we can expect from her next, and much more!


1. Your most current single “Blue Hawaii” is out now. Tell us a little bit about the song and what someone who hasn’t heard it yet can expect from it?

“Blue Hawaii” is a fun country song full of beach puns and 1960s sounds. If you’re a fan of The Pistol Annies or Annette Funicello, then I think you’ll like the song. 

2. Prior to releasing “Blue Hawaii,” you’ve given us “Baggage” and “High School Reunion.” Why do you feel that “Blue Hawaii” is the perfect follow-up to these songs? What does it show about you as an artist and songwriter that your others hadn’t?

This song definitely showcases more of a lighthearted fun side to my personality. I think it gives the listeners an inside look at how I handle bad dates because I can usually find some way to laugh about it with my friends. 

3. With so many summer-tilted songs that release to radio every year, what do you feel are the most unique qualities about “Blue Hawaii” that elevates it and makes it stand out from the pack?

I think the 60s sounds on it really helps separate it from other summer songs. I also think the lyrics are pretty unique. I worked hard to not have a single throwaway line in the song that was just put into it to rhyme with another line. I tried to give each lyric substance that helped support the song.

4. Though you mentioned the country vibe on “Blue Hawaii,” there is also a very noticeable vintage feel that we briefly talked about; reminiscent of the 1960’s. Tell us a little bit about your influences and what impact they’ve had on you and your music.

I have been very inspired by vintage music and fashion from a young age. My grandfather used to take care of me when my parents were at work, and he always played retro music and TV shows. I probably watched more TV Land growing up then I did Disney Channel, and I think that is very apparent in not only my music but also my style. 

Overall, my four main musical influences are Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Linda Ronstadt, and Carole King. However, specifically to “Blue Hawaii,” I think different influences came into play. I’m a big fan of The Beach Boys and Annette Funicello. I wanted it to feel like an old beach song with a country twist. With help from my incredible producer, Dran Michael, I think I was able to accomplish that. 

5. The lyrics, which you mentioned earlier, use a lot of play on words that will most definitely perk the ears of the listener. Tell us a little bit about writing this song, the inspiration behind it, what are your personal favorite lines from it, etc.

Thanks! This song was so much fun to write. It all started when I was sipping on a Blue Hawaiian on a night out with my friends. I had been flirting with a guy and thought he was going to ask me on a date. Instead, he ditched me and left with another girl. I spent the whole next day trying to figure out how to roast him through nautical/beach puns and by nightfall I had the song finished. It’s become a favorite to play because it always makes me laugh. It’s kind of difficult to get through without laughing. 

Probably my favorite line is “if I ever make it back to the continental USA don’t expect a souvenir or a lei”. I love anytime I get to use a word with a double meaning. 

6. Staying on the subject of songwriting…you’ve written all three of your releases thus far. Why do you feel that it is so important that you write the songs that you perform?

I started writing long before I started performing so I consider myself a songwriter first and foremost. Being a writer on all my songs is really important to me because I want to share authentic stories about my life with my audience. Even with my more lighthearted songs like “Blue Hawaii”, it’s a cathartic experience getting to sing words that I write about my own life. 

7. Flipping the coin on your songwriting…what qualities are you looking for when outside writers pitch songs to you that would make you choose to cut a song you didn’t have a hand in writing?

I have never had a song pitched to me because I prefer writing my own music. No disrespect to any other songwriters out there because there are so many amazing songwriters, but I just don’t feel like a song is mine when someone else has written it. Maybe that will change as I move along in my career, but I’m at a point where I’m introducing myself to everyone and I think it would be difficult to get acquainted with my audience using someone else’s words. 

8. All three of your singles have been produced by Dran Michael, who you mentioned a bit earlier. What does Dran bring into the studio that has helped you elevate your songs to the next level that may not have otherwise been there?

I could talk for hours about how incredible Dran is. One of my favorite things about him is that he understands my vision for the song but also sees ways to make it better. He’s very patient and makes me feel comfortable to share my ideas. He can also play just about anything so no matter what crazy ideas we come up with for a song, he can play it right there on the spot, so we don’t have to wait for musicians to come into the studio to test something out. You can hear his beachy acoustic guitar solo in “Blue Hawaii”. 

9. What can we expect from you next? A new single? An EP or album? 

I have a new single that will be coming out in early 2022, but before that I actually plan on reimagining my song “High School Reunion” to celebrate its one-year anniversary. It was the first single I ever released, and I’m very grateful for the audience that I’ve grown over the past year. I wanted to find a way to honor that, and I think my listeners are going to like what I’m cooking up. 

10. What is the best piece of advice that you can offer an aspiring songwriter/artist just trying to break into the music business?

Prioritize your mental health because that is what will keep you from burning out. Rejection is a constant thing in the early days of pursuing music, and if you don’t have the right mindset about it then you will get very discouraged. 


Learn more about Rachel McIntyre Smith by visiting her official website at:  https://rachelmcintyresmith.com/



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