Erin Kinsey has been pursuing music since she was 11 years old. Her journey began in her hometown of Rockwall, Texas, where she learned unforgettable lessons as a young singer by playing the Texas Opry Circuit. This experience gave her the confidence to move to Nashville the day after she graduated high school, and now at age 21, she is forging her own path as an artist signed with Records Nashville.

Although Kinsey has been writing for more than ten years, she admits she recently made the decision to only write music that is true to her own lived experience.

"The second I started releasing music, I realized how important it was for me to feel like if I’m going to tell the stories, I should have gone through them," Kinsey shared with Taste of Country at the recent Key West Songwriters Festival. "I feel like I should be able to relate. How can I speak on something I’ve never been through? So, I started writing very specific to me."

This decisive action to write songs that are personal to her led to the tracks on her debut EP, 40 East, released March 25. A standout on the project is the upbeat “Just Drive,” which garnered 7.2 million views on TikTok and more than 62,000 pre-saves prior to release. When it came to writing the song, which tells the story of hitting the road with a significant other, Kinsey took seriously her vow to only write personal songs.

"I have a 4Runner, it’s the only car I’ve ever driven, it’s a white Toyota," she says, referencing the lyrics in the song’s chorus. "I just got real specific, and it was crazy to learn that the more specific I got to myself, the more it related. I feel like you hear that around Nashville all the time, but it’s one of those things that I guess you’ve got to learn for yourself that it’s true."

The rest of the tracks on the EP also speak to who Kinsey is as an artist, and she says they are the most personal songs to come out of her ten years of songwriting.

"I’ve written so many songs up to this point — seriously, probably 500 songs," she says. "Now, most of them are horrible because I was, like, 11, but these five are ones I’m really, really proud of and I’m just really excited about. Every one has a different corner of my story covered."

Fueled by her own stories and inspiration from artists including Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Keith Urban and more, Kinsey is looking ahead to the road that awaits her. The artist is already making marks, including her Grand Ole Opry debut in April 2022, and she hopes to continue to connect with fans through her music.

"As a singer-songwriter, I love to perform music, and I love to write music, and the whole goal of all of it is to get people to relate to it, to get people to feel something," she says.

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