A singer, songwriter and a highly skilled instrumentalist who can play seven instruments, Erin Kinsey has collaborated with hundreds of country music singers on numerous songs. That’s a sure-fire Texas triple-threat in our book!
The gifted Kinsey recently released her first cut “Chasing Ghosts,” a collaboration with American Idol alum and recording artist Janelle Arthur. Adding more star power, the pair was joined by two-time Emmy award-winner country music artist Victoria Shaw.
We caught up with Kinsey to hear her thoughts on music, her career and more.
Tell us a little about yourself and how your interest in country music began.
I write and sing music in Nashville, Tennessee now, but I grew up and went to school in Rockwall, Texas. I live with my dog Chewy! I was always surrounded by country music, and can’t remember a time when I was not in love with it. I grew up on Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.
When did you first aspire to be a country music singer?
I played piano when I was really young, and around 11 I started learning guitar after getting one for Christmas. I had an awesome teacher that let me learn the songs I loved on the radio, and the first time I was able to sing along while playing, I knew I wanted to be more than a fan of country music, I wanted to learn how to create it myself.
Is your genre strictly country?
Even though my genre can lean toward pop or rock at times, I would say I am definitely a country artist.
What do you like about singing country music?
I love how conversational and “real” the lyrics are. When writing I really do just ask myself, “Well, what do I want to say? What would I tell my best friend?”
When did you start playing at Texas venues and traveling as a singer?
I started playing Texas venues when I was 12 years old and started out at the opries around the Dallas Area. When I was 14, I started making regular trips to Nashville to play and write with other musicians and songwriters in town. Then, when I was 15, I got the amazing opportunity to play at the C2C Festival in London. It was my first time out of the country and it was truly an experience I will never forget.
You’ve opened for various country music artists. Which opener has meant the most to you?
Opening up for Hunter Hayes at the Rock n’ Roll Marathon is probably one of my most meaningful performances of my career so far. For one, It was at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater. To play on a stage that I had watched so many of my inspirations perform on, was truly a dream come true. But even more than that, the whole show was benefiting St. Jude. Having that show be a part of something so much bigger made it so much more fun and fulfilling.
Was there ever another life-choice you wanted to pursue besides singing?
I’ve never had a backup plan with music. It’s been all or nothing because I truly can’t imagine doing something else. But, in my free time I’ve learned to really enjoy cooking, I’ve recently started playing some tennis, and of course playing with my German shepherd Chewy.
What are the seven instruments you play, and why did you want to learn them?
I play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, bass, banjo, drums and mandolin. I learned piano when I was very young and honestly, it was because my mom made me. But now, I really enjoy playing the piano. I learned acoustic guitar next because I adored Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, and wanted to be able to play as they could. Next, I learned electric guitar because I wanted to be able to solo. I learned my percussion skills by being in the drumline and transferring those skills onto a kit. Banjo, mandolin and bass I learned just to be able to make the most of the theory I had learned. I found that a lot of the same information could be moved onto any instrument.
What is one fun fact most people would not know about you?
That I was on the drumline in my marching band during high school! For two years I was on the snare line.
Cover photo courtesy Erin Kinsey Music
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.