Erin Kinsey Talks Debut EP and the Significance of Being Precisely Personal in Her Music

Despite being seen as a rising act in the Nashville scene, Erin Kinsey has had a passion for music since age 11 as she says, “When I found out you could do it, and it was an option on the board for jobs, I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Kinsey is originally from a town east of Dallas called Rockwall, Texas. Kinsey grew up trying nearly every sport in the book, but nothing could beat her infinity for music. “Music was the only thing I couldn’t get enough of,” she tells The Nash News. Kinsey was influenced by fellow Texas Miranda Lambert, and nearly anything she listened to as she grew up. She describes her younger self as a “sponge” who grew up on country radio, taking influence and learning from every artist imaginable. She started making trips to Nashville while still in high school. She exclaims through a laugh, “So much school was missed.” She made the move to the city officially in 2018 and released her first single in the spring of 2021.


“I had my first single, in my mind, be something that made the world spin the other way around,” she states with focus. “I released a teaser of a song online and it connected with a bunch of girls going through a tough time and it was the push I needed to finally release something.” “Drunk Too” was Kinsey’s official debut. The track was brilliantly relatable and spearheaded the growth of a fandom full of young women. Since then, Kinsey has signed to RECORDS, a Sony Music imprint, and her first project, 40 East, was just released last week.


Her lead single for the EP, “Just Drive” exploded on TikTok in a way Kinsey had never experienced before with millions of views and thousands upon thousands of likes. She thought the specificity in the songwriting might turn people away; it’s so completely her she mentions the highway she drives down, the type of car she drives (a white Toyota 4Runner), and she even name-drops one of her favorite bands, Paramore. “It turned out the more specific, the more people related to it,” she exclaims brightly. “I was really surprised to say the least, but it’s been so cool to have people tell me that this song is brightening their day or making a bad day better.” She continues, “That’s been the goal, to write music that people relate to. It’s been really cool to create this group of girls my age that listen to it.” "Just Drive" has now been streamed over 19 million times on Spotify alone.

Another delicately weaved story that appears on the project, is told through the dreamy and nostalgic "Hate This Hometown," an ode to the place Kinsey hails from. “When I decided I wanted to pursue music, I knew I wanted to get to Nashville. When I started coming up to Nashville, I stopped embracing my sweet Texas town," she shares. "‘Hate This Hometown’ is just about the fact that I go back all the time. I said that I was ready to leave, but my hometown, especially it being smaller, every street, every road, every stop sign holds memories.”


Within the lyrics, Kinsey's songwriting shines with lines that drip with description as she sings, "When I drive down these roads / I see you and me at sixteen / When I never coulda known comin' back would be so sweet / Every chance I get, I wanna go now / Every memory makes me wanna slow down / You make it hard to hate this hometown."

Another delicately weaved story that appears on the project, is told through the dreamy and nostalgic "Hate This Hometown," an ode to the place Kinsey hails from. “When I decided I wanted to pursue music, I knew I wanted to get to Nashville. When I started coming up to Nashville, I stopped embracing my sweet Texas town," she shares. "‘Hate This Hometown’ is just about the fact that I go back all the time. I said that I was ready to leave, but my hometown, especially it being smaller, every street, every road, every stop sign holds memories.”


Within the lyrics, Kinsey's songwriting shines with lines that drip with description as she sings, "When I drive down these roads / I see you and me at sixteen / When I never coulda known comin' back would be so sweet / Every chance I get, I wanna go now / Every memory makes me wanna slow down / You make it hard to hate this hometown."


As every track on the six song project features writing credits form Kinsey, they all serve as a personal anecdote from a moment in Kinsey's life. “All the songs, even when they’re upbeat, fun and lighthearted, they’re still really personal to me. Which is why I’m so excited and so proud of this project. I feel like each song covers a little bit of my story," she tells us with giddy excitement.


She wrote “I Got You” about her boyfriend, who she started dating in her freshman year of high school, and how he came to Nashville to be with her on her journey. “I told him, ‘I’m going to Nashville. I’m doing the music thing’ and honestly I didn’t expect him to go to Belmont, but it’s been everything having him here.”


Kinsey prides herself in the fact that younger girls have found so much to connect to within her art. Her success is attributed to her vulnerability and not shying away from being distinct and precise in her songwriting.


She also hopes that listeners simply feel good when they listen to 40 East. “One of the things that I’ve always tried to do is try to bring joy into things. I think life is hard and music should be something that lifts you up," she says with empathy. "I’ve learned the more personal I am, the more it relates to somebody else. So I hope that everybody has a song that they feel tells their story 'cause it means everything for me to have that for myself.”


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